Jason Barnard, The Brand SERP Guy, always wears red at events, on webinars and in his photos. Why? Red has multiple symbolic meanings, but what is the meaning behind it for Jason? Is it something related to his punk folk music career? Or something to do with Google? Or perhaps a contrary reaction to Boowa the blue dog? Or maybe something to do with his time in Liverpool?
In this video, Jason reveals the true reason he always wears a red shirt when he is out in public as The Brand SERP Guy (and indeed when he is on stage as a musician). The reason is delightful… watch the video to find out!
[00:00:00] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): I can sing a song for WordLift. Andrea and David are worth it. So, yeah, I was a musician, punk folk, now jazz. So, I can sing. I was a blue dog. We can see all that during the presentation. This is being livestreamed. I’d like to say hello to the people watching the livestream. There are 12 people watching the livestream. Welcome and I hope you’re enjoying it.
Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) on Introducing the Topic About Educating Google and Defining What Is a Brand SERP
[00:00:37] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): I’m going to talk about Google is a child, it’s thirsty for knowledge, and we need to educate it. I think a lot of us are afraid of Google. Google is this massive machine. It drives so much traffic. It’s so important to our businesses, but it’s a child and it’s learning. And we’re going to look at that today.
[00:00:53] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): So, I’m The Brand SERP Guy, because I look at Brand SERPs and I want to, first of all, define. A Brand SERP is what your audience sees when they google your brand name. That’s phenomenally important. They’re the bottom-of-funnel audience. They’re your current clients. They’re the people you’re trying to convert. You’ve reached out to them on the web. You’ve got the message across who you are. They’ve searched for you. Now you need to impress them. That’s your business card as we’ll see.
[00:01:25] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): This is mine. It’s got these lovely characters at the bottom. That’s the blue dog, the cartoon. Stanley the Counting Horse is one of my groups from years and years and years ago. And if you look at that, it tells my life story. It’s my business card. It looks impressive. It’s colourful. It’s got multimedia elements. That is a great Google business card. That is impressive. If you search my name, Jason Barnard, now, you will see that and you will think, yeah, he’s a legitimate person in what he says he does. And Google agrees. I get Google’s confirmation that I am what I say I am.
Google Should Project to Your Audience Your Brand Message the Way You Wanted It to Be Shown
[00:02:07] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And for the company, let’s be more pragmatic. Your brand message, you work very, very hard. You pay a lot of money to build that brand message and to get those brand visuals on message too. And here you can see with Kalicube, we’ve worked for a year to get this. And it shows our company slogan. It shows our visual identity. It shows our social voice. It shows our products, the SaaS Platform and the online courses.
[00:02:39] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And you might think, of course, obvious. Google is always going to understand that. Not true. Search your own brand name. See what comes up. Is it what you expected? Does it project to your audience, your brand message, the way you wanted that brand message to be shown? Because for us, that’s exactly what we get. And as I said, it took a year. So, I challenge you all, not right now. Tomorrow morning when you get to the office, google your company’s brand name and see if it does indeed reflect your brand message the way you intended.
We Should Educate Google About Who We Are, What We Do, and Which Audience We Serve
[00:03:19] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): So, how do we do that? I think from the title of the presentation, you will have guessed. We educate Google. It’s a child. That’s Googlebot when it was a child, and it was a child today. That doesn’t make sense, but you get the idea. We educate it as to who we are, what we do, and hopefully, which audience we serve. That is the foundation of everything. Google is trying to bring its users to the solution to their problem as efficiently as possible.
[00:04:00] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And it can only do that today when it understands who you are, so it can trust you. What you do, it knows you have the solution for its user searching on Google. Which audience you serve, you need to make sure that it understands whom, which subset of its users are truly your audience, who you can help in a credible manner. And it understands when you educate it.
[00:04:31] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): I like to talk about the idea of you were all at high school. You don’t let your mother choose your clothes when you go to the super party with all your high school friends. You wouldn’t do that when you’re at high school. Why on earth would you let Google decide what it shows about your brand when your audience googles your brand name? Google is not your mother. And your mother shouldn’t have been dressing you when you went to the cool party.
How Do We Teach Google: Clear Explanations, Repetition, Authoritative Sources, References, Guidance, and Consistent Corroboration
[00:05:04] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And we need to learn to teach it. It’s really not complicated. It’s thirsty for knowledge. It wants you to explain. It wants you to tell it who you are, what you do, and which audience you serve. It’s up to you to take control.
[00:05:20] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): So, how do we teach Google? Google is a child. It likes clear explanations. We were talking earlier on or you were talking earlier on about automatically generated text. One good thing about those is they’re incredibly simple to read and understand. So, I’m not saying write like that. We can be more creative, but you need to give it a clear explanation. And our mission is to serve our beautiful clients in the most wonderful way. It doesn’t mean anything. I don’t think it means very much to your audience particularly, but it certainly doesn’t mean anything to Google.
[00:06:00] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Kalicube is a digital marketing agency. It’s clear, easy to understand. That’s what Google’s going to understand. And I need to repeat that, and I need to get it repeated on multiple authoritative sources. And those authoritative sources, you might think Wikipedia, you might think Wikidata. It’s not that that’s important. What’s important is a source that is authoritative within your industry, within your geo region for your entity type.
[00:06:28] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): At Kalicube, we call that Entity Equivalents: same entity type, same geo region, and the same industry. That’s where you get the authoritative repetitions that make all the difference in the world to Google. So, give the child a reference. Google call that reconciliation. I’ll explain that in a moment with a broken plate. I’m not going to literally break a plate, but I’ll explain it. You guide the child, you take it by the hand, and you explain. And then you use consistent corroboration across multiple sources.
Problems Faced by Google: Fragmented Information, Contradictory Information, and Badly Organised Information
[00:07:06] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): But here it faces a huge problem. And this is what we’re talking about with Google’s education is it’s fragmented information. We think the web is well-organised, but it’s only well-organised because we look at it through the lens of Google because Google has organised it for us.
[00:07:23] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): It’s these contradictory information. Think about the staff worker who worked for you 10 years ago. They maybe have posted something about your company 10 years ago. It doesn’t correspond to what’s being said today. You need consistency. And as I said, the World Wide Web is a complete jumbled mess. It doesn’t seem that way, but it is the way it is. And that is what Google is looking at. This is your brand message. This is your brand story in a fragmented plate that’s been broken and spread around the web.
The Concept of Reconciliation by John Mueller and the Concept of Entity Home Used by Kalicube
[00:07:55] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And what do we need to do? As John Mueller talks about reconciliation. So, you need to think about this as the broken puzzle with these small parts of the puzzle all across the web on these different sources. And that plate in the middle is the key. The plate in the middle is the completed puzzle the child needs in order to understand that it’s understood or be confident it’s understood all of those fragmented pieces. You could call that the point of reconciliation or the example of reconciliation.
[00:08:29] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): At Kalicube, we call it the Entity Home. It’s a page on your website that you control, where you explain your brand message and the way you want Google to present it. You present Google with the content and the references to the content you want it to show on your Google business card, what your audience sees when they google your brand name. And then you make sure that everything is consistently corroborated around the web. It sounds easy, and it is.
Spring Clean Your Entity and Gain Control for Google to Understand and Be Confident in Its Understanding
[00:08:56] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): But every single company, every single person, every single entity currently has a massive problem of the fragmented information not corroborating, not being accurate, not being consistent. You need a spring clean. That’s what we do at Kalicube. We spring clean your entity. I’m going to have an advert for that on the TV soon.
[00:09:19] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And you have control. Once you’ve done that, you have control. You’ve taught the child who you are, what you do, what audience you serve, which content you produce is useful to them. It understands. And don’t ever underestimate the importance of confidence. Understanding is one thing. Confidence is key. If it understands, you’re okay. If it’s confident it understands, you’ve got a great brand message on Google, not only on your Brand SERP, but across every single Google result where you appear.
[00:09:55] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Google understands your brand message because we educate it. And I’ve put WordLift here as well, because essentially they’re doing exactly the same thing. They build a Knowledge Graph to push the information across to Google, so it understands, so that it’s confident.
[00:10:09] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Kalicube and WordLift and the reason we work together a great deal is because we have the same aim. Educate Google about your tiny corner of the internet. Make sure it understands so that it can send the subset of its audience, who are truly your audience, to your site when you have the right solution, the most credible solution, the most effective and efficient solution for its user.
Designing Your Own Google Business Card Using Jason Barnard’s Personal Brand SERP as an Example
[00:10:38] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Design your own business card. I’ll do this quickly. Usually it’s at the beginning, but you talked about the blue dog. What I’ve done is I missed a Knowledge Panel. John Mueller said so, please come and help us with the Knowledge Panel. That’s mine. I’ve worked on that for 10 years. And I love it, and it’s beautiful. And it’s my super favourite thing in the entire world. Every single day, I do something to try to improve it.
[00:11:02] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): I’m currently living in Paris. You can see that from my LinkedIn profile. Next, when it wants to or you’ve actually got a point at the machine. I was a voice actor, a cartoon blue dog. I’ve got that information onto my Knowledge Panel over there on the right hand side and into my video boxes there. And the IMDb profile that ranks, because being a blue dog is an important part of my life that somebody searching my name would want to know about.
[00:11:30] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): I was a punk folk musician. I’ve got that from my own site there. The Barking Dogs, across there, that was less important. We were less famous than the blue dog, which is strange. I’ve got a groovy podcast. We’ve got See Results. We’ve got the podcast that ranks on my own name. And I’m an author. I’ve got the book up there. I can get it up there, in this case with the Twitter boxes.
[00:11:54] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Twitter boxes give you real time control over what your audience sees when they google your brand name. YouTube boxes, I found out today, update in 12 minutes. So, it’s getting almost as good as Twitter for real time control. This and this are real time control using your social media channels to communicate with your audience through Google.
Google Is Confident in the Information Presented by Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy)
[00:12:17] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): I’m the CEO and founder of Kalicube. Kalicube.com ranks up there that actually says that I’m founder and CEO. And that makes me feel very important and very entrepreneurial. And it’s stuck. Oh no, there you go. We’ve got the People Also Ask. Who is The Brand SERP Guy? The answer is Jason Barnard. Once again, educating Google. I’ve got the People Also Ask not because people particularly ask that question, but because I’ve got Google so confident in the answer that it wants to show off it knows the answer to that specific question.
[00:12:54] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And that’s it. Google now has the completed plate for Jason Barnard, for Kalicube, for WordLift. Next on the list is you and your company. Thank you. Has anybody got any questions? Oh right, yeah, but you get to ask them whenever you want. So, that’s cheating, but ask away. I’m happy.
The Importance of Images and Other Media in the Brand SERP for a Company and for a Person
[00:13:31] Audience: What is interesting is understanding in the last 12 months a lot has changed in terms of media capacity of Google.
[00:13:44] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Right.
[00:13:45] Audience: And I think you show that’s the first time they see that you show the fact of, for instance, YouTube and the media scene to get the content out there. What did you see with images? Is image also an asset that we can play on the Brand SERP for a company, for a person? And how does it differentiate between a company and a person?
[00:14:12] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Right. That’s an interesting question. From my Brand SERP, I shouldn’t have given that back. If we go back here to there, the images for the Knowledge Panel is incredibly important. It’s actually very easy to control. It’s a very simple question of Google groups, images, and then chooses the dominant image within that group. So, this technique here is to actually repeat the same image or variance of that image or very similar photographs of myself across multiple platforms. And then we get the multiple images in the Knowledge Panel.
[00:14:53] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): On this side, on the left hand side in the left rail, images will appear first. Images are the easy win for anybody, any company, any person. If you post enough images on your website, featured images, images near the top of the page, high resolution images, you will trigger image boxes here first. Then once you have videos, the video boxes will replace the image boxes because they’re more relevant.
The Concept of Entity Equivalents and the Idea of Templating the Brand SERP Which Depends on the Industry, Geo Region, and Entity Type
[00:15:20] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): But it always depends on the industry. So you need to look at the industry. And that’s why we have the Entity Equivalents concept at Kalicube once again, is that I can take Entity Equivalents for companies within the AI space or Italian entrepreneurs in Italy. And I can put them through Kalicube and give you a template, both for the Knowledge Panel and for the Brand SERP. So, I can tell you, images are worth aiming for. They’re not worth aiming for. Videos are what you’re looking for.
[00:15:53] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And the idea of templating the Brand SERP is simply saying, within your industry, within your geo region for your entity type, these are the dominant elements within a Brand SERP. And a Brand SERP effectively represents Google’s opinion of what your audience is interested and what’s useful, helpful, and valuable to them. And if your industry is dominated by Twitter boxes and videos, that’s where you should be aiming.
[00:16:25] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): I had a client recently who’s in real estate. Twitter boxes are simply not worth it. And it seems obvious, but it’s really nice to have the confirmation that you want to be working much more on this. And they had terrible thumbnails. If you’re working on video especially on YouTube, thumbnails are so important. This brand message is so easy to project. And it just takes a good thumbnail and a good systemised brand image. That wasn’t the answer to the question but…
[00:16:55] Audience: Cool.
[00:16:57] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And I’m sorry for everybody if I spoke too quickly. I always do. Oh, there’s a question from somebody who’s actually interested in what I was talking about, as opposed to a friend who was helping out.
The Reason Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) Always Wear a Red Shirt
[00:17:09] Audience: Well, this is the question that I wanted to ask a while back. You mentioned not letting the mom choose our clothes. Why are you letting Google choose your red clothes or is it a personal choice?
[00:17:24] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Ah, we had this conversation. I don’t like red. But I was playing a concert as a punk folk musician six or seven years ago. And I had a friend. It’s a long story. I won’t tell you the whole story. It’s all around Manu Chao. But somebody lent me a red top. And it was a red top that Manu Chao had thrown into the audience. And Manu Chao was his hero. And I was his hero from the 90s as well.
[00:17:56] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And so I said, I will wear the red shirt Manu Chao, and I will throw it into the audience. And then you will have the same red shirt from your two heroes. And I actually had a video of the show. And in the first half before I threw the red shirt in, I looked really interesting. And in the second half, I had a blue shirt on and I looked really boring. And I realised when you’re wearing a red shirt, you look much more interesting. So, it’s just to make me look interesting.
Video by: Wordlift. September 23, 2022.