Thumbnail: Brand SERPS and How to Boost Them

What on earth are SERPs? They are what your audience sees when they Google your company name or personal name. How do you optimize and boost them and how do you get those knowledge panel thingies with your picture on the righthand side of the search results?

Jason Barnard is the man who will tell us all. He is known as the Brand SERP Guy and is a digital marketer who specialises in Brand SERP optimisation and knowledge panel management.

Jason has also variously been a musician, a screenwriter, a songwriter, and a cartoon blue dog.

[00:00:00] Ian Anderson Gray: Well, hello. Welcome to episode 142 of the Confident Live Marketing Podcast. Now, you either are asking where have you been in or you’re asking who on earth are you? Because today, I’m broadcasting on my channels, but also on my guest, Jason Barnard’s channels as well. So if you are watching on Jason’s channels, welcome. I am Ian Anderson Gray. I’m the Confident Live Marketing coach. And I’ve been away for the last week and a bit because unfortunately, I got COVID. I’ve been sleeping in bed for the last week, but anyway, enough of me.

Talking About the Current Situation of Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy)

[00:04:01] Ian Anderson Gray: In today’s episode, I’m very excited because this is a bit of a geeky subject but a really important subject. We’re talking about Brand SERPs. This has all to do with SEO and that stuff and how to boost them. Now, if you’ve never heard of all of this, do not worry. We have, I’ve got a very special guest today who’s going to help us navigate this interesting place. Now, he’s been through the wars a little bit. I’m just going to warn you, but I’m going to bring in Jason. How are you doing? And tell us about your war wounds. 

[00:04:34] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Well, I’m fine. Thank you for having me, Ian, and letting me talk about this, which I can talk about all day, but we’ve only got an hour. So, quickly through the war wounds. I had an operation last Thursday and it went a bit wrong. So they put me in another one yesterday. That went wrong too. So they did another one right after, and now they say everything’s all right. So I’m just protecting the eye. It doesn’t actually see it the minute, but it will be coming back in the next week. 

[00:05:00] Ian Anderson Gray: Well, that’s good to know. I’m glad it ended up being okay. We’ve both been through the wars, haven’t we? But we’re professionals. We turn up and we do it. And part of that I think is because we enjoy what we do. You said you’re passionate. You love what you do. We’re going to talk a little bit more about all your background and stuff, because we’ve got a bit in common there, which is exciting. We’ve got Anton Shulke is here. Great to see you watching on YouTube. Jason, The Brand SERP Guy. You’re saying pirate. How’s your pirate accent? Can you do a pirate accent?

[00:05:36] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I’m more out with a pirate accent.

[00:05:38] Ian Anderson Gray: Oh, that’s very good. My kids have been watching Pirates of the Caribbean downstairs yesterday.

[00:05:44] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Oh, right.

[00:05:46] Ian Anderson Gray: So it’s all very apt, I think.

[00:05:48] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Doesn’t life all fit together incredibly neatly when you think about it?

Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) on Living in Paris, France

[00:05:53] Ian Anderson Gray: It does. It does. It’s great. Now, I’m excited to have you on because I think we spoke, it feels like years ago. I think it was only a few months ago, but it’s taken us time to get this sorted out. But I’m glad to have you on the show. And where are you dialing in from today? We have guests from all around the world, but I don’t think you’re too far away from me geographically. 

[00:06:17] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): No. I’m in Paris in France rather than Texas. That’s lovely.

[00:06:23] Ian Anderson Gray: Glad you mentioned that.

[00:06:24] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Just, sorry, to be clear to everybody. So I’ve been living in France for 33 years, on and off. 

[00:06:33] Ian Anderson Gray: That’s great. Well, yeah. Paris, it might be a different country, but it is just down the road. And we want to, well, now that we’ve had COVID for the second time, I think we can probably safely travel because we’re likely to get it. So maybe we can pop to Paris at some point because that’s one of the places we want to go to.

[00:06:53] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Come over and I’ll show you the Eiffel Tower just in case you wouldn’t recognise it if I wasn’t there to help you.

[00:06:59] Ian Anderson Gray: Yeah, exactly. We need help. What’s that building over there that looks like the Blackpool Tower? Anyway, nevertheless, let’s get started with the show. And so, we’ll start with the podcast. By the way, if you’re watching live, welcome. I can see that Anton is here. He’s saying the pirate of Paris. I love that part. But let us know where you’re watching from and what your experiences with SERPs. Have you heard of them? Do you know what they are? What is this magic we’re talking about? So, we’ll be with you just after this.

More About the Confident Live Marketing Show 

[00:07:40] Ian Anderson Gray: Hello. My name’s Ian Anderson Gray. And in this episode of the Confident Live Marketing Show, we’re talking about Brand SERPs and how to boost them. We got a special guest on the show, Jason Barnard. We’ll be with you just after this.

[00:07:58] Music: Welcome to the Confident Live Marketing Show with Ian Anderson Gray, helping you level up your impact authority and profits through the power of confident live video. Optimise your mindset and communication and increase your confidence in front of the camera. Get confident with the tech and gear. And get confident with the content of marketing. Together we can go live.

[00:08:25] Ian Anderson Gray: Well, hello. Welcome to episode 100. I can’t believe it. It’s 142 of the Confident Live Marketing Show. Time moves really fast. And welcome, if you are watching live, watching the replay, or if you have plugged us into your ears and listening to the podcast. The podcast, by the way, comes out every Friday. You can find out more about it at You can subscribe all that. The new word, of course, is follow in your favorite podcasting app, whether that is Apple Podcasts or Pocket Casts or Spotify. All of that information is at And of course, this show goes live usually every Tuesday and Thursday, but unfortunately last week, I decided to catch COVID. So I was in bed all week, which was okay because I actually was, I didn’t actually do any, I hadn’t actually planned any live shows last week anyway, so that was fortunate. Is that the right word? Probably.

The Journey of Jason From Playing in a Band to Being a Cartoon Blue Dog to Specialising in Brand SERPs

[00:09:24] Ian Anderson Gray: Anyway, in today’s show, I’m very excited to be talking with my special guest today, Jason Barnard, about SERPs, Brand SERPs. What on earth are those? You might be asking. This is we’re going to go into the magical world of SEO and Google and all these stuff. And we’re going to look at how you can actually boost those. This is all to do with search results, but we’ll be digging a little bit deeper into that. And how does live video fit into all of this?

[00:09:54] Ian Anderson Gray: Well, it’s time to bring in my special guest today who is none other than Jason Barnard, who is known as The Brand SERP Guy and is a digital marketer who specialises in Brand SERP optimisation and Knowledge Panel management. But Jason is, has also variously been a musician, a screenwriter, a songwriter, and a cartoon blue dog. Welcome to the show, Jason. It’s great to have you here. 

[00:10:23] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Thank you very much, Ian. I’d just like to say how very good you are at the production aspect of all this. It’s absolutely astonishing.

[00:10:31] Ian Anderson Gray: Oh, thank you, Jason. I have to say I do enjoy, I love what I do and it’s great fun. And that makes that’s makes us two, really, because you love what you do, but I’d love to know. So, you are living in Paris. People probably would be confused slightly because your accent isn’t very Parisian, but tell us a little bit more about your background. How did you get into what you’re doing today? Because we’ve got a lot in common. You’ve got a musical background. You’re very creative. And now what you’re doing is actually quite techy. It’s quite geeky and nerdy, but I’m sure you would agree there’s also a creative side to what you’re doing now. So tell us a little bit more about how you got into what you’re doing.

[00:11:13] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. I think the creative side of Brand SERPs at least, Knowledge Panels, but even SEO is probably underestimated. And just to be clear, Brand SERP means the search engine results page for a search on your brand. But, yeah, I started off in music in Liverpool, played the Cavern Club where the Beatles famously played, but obviously that doesn’t make me a better musician, but it’s cool. Then moved to Paris, played another band playing double bass. You can actually see the story here on the board behind me.

[00:11:44] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And then I was a blue dog in a cartoon. And now I’m doing this thing at the bottom, which is Kalicube, which is my company. And we specialise, as you said, in Brand SERP optimisation and Knowledge Panel management. And the Knowledge Panel is the thing that appears on the right-hand side for some brands when you search for their brand name. And it’s, I think the mixture, as you said, with tech geek data and creativity makes for a really, really enjoyable job.

How Did Jason’s Creative Background Affect His Life Now?

[00:12:13] Ian Anderson Gray: It is. I love that combination. I’m just interested because I don’t know whether you had this, but I had a bit of an identity crisis because I thought I’ve got a musical background. I trained as a professional classical singer, but I was also fascinated by science and technology. And I got fell into social media, wrote a blog, and I was still teaching singing, but I was talking about social media. And then live video came about. And I was thinking, who in earth am I? What do I say I am?

[00:12:49] Ian Anderson Gray: And I had this epiphany moment with live video, because I think it brings together the technology and my interest in science together really well with performance and creativity and all that stuff. I’m just interested. Did you have a similar kind of thing? How do you in your brain cope with the creativity side of things, your musical background, your creative background, and Brand SERPs and the whole tech side of things when it comes to your identity? 

[00:13:18] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Well, I think all of those different things bring different aspects to what’s going on. The musical career made me confident in front of people, in front of cameras, giving talks, and made me less complex about my appearance or how I sound or my voice, which is commonly something people have a problem with after recording albums and doing the cartoon where I did the voiceover for the blue dog.

[00:13:44] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): You don’t like your voice to start with. And the more you listen to it, the more you just accept it. Would I say I like it now? I think I actually do most of the time. And I think the same thing is true of being on video because obviously with the blue dog I wasn’t on screen, and it took me a little bit of time to get used to seeing myself. But once again, when you force yourself to go through that, you end up getting more confident and all less aware, less complex about how you look and how you sound.

[00:14:13] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And then the blue dog and yellow koala was interesting because it was on the internet and then moved over to TV with ITV International. And the internet side of things, and in fact, making the TV series really forced me to think outside the box, try and figure out how to all this stuff with very limited budgets.

Moving to Mauritius and Working On Their Own Cartoon Website

[00:14:33] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And also, I moved to Mauritius to do that. Mauritius is an island off Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. And I moved there in 2000 with my wife, and I thought we can just make a cartoon on the web. We’ll find the people to help me do that for the technical aspects when I get there. And it hadn’t occurred to me that a tiny island in Africa of a million people doesn’t, or especially in 2000, doesn’t have the trained staff. And I actually couldn’t find anyone to do the tech stuff. So, I just had to learn it on the hoof.

[00:15:08] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And we ended up with 5 million visits a month, a hundred million page views a month. And I was running the server, writing the code, dealing with the database. And every time it collapsed, the kids would get, you got kids aged up to six years old and they would get incredibly frustrated, and the parents would write very rude emails understandably because they were frustrated.

[00:15:28] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And, yeah, you understand. When your kid doesn’t understand, you can’t explain to them that poor guy in Mauritius has had a problem with his server. The kids go, a) I don’t know what a server is, b) I don’t know who the guy in Mauritius is because I’m looking at a real blue dog, and c) I don’t care, I want my games, which is fine. That’s how kids are.

[00:15:48] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And so, it was basically getting the things back up and working and that’s what brought me into the geeky side. And I think, interestingly, because I was also writing the script, it brought the whole creativity and geeky thing together, which has now allowed me to carry on. So I don’t think I had that identity crisis. It crept up on me over years.

Explaining What a Server Is and Finding More About the Cartoon Blue Dog and Yellow Koala on YouTube

[00:16:08] Ian Anderson Gray: That’s great. Yeah. It is a slow thing and you just kept on going, which is great. And isn’t a server somebody who serves you your food in a restaurant?

[00:16:19] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Our office got robbed and the police came round and said, I don’t understand why you’ve got somebody serving coffee in your office. So, yeah, it is indeed. But actually, it’s a computer that serves the website.

[00:16:34] Ian Anderson Gray: Yeah, of course.

[00:16:35] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Which is why it’s called a server. Sorry. I’m explaining for the audience in case they don’t know.

[00:16:38] Ian Anderson Gray: No, no. I’m impressed. I’m impressed. Yeah. Sometimes it’s good. It is. We don’t want to assume that everyone knows what we’re talking about. And if you are watching live or watching the replay and you don’t understand anything we’re talking about, then let us know because we are here to serve you. Do you like that? We are here to serve you.

[00:16:57] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Brilliant.

[00:16:58] Ian Anderson Gray: Is the blue dog still out there? Can we still find and watch the blue dog?

[00:17:03] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Yeah. You can find him on YouTube with a yellow koala, his best friend, the yellow koala, who the yellow koala was my ex-wife. And we had a great time. They were best friends. And you can see them up here behind me over my left shoulder. You can find all 52 episodes of the TV series, plus some games, plus some songs. I ended up writing 96 songs for children.

The Importance of Consistency in the Work You Do

[00:17:29] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And that, once again, is that kind of, I think we’ll probably talk about it later, is the consistency is that we said to the kids and the parents, we will have a new game, an animation, a new song, and a craft activity every single month on the first day of the month. And so, sometimes on the 29th of the month, I’d be going, oh, I haven’t got a song. And I’d have to write a song in a day and then record it and get it up and animated. And it was stressful, but it’s a really good exercise in forcing yourself to do things when a) you don’t think you can or b) like today, I think, oh, I could just cut out because I’ve got a bad eye. But just thinking now, I’d said I do it, I’ll do it.

[00:18:11] Ian Anderson Gray: Yeah, I think that’s so important. Consistency is really important. We can come up with all these excuses. And if you are, if you’ve just joined us, if you’re listening to the podcast, you will not know this, but Jason is looking like he’s been through the wars. He’s had an operation on his eye, which didn’t go quite so well. But anyway, you’ve turned up and that is the important thing. So many of us can come up with those excuses.

[00:18:33] Ian Anderson Gray: And I didn’t go live for a whole month because I was worried about my background not being quite as good as some other people I was looking at. And then I just realised what I was doing. I was being selfish actually, because my audience were out there wanting to hear from me and I wasn’t delivering that content. So sometimes, I think we can get too self-obsessed.

Jason’s Experience With the Video World

[00:18:50] Ian Anderson Gray: Have you done much in the way of live video? I know you’ve done a lot of video, but have you delved into the live video world? I’m just interested in what you think about live video. 

[00:19:01] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Well, I did a lot, I actually didn’t do much video. I did the blue dog and the yellow koala, but that’s animation. I was helping with the, I was script writing and helping with the direction and the editing and then moved into, started doing video just before COVID hit. And I was going around from conference to conference, grabbing people, not literally, obviously, but getting them to give an interview about topics.

[00:19:27] Ian Anderson Gray: Metaphorically.

[00:19:29] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Somebody would be speaking about something. An expert, Brad Geddes is my favorite example, because he was talking about why Microsoft will never close Bing. And I just said to him, stop talking. And he looked really shocked. And I said, because I want to do an interview and I don’t want to know what you’re going to tell me. And he really kindly did the interview. And that was really good fun, going from conference to conference, doing these interviews with totally unexpected people in totally unexpected situations on video. And then I would edit them down and release them.

[00:19:58] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And then with COVID, I realised that couldn’t carry on. So I started doing live video with Anton Shulke, who was here earlier on, who helped me enormously with all the technical aspects, the production aspects, getting it all set up. And now I’ve done 82 live streams for my own show and probably about 300 webinars and appearances as a host or as an expert speaker.

The Improvement Achieved by Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) in Making Videos

[00:20:26] Ian Anderson Gray: Wow. That’s a lot in a fairly short period of time to do that number. And what have you learned from your experience of that? And do you think you’ve improved quite a bit since that first one? 

[00:20:42] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Sorry, just to be clear to people who are good at math, the 300 actually started before COVID, otherwise it would’ve been really ridiculous. But what was interesting is that I wasn’t that good. I thought I was brilliant and, well, brilliant. Let’s not exaggerate. I thought I was pretty good. And I actually watched a couple of them the other day out of interest, intrigue to see how much I’d evolved, and the answer is a lot.

Whatever happens, I think you are always going to improve if you look at what you’ve been doing and you think about not what did I do wrong, but what could I have done better.

jason barnard (the brand serp guy)

[00:21:06] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And I think that’s really important, especially I was saying, get used to yourself on screen, get used to your own voice, but also realise that those first ones aren’t going to be great. And you’re going to get better and better and better, and it’s going to be progressive, and you won’t notice. And then one day, you’re going to look back at those original ones and think, yeah, that wasn’t very good. And then look at the new ones and say actually, yes, that is good, or hopefully. And whatever happens, I think you are always going to improve if you look at what you’ve been doing and you think about not what did I do wrong, but what could I have done better. And if you take that positive attitude, which sounds a bit American and rubbish, but it really is.

[00:21:46] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I actually watched all of my shows back afterwards and spent the thing saying, what could I have done better here. And that improved me a great deal. So it made me get used to myself as a person looking at me, my own voice, and helped me to learn to get better. And I hope now I am better, but I’m sure I’ll get better over time still. I don’t think there’s a ceiling. 

[00:22:11] Ian Anderson Gray: I think you’re right. I think you’re right. And actually, if you want to be encouraged, do look back at your first ever live videos because they probably weren’t great. I look back in mine. Oh my goodness, they’re awful. And, yeah, you do improve and it is a good thing. One thing, if you’re really, really, I know squeamish is not the right word, of looking at yourself, then look at the videos with somebody because you’re far less likely to be ultra critical with them, or they’ll moderate what you do in that. We had somebody on the show talking about that a while ago and I forgotten the person’s name. Christine, I think Christine, forgotten her last name. She was the one who came up with the name WordPress. She actually named WordPress, but she was a great guest on the show.

Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) on Doing the Show in Two Languages, French and English

[00:23:02] Ian Anderson Gray: Yeah. So Anton is still here. He says, ah, thank you, Jason. And this is interesting. He didn’t tell me this. Disclaimer, Jason is doing them in two languages. So tell us a bit more about that.

[00:23:14] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Actually, that’s a good point. And it’s interesting because I do it in French. I’m bilingual. When I started going out with my ex-wife, she said, I’m not going to learn to speak English. So if you want to go out with me, you have to speak French. So I learned French for love, which is delightful. So now I’m actually bilingual in the sense that I speak French without thinking in English and translating. It just comes out as though it was English.

[00:23:39] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And me and my daughter used to play a game is that we’d play a game, she played a game is that we’d watch a film. And at the end of the film when the credits had finished, she would say, what language was that in, daddy? And I usually couldn’t tell her because the languages were more or less the same in my brain.

[00:23:56] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But I’m much more self-conscious about my French when I’m speaking on live video than I am about my English. And that’s because I know that I’m not as good and I know that I’ve got an accent. And French people tell me, your accent is sweet. And I just think it’s horrible. So I have actually got a blocking point in my brain, which is my French accent when I’m speaking in French. Although I have that bilingual side, I feel more uncomfortable and I would rather do a live show in English than in French.

Letting Your Audience Have Their Own Perception of You 

[00:24:27] Ian Anderson Gray: But it’s great that you’ve kept on carrying on. And I speak to quite a few people who, for example, their first language isn’t English and they’re doing live shows in English and they’re very conscious of their accent. And often, they’re really the only people who are conscious of their accent. Everyone else, they can tell they’ve got an accent. But in most cases, their accent is, their English accent is amazing. And so I think it’s often it’s in our head and we just need to keep doing.

[00:25:00] Ian Anderson Gray: And it’s all, it is, going back to that server joke, it is, honestly, it is about serving your audience. And if you are getting all worried about your accent, then, yeah, you’re not serving your audience. And I suppose there may be some people who watch and they don’t like your accent and they stop watching. Well, they were never your audience anyway that’s the thing I want to…

[00:25:27] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Sorry. It is like what other people see in you. Like when you were saying earlier on before the show, when you’re dating, you think that they’re looking at the thing that you hate the most about your own face or your own body. And in fact, they’re looking at something totally different, and you’ve got no idea what it is they’re looking at or what they’re appreciating or not appreciating for that matter. And you’ve got to be really aware, once again, as you said, don’t be selfish. It’s not about you. It’s about their perception of you and with the language and accent thing. It’s exactly the same thing.

Some Lessons Learned From Playing Double Bass That Can Be Applied to Live Speaking and Live Video 

[00:25:57] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the other thing, sorry, I was going to add to that because it occurred to me is when I learned to play the double bass, the band said to me, do you want to be in the band? And I said, yeah, I want to be in the band. Great, in that cool, I’m going to be in a folk punk band. And I said, I’m a singer. And they said, we don’t need a singer. I said, I can play a bit of guitar. They said, we don’t need a guitar player, we need a double bass player. And I had to learn double bass in 30 days. And they said, if you can play well enough in 30 days, you’re in the band and we’ve got a gig and you can play the gig. But if you’re awful, we’re not going to have you. And if you’re good enough, you’re in.

[00:26:29] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And I had a German double bass teacher who gave me one lesson. And one of the things he said to me, when you make a mistake, stop thinking about it immediately. If you keep thinking about it, you’re not going to get through the rest of the gig. And it’s the same for live speaking. When you make a mistake, forget about it, keep going.

[00:26:46] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the other is when you make a mistake on the double bass at least, there are two types of people in the audience. There are musicians and there are non-musicians. Non-musicians have no idea you just played a bum note. And the musicians, the jazz people are going to think you’ve done something really clever, and they’re not going to dare to ask you about it because they’re going to be ashamed that they hadn’t thought of it themselves. So, why would you care? There’s only you who cares about it.

[00:27:12] Ian Anderson Gray: I love that. I love that. That’s the big advantage with jazz. You can get away with it with classical music. But interestingly, when I did a gig and I was singing from music in front of an audience and I made a mistake, I learned very early on that it’s all about how you deal with a mistake. So if you look confident, most people, okay, this is the old news who will notice, but most people will not notice if you are confident and you keep going on. And I think when it comes to live video, if you do make a really obvious mistake, then just laugh at yourself, and I think that’s the easiest way.

What Are SERPs and Why Are They Important?

[00:27:46] Ian Anderson Gray: But I’m eager to delve into the world of SERPs. Now, it sounds almost like a bit of, I don’t know, like a skin condition or a disease. It’s SERPs. Tell us a little bit more what are SERPs and why are they important? 

[00:28:04] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. A SERP is a search engine results page. So it can be on Bing, it can be Google, it can be DuckDuckGo, it can be Yahoo. And it’s basically when you type in the query, the search query, the page of results that comes up is called a SERP, search engine results page. And what I’ve done is created a niche in the SEO industry.

[00:28:26] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Now, the SEO industry are search engine optimisation industry. And we are the people who help clients to optimise their content, their pages, their website so they appear at the top of the SERP, search engine results page, when somebody searches for something relevant to our company with the idea then that Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo send that person to our site and we get to interact with that person, perhaps add them to our mailing list, perhaps sell them something, perhaps get a subscription from them, and so on and so forth.

[00:28:59] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Now, what I’ve done is focus in on one specific type of search, and that’s the searches for an exact match brand name. So if somebody searches for Facebook or Microsoft or Kalicube, companies, or if they search for a person’s name such as Ian Anderson Gray, Jason Barnard, Anton Shulke, for example, or if they search for a podcast, name, Search Engine Journal, show, EDGE of the Web, if they search for a music album, for example, my music album from The Barking Dogs, they’re called Spasm, or if they search for a band name for that matter, The Barking Dogs or U2 or Bob Dylan, or, oh, he’s not a group, he’s a person, sorry, but this idea that when somebody searches something they already know about or they’ve heard of, what do they see? What does Google show them?

[00:29:57] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the big question there is does Google show the representation of that brand, that person, that music group, that music album, or even that film or that podcast, that the person, film, produce, company, whatever wants Google to show, i.e. is it accurate, is it positive, and is it convincing to that audience who are people who already know about you. And if the answer is no, if it’s not what you wanted, if it’s not your brand message or your personal message or an accurate reflection of who you are, what you do, then you need to work on it to make sure that Google does show what you want it to show. And that’s the interesting part of this niche is that it’s up to you to get Google to show what you want it to show, because Google wants to show an accurate reflection of you to your audience, because it is your audience when they’re searching your name on Google.

Solutions to the Problem of Having the Same Name With Other People

[00:30:50] Ian Anderson Gray: That’s really interesting. So, for your name, and obviously, it will depend on how popular your name is. And it’s interesting. Actually, the reason, one of the reasons why I use my middle name Anderson is because my first name’s Ian, my last name’s Gray, it’s Ian Gray. But the reason I used Ian Anderson Gray was first of all, as a musician and I joined equity, you need to have a unique name. And there were lots of other Ian Grays around so I used Anderson as my middle name. And interestingly, when I was teaching at the Royal Northern College of Music, there was another Ian Gray. And interestingly, funny enough, I actually got his pay once by accident. Unfortunately… 

[00:31:36] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I hope he was paid more than you and not less. 

[00:31:39] Ian Anderson Gray: Yeah. I had to unfortunately had to pay it back, unfortunately, but, yeah. But when it comes to SERPs, that’s been a big advantage because there aren’t any other. There is an Ian Anderson, obviously, from Jethro Tull, but there aren’t any other Ian Anderson Grays. And so, that’s easier for me. But for some other people who’ve got very more common names, that’s much more difficult. But then within that, you then need to think, well, do I really want my Twitter result? If you’re very famous, do I really want my Wikipedia result to be number one? Can you just tell us a little bit more about some of those things? What if you got a more common name? Or how do we think about what’s going to be our most important result? 

[00:32:22] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Well, if you’ve got a more common name, you’ve got multiple choices. One of which is to, what you did, is add a middle name or add a middle initial and start calling yourself that and get communicating on it so people understand. I would never search for Ian Gray if I was looking for you. I would search for Ian Anderson Gray. So that’s one solution.

[00:32:42] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Another solution is to hook yourself onto what you do. So, for example, Simon Cox, incredibly common name, great friend of mine, big bushy beard that I’m very jealous of or envious rather than jealous. He’s now pitching for, because there’s a Simon Cox who’s a cricketer and a footballer, he’s pitching for Simon Cox SEO. So, you need to get your audience to search for something that makes you less ambiguous, because that problem of ambiguity is that Google will think, well, which Simon Cox, which Ian Gray do you mean. And it will try to show you the choice of the ones that it’s understood the best. So if you’ve got incredibly common name, that’s going to be a very messy search engine results page.

Google Adapts Its Results According to the Geo Locality of the Searcher 

[00:33:29] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, one thing from that perspective for people, there is a major problem in that people’s names tend to be replicated. What Google will do is if somebody’s in the UK searching for Ian Gray, they wouldn’t be more likely to show you than if you’re in the US where you are not as present as you are in the UK, I would guess, I’m obviously not a hundred percent sure, or South Africa, let’s say. So, what it will do is adapt who it’s showing according to the geo locality of the searcher.

[00:34:03] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And one good example of that was Mary Moore. And in the US, it shows actresses, including Mary Tyler Moore, because it thinks you are looking for Mary Tyler Moore who’s incredibly famous. So sometimes it will add a middle name or an extra bit because it thinks that might be what you’re looking for. In the UK, it was, I can’t remember, a sculptor’s daughter, not sure whose it was. And in Australia, it’s a judge.

[00:34:31] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, what it does is it will specifically show very different results across different regions. And if you’ve got a common name, the first thing to do is to focus on your hometown, then your home county or your home state, then the country, and then think about where do I really need to be present for my audience. And if you’re not present in America and you live in the UK, don’t worry about it. 

[00:34:53] Ian Anderson Gray: Yeah. I think it’s good advice. It depends where is your audience. For me, it definitely, I do want to be, mostly worldwide, but particularly UK, North America, Europe, and Australia, New Zealand. But you need to, that obviously makes it more difficult to have that presence all around the world depending on your name. How do we, it used to be the case.

Finding Out Your Search Results on Other Locations Besides Your Current Location by Using a Plugin

[00:35:17] Ian Anderson Gray: Now I remember stumbling across this website called Google back in the late 90s and being very excited about it. And correct me if I’m wrong, but in those days, when you searched for something, it was, if I searched for something, I would get the same results as if somebody else was searching for it in this country and probably the same in the us. It wasn’t personalised and there wasn’t a difference in terms of where you were located. These days, our results are changing, our SERPs change depending on our location and a lot of other things. How do I find out what my search results are in America? If I’m based in the UK, how do I know?

[00:36:00] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Well, there’s a lovely little plugin called GS Locator that fakes your location for Google. So, there are multiple choices. Number one, a lot of people say, oh, I need a VPN, a virtual private network, which allows me to connect to Google through America, for example. That can be, you would have to pay for that and it can be a little bit slow. There’s a Chrome plugin called GS Locator that I used a lot. That was Andy Simpson who recommended that to me. And it allows you to fake your location to anywhere in the world to the tiniest little degree. And it will show you those results just on Google. And that’s incredibly useful.

Using Kalicube Pro to Track Brand SERPs in Different Locations

[00:36:38] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And I’ve built a platform called Kalicube Pro where in fact, we track Brand SERPs, we track what appears when somebody searches your name. And you can choose five different locations, either in your country, different towns, or in the world, and track what’s actually appearing. And those are neutral results, which is interesting too, because you made that point is that my results on Chrome when I’m logged into Google will be slightly different to if I’m using an incognito window or if somebody else is searching.

[00:37:08] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And one thing I would suggest is that don’t get overexcited, not you personally, obviously, but in general, about the idea that Google’s incredibly personalising each and every result right now. That isn’t really the case. It’s personalising some aspects, but not a great deal, not something incredibly significant. That may well change over time. They’re talking about what they call the topic layer, which I won’t go into, but it would seem that they’re moving towards more and more of a personalised search, but right now, it’s not as impactful as some people would have us believe.

More About How Kalicube Pro and Brand SERP Works

[00:37:41] Ian Anderson Gray: That’s really interesting. Yeah. Because it does feel like it’s quite a radical change. But from what you’re saying, it’s not. Kalicube Pro is that, just tell us a bit more about that, and how do you spell it so that if people want to find out more about it? 

[00:37:55] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Now, if I can spell it, I think it’s KALICUBE and then a space and then PRO. And it’s a platform that I’ve built because tracking Knowledge Panels and Brand SERPs is quite difficult so I built the tool to track. I track 70,000 brands, people, and films and podcasts and music albums. And we track them, we measure them so that people can see over time how it’s changed by geo region. So, they’ve got historical and geo information.

[00:38:28] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And we can score how well they’re doing, how they’re improving, and we can provide tasks that help people improve what it is that appears when somebody googles their brand name or their personal name or their podcast name, because a lot of the actions that need to be taken are very low level simple SEO. So, pretty accessible to everybody as long as we explain it correctly. And for an SEO expert, it’s incredibly easy because it’s relatively simple techniques from the search engine optimisation community, with the exception that it’s simply the priorities are very different, which is I won’t go into that detail.

[00:39:10] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But the thing about Brand SERPs is in SEO, traditionally, links count for an awful amount, a lot, and site speed counts for a lot. In the world of Brand SERPs, because Google’s trying to represent your brand to your audience in an authentic and honest manner, the number of inbound links to your webpage don’t matter so much. The web speed, page speed, sorry, doesn’t matter so much. So, it’s a change of priorities in terms of what you would normally expect for normal SEO.

The Changes in the World of SEO and Search Engines

[00:39:41] Ian Anderson Gray: Really interesting. And I can see Katy Simpson is here saying, sorry, I’m late. You don’t need to be sorry. It’s great that you’re here. We’re obviously all struggling with help. I hope you’re both healing. I hope you’re doing all right, Katie. We’re talking about Brand SERPs and SEO and all that beautiful stuff. Now, I’m going to probably embarrass myself here because I’m going to try and define what SEO is. And then I want you to tell me, Jason, where I’m wrong and because I think SEO has developed a lot over the years. Having said that, I did get phoned up by somebody who said, excuse, do you do that SEO stuff? And that can make me feel a little bit better.

[00:40:23] Ian Anderson Gray: So, SEO stands for search engine optimisation. And I think when you’ve got a website, if you want to be higher up on Google for certain keywords, it is a lot or it used to be at least, and correct me if I’m wrong, Jason, about the number of links to your website, but the quality of the link was obviously more important. So if the likes of the BBC or a very highly ranked website was to link to yours, that would bump your rating up a little bit more. But not only that, it’s also to do with the relevancy, if that’s a word, of it. So if I’m a live video expert and my website is all about that and a plumming website linked to my website, it might be an amazingly, a highly ranked website, but it’s not very relevant. So, yeah, it’s a lot to do with the links and obviously to do with the keywords on the page, but is that a good definition? Where ever I have gone wrong with that and how have things changed in recent years?

[00:41:22] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): You haven’t gone wrong at all. As you said, it’s about, Google has traditionally up until about four or five years ago, it’s been about counting links and counting words in the page. And that was it. It said, if it’s got lots of links coming to it and the number of times the word appears seems to me to be make the page relevant to the user’s query, then that’s a good page and we’ll rank it.

[00:41:47] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): The only thing that you said that was slightly misleading was that before, the relevancy, they couldn’t really measure it very well. So it didn’t count for very much because they couldn’t rely on their measurement of it, but that changed recently. And it said, actually quite relatively recently. And they now say, if the site is not relevant to your site, the site that’s linking to you isn’t relevant to your site, we simply discount the link.

SEO Is Convincing Search Engines to Recommend You as the Best Solution to Their Users

[00:42:11] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, at one point, you could actually rank just by the pure number of links and the correct balance of the word that somebody searched for in your page. Now, that’s already very much in the past. And now, it’s much more about satisfying Google’s user. And if you look at it from that perspective, SEO becomes much, much more approachable and much easier, because what you are trying to do is get Google to recommend you as the best solution to its user.

[00:42:43] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, I define SEO as the art and science of convincing search engines, like Google, Yahoo, and Bing, to recommend your solution as being the best solution for their user in the circumstances that user finds themselves. So whatever they’re looking for, they’re looking for an answer to a question or a solution to a problem, you are asking these search engines to recommend your solution or your answer to their user.

[00:43:12] Ian Anderson Gray: Interesting. Yeah. I’ve said this a lot, right content for humans, not robots. And I think that’s important. So, that’s good. I’m glad I wasn’t so far out. And it’s interesting about the relevancy thing because I didn’t realise that was a fairly new thing. And of course, there are other factors that we could go into, like speed of the website, and I don’t know, the domain name and domain name age and all these stuff. But I think all the stuff that we talked about is the really important stuff.

[00:43:43] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah.

Getting Started in Optimising Your Brand SERP

[00:43:44] Ian Anderson Gray: So, we’ve got our own website. We can control the text on that page and we can do all that CEO stuff or the SEO stuff. When it comes to other websites, I don’t know, Twitter or Facebook or YouTube, it’s maybe a little bit more difficult to do that. But my question to you is this, how do we optimise our search results? I know this is a huge question. You’ve mentioned some cool tools and we love tools, but have you got any tools, tips, techniques? What can we do to get started in the whole realm of SERPs optimisation, if that’s the right phrase to use?

[00:44:24] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Well, yeah, in my case, it’s Brand SERPs. It’s very specifically what appears when somebody searches your name or your personal name or your podcast or your music album or music group, whatever it might be, because you’re addressing your audience and Google is trying to show your audience what’s it feels is the most representative of you that will be helpful and valuable to your audience. And remember that your audience is a subset of Google’s users. It’s the subset of Google’s users who are actually searching for you, who know who you are. So, obviously, Google wants to represent you honestly.

[00:44:58] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, I’m actually writing a book now, which is the Fundamentals of Brand SERPs, which will be a real entry level book. I’ve got some help from somebody who doesn’t understand anything about it, who’s helping me to write the book and tells me when I get it too confusing. And she’s brilliant and she’s really brought me back down to earth of not geeking out and not using these terms that people simply don’t understand. So that’s the entry level thing.

Having a Homepage on Your Own Website Is the First Step; Then Look at Other Pages and Optimise Them

[00:45:26] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And it’s actually incredibly simple. The first chapter is look at your homepage. The homepage of your website is most likely what will rank if you’re a company. And if you’re a person, it’s the most probable, if you’ve got a personal website, that will rank number one. If you don’t have a personal website, it could be the About You page on your company profile, on your company website, excuse me.

[00:45:49] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But look at those first, look at what appears, the blue link and the little snippet underneath, a little description. Does that represent me? If it doesn’t, as you said earlier on, I can change it. I can just go in and change it. It takes two minutes. And Google will not always show what I changed it to in the meta title, meta description, or the content, which are slightly geeky terms. But if you’ve got WordPress and you use Yoast, it’s really easy to change the meta title, which is the title you are suggesting Google should use in the results. And the meta description is the description you are suggesting it should use in the results too. You can just change them. And then whatever appears after that, you can then go in and say, which part of the page is it’s taking. If it hasn’t taken my suggestion, you can change that so that it represents you better. So that’s incredibly easy way to go about improving the very top, the thing that people see the most and is the most visible to them.

[00:46:45] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And then start looking at other pages. For companies, you’ll be looking at the About Us page, the Contact Us page, the blog landing page, potentially product pages or category pages, because they will appear as sitelinks underneath, extra blue links for you there. So you would want to optimise those so they represent you properly. If you have them, I call them Rich Sitelinks. And then as you move down, you said, Twitter, Facebook, you have semi-control.

The Importance of Partial Control, Social Profile Rankings, and Information From Third-Party Sites

[00:47:12] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): In the book, I talk about partial control. And we go through all the steps about how to improve that partial control, because obviously, the platforms themselves control the details. But you can immediately see which parts you can control, and you will immediately see 90% of the people who search their brand name or their personal name will see both that the homepage doesn’t represent them as they wish. And secondly, the social profile rankings don’t represent them as they wish. So those are two really easy ways in.

[00:47:44] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And then it gets more, not complicated, but more time consuming, slightly more difficult, slightly more roundabout is that you have to talk to third-party sites, people who have written articles about you, or third-party platforms that have information about you that you need to contact. You can talk to them. They’re people. And that’s what we often forget is behind every webpage is a person at some level. And we can talk to them and we can exchange with them and try to get satisfaction for everybody. If you can help them win, they’ll help you win. 

[00:48:19] Ian Anderson Gray: I think it’s so important. Yeah. And Katie says really interesting and helpful. And I think, yeah, treating those people like humans is so important. I can’t tell you the number of automated emails I get who are from people who are wanting me to add their link into my blog posts. And it just doesn’t work because I get so many of them. And they’re not interested in me that they care about me. So, build those relationships.

The Advantages of Using Yoast as a Plugin for Your Website

[00:48:45] Ian Anderson Gray: Now, you’ve mentioned a couple of things. I just want to unpack. You mentioned Yoast. Now, for some people who haven’t heard of that, that’s a WordPress plugin. So if your website runs with WordPress and I think pretty much like a third of the world’s websites are run on WordPress. We’ve had a lot of WordPress people on the show. We’ve had Christine Tremoulet is her name, I think, who came up with the name WordPress on the show. And actually, in my city of Manchester is one of the co-founders of WordPress, Mike Little. So, yeah, we love WordPress. But Yoast is a plugin for SEO.

[00:49:23] Ian Anderson Gray: Would you, so first of all, do you still recommend that people use that? There are a few other plugins out there. Is that a good thing if you’ve got a WordPress website? 

[00:49:33] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I like what Yoast a lot because it, when you install it, it does a lot of things behind the scenes, out of the box that you don’t even have to worry about. And I think that’s phenomenally powerful. And they really have taken the approach to say, we can do a lot of things without having to ask you. So they don’t do anything dangerous or sneaky. They just set up the basic things that Google needs to access your site, to understand the structure of your site, understand which pages are where and what they do.

Easily Tweaking and Personalising the Pages on Your Website

[00:50:03] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And also, there’s a guy called Jono Alderson, who works for them who’s an absolute genius who’s added Schema Markup, which is very geeky, but you don’t need to know about it, because it will add that basic Schema Markup, which is machine readable representations of the content of the page, basically representing the page in Google’s native language behind the scenes, once again. And so, I like the way they’ve moved forward with that and taken a lot of the weight off our shoulders as website owners and even SEOs and then giving us access to change things that we want to. So if you know a little bit about it, you can go in and you can tweak things around a little bit.

[00:50:42] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And one of the things I mentioned earlier on is the title you suggest to Google for the search engine results page and the description you suggest to it. You can go in and very easily on each and every page personalise it to make it really represent what you think Google should be showing for that page, because Yoast will give you a suggestion right out of the box that it will show to Google, which is already better than what Google would have otherwise, but you can take it a step further. So Yoast is taking you to level 4, and then you can move up to level 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, depending on your enthusiasm, your time, and your skill set. 

[00:51:21] Ian Anderson Gray: That’s great to know. I love Yoast. I use it on all my websites, all our clients’ websites. And I’ve actually, it’s a free plugin, but you can, there is a paid version. I use the paid version on my website and I love it. I think you’re right. It’s out of the box. It’s just really easy to use. But if you want to be a bit geeky, you can open up the lid and delve in and do some stuff and yeah. You don’t need to worry about any of this Schema Markup stuff. It just does it for you.

The Uncontrollable Sitelinks and Educating Google Like a Child 

[00:51:49] Ian Anderson Gray: So, the other thing that you mentioned were, I can’t remember, were they called sitelinks? So, often you’ll have, so looking at my search results here, I’ve got for Ian Anderson Gray, I’ve got my website is number one. It’s got the homepage. And then underneath, it’s got about and blog, which are slightly indented. Are those sitelinks? And how do we, last time I looked at it, it looked like I couldn’t really control that, but I could suggest things. Tell us a bit more about what we can do about that. 

[00:52:20] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Well, you can’t control them. You can’t even, you can’t ask Google to add them.

[00:52:24] Ian Anderson Gray: You can’t even do that.

[00:52:25] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): No. You can’t tell it not to either. You used to be able to, but they’ve taken that away. So what you have to do, and everything about the Brand SERP pretty much is you working to, and this is the thing I think is phenomenally important, we’re educating Google. Google isn’t this, from this perspective at least, it’s not this big nasty machine that we’re fighting with. It’s a child that we’re educating. And we’re educating it to who we are, what we do, and who our audience is.

[00:52:56] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the trick of everything in SEO, but starting with the Brand SERP, which is why I say, when you want to do SEO, build from the Brand SERP outwards. Because if the Brand SERP is right, it’s understood who you are, what you do, and who your audience is. And that’s always going to increase your chances of being shown as the most suitable solution to its users’ problems when they search on Google.

[00:53:19] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But beyond that, with the whole thing is you look at those sitelinks. Now it’s showing two of them. It’s showing the links to the pages on the site that it thinks are interesting for your users, your audience, sorry. Now, if that’s not the case, it means Google’s misunderstood. And if Google’s misunderstood, it’s not because it’s stupid. It’s like a child. It just doesn’t know. Your job is to educate it. And there are lots of techniques for that, including site structure, the way you build your site, the different way you put the different pages, you need to group pages by topic and theme.

Managing the Message That Google Is Presenting to Your Audience by Using Schema Markup and Platforms Like Kalicube Pro

[00:53:55] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Another thing is Schema Markup, which is geeky, and that would require a little bit of extra effort which is something that, for example, the Kalicube Pro platform does, but the book would not explain to you. And just to point out, in the middle there, you’ve actually got a set of courses for intermediate people who know enough about SEO to be dangerous and just to keep them on track not to be dangerous in their Brand SERP. And then you’ve got beginner book, intermediate courses, advanced platform. And that’s the way we’re working at Kalicube Pro is to enable everybody, empower everybody.

[00:54:30] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Because from my perspective, it’s phenomenally important that we manage that message that Google is shooting out to our audience when they search us on Google, which they all do at some point in their journey. So everyone’s going to see it at some point so you really need to pay attention. And those Rich Sitelinks, if you just look at it from the perspective is Google thinks that this is important and helpful to your audience, the subset of its users who are your audience. If it’s got it wrong, you need to re-educate it.

Find Out More About the Book and Courses at the Kalicube Website and Platform

[00:55:00] Ian Anderson Gray: Yeah. Makes sense. Thank you so much for all of that. And if you want to find out more about the book and the courses, presumably, is it Kalicube? Is it your website is the best place to go to? 

[00:55:13] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. There’s, which is the company website,, which is the platform. And we actually run, I spend my whole life just running experiments on Brand SERPs to try and figure out what affects what. And one of them we were talking about the live streaming aspect.

[00:55:32] Ian Anderson Gray: I was going to, yeah, I was going to ask you about that.

[00:55:34] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I’m sorry.

What Are Knowledge Panels and How Can You Get One?

[00:55:35] Ian Anderson Gray: Yeah. Actually, before we get onto that, there was just one other quick question, because I’m really interested in your experiments on this. By the way, we’ll go over Jason’s websites and how you can find out more about him in a bit. But the other thing, we’ve talked about those sitelinks, but the other thing, I’m feeling very sad here, Jason, because I search for your name and you’ve got a nice little box on the right. It’s got your photos. It’s got lots of all these nice things. And I search for my name, and it’s not there. So what’s going on? I’m sure it was at one point. This is called the whole, this is called Knowledge Box. Is that the right word? 

[00:56:09] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): No. Knowledge Panel. Yeah. 

[00:56:10] Ian Anderson Gray: Knowledge Panel, that’s the one. So tell us more about the Knowledge Panel and how can we get one. 

[00:56:15] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Well, the Knowledge Panel, Google’s aim here is to summarise the brand, the company, the person, the podcast, the music album, the music group, whatever it might be. And it’s a summary. And the idea is what it’s done is it’s pulled information from different sources around the web and summarised who you are, what you’re doing, who your audience might be in that little box, so that the user doesn’t have to navigate to all these sites and collect the information themselves. So if you look at it that way, it’s Google’s understanding of who you are, what you do, and who your audience is. And if we come back to that again, if it’s not there or it’s very small with very little information, it hasn’t really understood. And you need to, once again, educate it.

[00:57:02] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So the idea of getting a Knowledge Panel and managing a Knowledge Panel is all about educating this child. And educating a child is we all know a very simple process is you explain the facts as the parent. So we’re the parent. Google is the child. We’re the responsible adult in the room. We explain it to this child. The child then goes and asks grandma, then goes and asks the head teacher, then goes and asks the baker. And if all of those people say the same thing in the same way, the child will believe it.

[00:57:31] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): That’s when you’re going to get your Knowledge Panel because the child has been informed by the parent, the most trusted person. Then it’s been confirmed by all these other people who the child also trusts. So they’re all authorities on this topic. And the topic is you, obviously, because you’re informing Google about who you are, what you’re doing, who your audience is. And if you can get that, you’ll get a Knowledge Panel or you’ll at least be understood by Google.

You Don’t Need a Wikipedia Page to Have a Knowledge Panel

[00:57:57] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And then the question is, a lot of people ask me, do I have to be, for example, have a Wikipedia page? Do I have to be famous? The answer is no. Wikipedia and Wikidata have notability guidelines. You have to be notable. People would have, for Wikipedia at least, the idea is people would search for you without you prompting them, I can’t remember what the word for that is now, not instinctively, anyway. People would search for you.

[00:58:26] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Whereas Google is just saying, I actually don’t care if you’re famous. I just want to understand. So it’s a child with an immense capacity for learning, i.e. can learn everything and remember everything and an incredible thirst for learning, because it really wants to understand. Because today, you were talking about links and texts on pages. Google doesn’t function like that anymore. It functions on its understanding of the world. So its understanding of you is fundamentally important to everything else that goes on in the rest of your SEO strategy. So if you don’t have a Knowledge Panel, you really do want one.

Where Does Live Video Fit Into the World of Brand SERPs?

[00:59:06] Ian Anderson Gray: We do. We do want so that’s been so helpful. Martin Buckland is here. Great to see you, Martin. Oh my, so much shared. Thanks so much. And this is really valuable stuff. And I’m starting to think, why is it taken so long to bring you onto the show? So thank you, Jason. It’s been great. Now I want to, just before we finish, we are running out time, but I do want to hear about your experiments when it comes to live video. Because some people might be asking, Ian, this is great. I’m really interested in what Jason is saying here. But why are we talking about Brand SERPs on a show about live video? Where does live video fit into all of this? And tell us about your experiments in this world. 

[00:59:45] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. It’s a really nice way to end the show, I think, because we’ve talked about the blue links, your homepage, your social profiles, your Facebook, your LinkedIn, and so on and so forth. We’ve talked about the Knowledge Panel, the summary of who you are, what you’re doing, who your audience is, that Google shows your audience. We haven’t talked about what I call the Rich Elements, which other people call search, SERP features, sorry. And those are the new elements that are maybe five, six years old, such as video carousels, video boxes, image carousels, Twitter boxes. It’s those big rich things. If you search for William Shatner, you will see boatloads, news stories, Twitter feeds, videos, YouTube feeds, all sorts of stuff.

The First Step of Your Brand SERP Is to Be Accurate, Positive, and Convincing and the SERP Features Will Follow

[01:00:28] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And that’s the point is the first step of your Brand SERP is to get it to be accurate, positive, and convincing in that basic set of blue link results, just the textual results that you see, and that Knowledge Panel. The big one is to make it look incredibly impressive. And that’s having things like the Twitter boxes. If you search my name, Jason Barnard, you’ll see Twitter boxes near the top. And that’s my Twitter feed going into Google and showing in real time in Google search when you search my brand name. So if I tweet within 17 seconds, that latest tweet appears when you search my name. That’s a great way to show your audience that you’re interacting with them.

[01:01:10] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And then you’ve got image boxes. Now, video boxes, which is what we’re talking about, is that live video stream to YouTube or indeed any other platform. YouTube dominates about 80%, but there’s still 20% for Twitter, Facebook in your own site is that if you are streaming content that your audience finds valuable and helpful and they’re engaging with that content and Google can see that engagement, it will show those videos when people search your brand name or your personal name. And that makes you look incredibly cool and impressive to your audience.

Introducing the New Live Video Feed of YouTube Directly Into Your Brand SERP

[01:01:45] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And to finish this little section off, I mentioned Twitter boxes, which is a live feed that feeds directly into your Brand SERP in real time and looks impressive. They’ve just introduced a YouTube feed, which is the same thing. So if you’ve got a strong YouTube channel, your YouTube channel will feed directly into your Brand SERP. And once again, you look really great. And your audience knows that you have valuable videos that they can watch to learn about you and your topic and what you can do for them.

[01:02:20] Ian Anderson Gray: This is exciting stuff. Yeah. I can see I’ve got Twitter. I might not have a Knowledge Panel, but I’ve got Twitter boxes. But then I’ve looked at your site, this whole comparing thing. I tell all my audience not to compare yourself with others, but that’s exactly why I’m doing. I think it’s about learning and inspiring and getting inspired. But I can see on yours, there’s also a podcast box, which I haven’t seen before. So there’s YouTube boxes, there’s podcast boxes, Twitter boxes, and Knowledge Panels.

You Can Connect With Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) Any Way You Want by Searching Him on Google

[01:02:51] Ian Anderson Gray: This has been so, so interesting. So, thank you so much, Jason, for coming on the show and telling us all about this. How can we find out more about you? You’ve got your website, which is That’s your main website. You’ve got, so what have you got on there? Have you got a blog and podcast and stuff? And tell us more about how we can find out about you. 

[01:03:17] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. I always say, if you want to learn about me, search for Jason Barnard on Google, and you can find how you want to connect with me. And I think that’s an important aspect of this is that if you search my name, I’ve been working on this for five or six years. I’ve had the time to get it right.

[01:03:33] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): You can visit my website and find out about me. You can visit my Twitter feed, follow me, and interact with me on Twitter if you prefer Twitter. You can go to the YouTube. You can comment on the videos. You can get involved in my channel. And there’s also LinkedIn up there. And there’s also my company, There’s also Search Engine Journal, Semrush, potentially, where you can read my articles. So the idea for me, for the Brand SERP is that you read it and you decide how you want to interact with me.

The Approximate Release Date of Jason’s Book 

[01:04:07] Ian Anderson Gray: That’s great. Just do that. Search for Jason Barnard on Google and you’re all sorted. So, well, thank you so much, Jason. It’s been great to have you on the show. You’ll have to come back because there’s probably so much more we could talk about. And when is the book likely to come out? I know you’re in the middle of it and that’s probably the worst question to ask you, but just interested when we can keep our eyes out for that. 

[01:04:32] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Well, I’m a determined person and I tend to really push through and make things happen when I really want them to happen. So, I’m expecting it to be released late the end of very end of November, at worst mid-December. Oh, great Christmas present.

[01:04:50] Ian Anderson Gray: Well, there you go. And actually this podcast comes out at the beginning of January. So if you’re listening to the podcast, the likelihood is…

[01:04:56] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Oh, it’ll be already out.

[01:04:57] Ian Anderson Gray: It’s already out. So you can find that. Just go to your favorite bookstore or just, of course, search for Jason Barnard on Google and you’ll find it. Wonderful. Thank you so much, Jason. It’s been great to have you on this show, but that is it for this week. There’s no live show on Thursday. The next show will be next Thursday, in fact, a week today because I’m going to be live producing Janet Murray’s Courageous Content Live conference event. In fact, if you want to find out more about that, if you’re watching live, just go to and click on the event. It’s going to be an amazing event. We’re so excited about all the things that we’re doing going to be amazing speakers for that. But, of course, do check out the podcast. Go to, but that is it for this week. And I just want to encourage you to level up your impact, authority, and profits through the power of confident live video. See you soon. Bye. 

[01:05:50] Music: Thanks for watching the Confident Live Marketing Show with Ian Anderson Gray. Make sure you subscribe at, so you can continue to level up your impact, authority, and profit through the power of live video. And until next time, too-da-loo.

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