Thumbnail: EP 7: How to Control Your Brand’s Reputation on Google with Named Entities and Market Cohorts

In this episode of the Tactical Marketing Podcast we talk to Jason Barnard, commonly known as The Brand SERP Guy.

It is safe to say that Jason is the leading thought leader on Brand SERPS. He literally coined the term. In the SEO industry, he is the go to resource in understanding how to trigger and claim knowledge panels.

In our conversation, we talk specifically about understanding the concept of entities so that marketing teams can not only properly plan and trigger knowledge panels, but more importantly to ensure they defend their brands on Google.

Topics: 1. What is an Entity in Google’s Eyes and Understanding the Different Levels of Entities 2. Explaining how to Understand and Optimize Entities in Google 3. Strategies and Tips to Building a Moat for your Branded Search 4. The 3 Step Common Sense (idiot proof) Approach to Preparing for the Future of SEO (SGE)

Jason is is the founder and CEO of Kalicube, a groundbreaking digital marketing agency and accompanying SaaS platform that helps clients enhance their Brand SERPs and develop their Knowledge Panels.

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Jason Barnard

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[00:00:00] Jason Khoo: Hi guys, and welcome to another episode of the Tactical Marketing Podcast. I’m your host, Jason Khoo, founder and CEO of Zupo, an agency specialized in search engine optimization. 

[00:00:17] Jason Khoo: For today’s guest, I’m beyond excited to invite Jason Barnard, The Brand SERP Guy. Jason is someone I’ve been following for years. I’ve read his content and thought leadership during my entire SEO career and in the last six months I’ve been able to connect with Jason, talk [shop], talk SEO, and just get really nerdy within our industry. So, I’m beyond excited to have you in today’s episode. 

[00:00:39] Jason Khoo: A little bit about Jason, he’s a digital marketer who specializes in brand optimization in search. His career in digital marketing started in 1998, the year Google was incorporated and is now the founder and CEO of Kalicube, a groundbreaking digital marketing agency and accompanying SaaS Platform that helps clients enhance their Brand SERPs and develop their [00:01:00] Knowledge Panels. Also, fun fact, Jason has previously been a musician, screenwriter, songwriter, and a cartoon blue dog. I’ll let you go ahead and Google that one. 

Understanding and Harnessing Entities: A Deep Dive into Google’s Perspective

[00:01:10] Jason Khoo: But for today’s conversation, we talk about four topics. The first being what is an entity and which entities should you invest in for your business? And what I want to clarify there is what is an entity to Google? And that’s what we talk about first. Second is explaining how to understand and optimize those entities in Google. Third, we then talk about strategy and tips to building a moat for your brand and business in search. And then lastly, we talk about the three-step common sense approach to preparing for the future of SEO, otherwise known as Search Generative Experience or SGE. And without further ado, let’s jump on in. 

[00:01:48] Jason Khoo: That’s actually where I love talking to other SEOs because the tangents are amazing, but so similar to search intent, that’s why I want to ask you about entities. When I hear entities before I met you, when I heard an entity, I heard “Oh, you mean a noun?” Like I shouldn’t say any company names, but my fan over there to my right that blows air out, it’s an entity that like you could understand. But from the Google side, I would assume it’s kind of like search intent. There are entities that humans and us understand and just general knowledge, but then we kind of have to play in the Google place. 

Navigating the Nuances of Named Entities: From Human Perception to Google’s Interpretation

[00:02:20] Jason Khoo: So, what I’m wondering is when it comes to mindsets, I think a marketer, if you ask what is an entity? Marketers are all generally smart people. They’re going to say like “Oh yeah, I know what an entity is like. Jason Bernard is an entity. His company is an entity.” But what is that switch when it comes to the Google side, that is the difference between human knowledge entity and then Google entities. 

[00:02:40] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right, which is a great question because it brings in two aspects. Number one is named entity. So an entity is a person, but a named entity is the specific person, Jason Khoo.

[00:02:51] Jason Khoo: Okay. 

[00:02:51] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): That specific person actually could be multiple entities because there could be multiple Jason Khoo in the world. So it’s not just that you are a named entity, but you are a specific one of those named entities.

[00:03:04] Jason Khoo: Whoa. Okay.

[00:03:05] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And that’s the really tough thing to do in what we do, which is Entity Management, Entity Identity Optimization for Google is make sure that Google’s understood the correct things about the correct named entity. 

Sculpting Entity Identity: Striving for Singular Clarity Amidst Multiple Named Entities

[00:03:17] Jason Khoo: Okay, so I’m a big fan of repeating it out loud to make sure I get it. I think you had just said there’s entities and then there’s named entities. 

[00:03:25] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. 

[00:03:25] Jason Khoo: And that’s the first segmentation is there’s entities and there’s named entities. And entity might be like he’s a person, but named entity is who that person is like Jason Khoo in this case. But now you’re saying where it really hit, like where it really matters is, but there can be multiple named entities and what we are trying to do as a marketing team or SEO team is. Get a unique named entity to be the clear front runner for Google to understand this person is a uniquely different named entity from the rest. 

Defining Dominance in Entity Identification: Navigating the Complexities of Uniqueness and Association

[00:03:55] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right and you mentioned front runner and that’s taking it another step forward. That’s domination. So you then have the idea of Jason Barnard’s a great example, I’ll use that because I know my own name very well. There are 300 Jason Barnards in the world. Google is trying to understand which one I am and which of the different podcasts, records, TV series, companies I am actually associated with, and there’s a podcast in the UK called Jason Barnard. He has his own podcast. It’s about music. That’s a huge possibility for confusion for Google because I have a podcast and I play music and I’m from the UK.

[00:04:33] Jason Khoo: Oh, that’s not your podcast? 

[00:04:35] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): No. 

[00:04:36] Jason Khoo: I would’ve thought, I thought you were sending up a joke that “No, that’s me” but Oh, it’s not you. Okay. 

[00:04:41] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. The joke’s on Google. Alright. That’s actually on the other Jason Barnard and I’m in contact with him and I have apologized for dominating Jason Barnard quite so much. He’s fine with it. He doesn’t want to be famous. 

The Art of Dominant Entity Disambiguation: Unraveling the Complexity of Association and Confidence

[00:04:51] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But if we move forward, there’s a hockey player in the US, there’s a football player in South Africa, there’s a professor in San Francisco and there are multiple Jason Barnard digital marketers in the UK. And Google’s huge struggle is say well, I’ve got all these people called Jason, Barnard, all these named entities. Which one is which? And which one did the records? Which one has this podcast? Which one has the other podcast? Which one’s the hockey player? Which one’s the football player? And as you can see, disambiguation is a huge, huge question and it can potentially associate me with the wrong company, the wrong podcast. It can think I’m a hockey player, as well as being a cartoon character, as well as being a musician. And my problem, which I’ve had a lot of fun with, is I was in a cartoon, I was in a music group, I’ve released multiple music albums, I went to Liverpool John Moores University. I’ve lived in Paris, I’ve lived in Mauritius. And as you can see, it starts to look like multiple people very, very quickly. And bringing all that together. So Google understands all of that is the same person, is a huge, huge trick to play because all of that builds its knowledge. 

Confidence-Based Dominance: Empowering Entity Authority through Strategic Google Education

[00:05:58] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And then we talk about confidence and that’s the dominant named entity. And I am the dominant Jason Barnard simply because I’ve educated Google so much. So if you search my name, Jason Barnard, J A S O N B A R N A R D, you will see a huge Knowledge Panel. I look like a superstar, but yeah, well, number one, the reason it’s so full is because Google understands one, but it’s confident in its understanding, which is the huge, huge trick that I’ve played. And it’s so confident but it’s allowing me to dominate all around the world even though I’m not necessarily the most prominent Jason Barnard in South Africa or in San Francisco, I still dominate because I’m the dominant named entity, Jason. Barnard. 

Metaphorical Perceptions of Entity Identity: Unraveling the Complexities of Dominance and Recognition

[00:06:43] Jason Khoo: If you’ll allow me, I love to bring in metaphors or analogies to help like explain complex topics. And I used to watch this show over and over again called 30 Rock. It Starred Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin. 

[00:06:56] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right.

[00:06:57] Jason Khoo: And there’s a recurring bit where one of Tina Fey’s romantic interest in the show for like a season. He’s from the UK and his name is Wesley Snipes but he is not the Wesley Snipes that you think. And so it’s a recurring joke that he’s like, I am Wesley Snipes. And people are like, can you stop saying that? Like you’re not Wesley Snipes and he goes “No, no, but I was born with that name” and before he even came on TV and all that stuff, and it’s like a recurring joke about like he thinks that it’s really should be his name. 

Navigating Identity Space: The Evolving Challenge of Sharing Names in Google’s Expanding Perception

[00:07:28] Jason Khoo: But to this point it’s like, that’s kind of like the, the whole thing that we’re doing right now. Yes. You may have the name but to the people of the world, there is a dominant Wesley Snipes. And I’m sorry, but that’s the one that we know and it kind of is a zero-sum game that it’s almost like bad to say, but you’re almost like “Can you stop using..” like in that show, can you stop using your name because we don’t associate that with you now, right?

[00:07:52] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): No, a hundred percent. And, sorry, you just brought on a, an incredibly important point is we’re going to have to stop using our names because as  Google gets to grips with the Jason Barnard’s in this world, it will start to have more understanding and more confidence in the understanding in the other ones.

Strategies of Identity Reinvention: Navigating the Ambiguity of Dominant Named Entities

[00:08:10] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So once it’s understood, the hockey player in America, he could take my place in my Brand SERP with his name because he’s more relevant. In South Africa, the footballer could, in the UK, the podcaster could because they are more relevant to the user and they would therefore be the dominant geo-relevant named entity called Jason Barnard. 

[00:08:32] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So number one here is, I’ve been talking about this for a while. We might have to all consider rebranding ourselves. I might have to become Jason M. Barnard or Jason Martin Barnard to reduce the ambiguity and increase my dominance across the world if I want to dominate across the world. So what I’ve already done is made sure my Knowledge Panel triggers for all three, Jason, Barnard, Jason M. Barnard, Jason Martin Barnard. 

Balancing Consistency and Complexity: The Intricacies of Identity Presentation in Google’s Knowledge Graph

[00:08:56] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): That might seem like it’s easy, but it’s not because if you’re consistent, you get the Knowledge Panel. As soon as I start referring to myself with three different names, I’m confusing things. So it’s a really neat trick to play is very difficult to do. The other thing is, I’ve been saying when Google gets better at collecting data, extracting the unstructured data and structuring it and building its Knowledge Graph, it’s going to understand these different Jason Barnard. And literally last week, it added four Jason Barnard’s to the Knowledge Graph. 

[00:09:27] Jason Khoo: Now that weren’t you or were you? 

[00:09:29] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): That aren’t me. 

[00:09:30] Jason Khoo: Okay. Yes. 

Navigating the Rebranding Dilemma: Strategic Decisions in Shaping Dominant Entity Identities

[00:09:31] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So this is happening. It’s happening now and as individuals, you then have to think “Do I rebrand now or should I wait?” And at some point, most of us are going to have to rebrand and I think for us as agencies, rebranding people because of that ambiguity and because of the geo relevancy, because of the need to be the dominant named entity of whatever string of characters your name happens to be, it’s going to be a huge job for us to rebrand people and do it smoothly. And we’ve already done it for Olga Zarr and Mark A. Preston. It’s relatively easy to do, but it’s also incredibly easy to get it horribly wrong. 

[00:10:09] Jason Khoo: Yeah, we already experienced that too where when we first connected with Allyssa, that’s how you pronounce the name, right?

[00:10:15] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah, yeah.

Strategic Name Alignment: Balancing Existing References with Desired Identity in Google’s Perception

[00:10:16] Jason Khoo: You guys were collaborating with us on trying to work on my name at the time, and while we were doing our R&D work, I remember one of the tips that you mentioned is like “Name is” and then like the Google Entity that they understand. But every bio we had ever written about me said, Jason Khoo is founder and that isn’t like technically what the one we want. We want CEO just because that fit more with what we were going for. And so we had to ask, we have years of articles pointing to the entity though is not the best for us. And it was like this huge existential question of do we pivot and risk confusion or do we just stick with the one that’s consistent? And I think it was ultimately decided just be consistent. I think that’s a little bit more powerful. 

[00:11:02] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I think there are a couple of questions to ask there. Number one is how many references are there? Second question is, how easy are they to change? And third is, can I be sure to get them all? And what Kalicube Pro does which and you are a user of Kalicube Pro, it scrapes Google to find all of those sources and just list them out by priority. So what we would do with your name, what we did with your name was just look at all the references to you and figure out our capacity to change as many as would be necessary to create a weight of evidence in your favor for the new semantic triple. Jason Khoo is CEO. 

Strategic Consistency and Timely Overhaul: Leveraging Coordinated Entity Transformations for Google’s Perception

[00:11:37] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So what you need is a weight of proof. You can be a founder and you can be a CEO so you can be both. I can be a cartoon blue dog, I can be a musician, and I can be an entrepreneur, and I can be an author. Which one do I want Google to prioritize is the question. And from that perspective then it’s a question of how many can I change? How easy will it be to change and can I change them all very, very quickly? Because if you change them over a period of three or four months, which is what Olga Zarr did, she didn’t wait for us to give her the list. She just went out and changed her name on the ones that she could think of. And it completely threw everything out the window and we had to come in and then clean it all up. And it was because of her enthusiasm rather than because of any other reason. And she just thought, well, I can change the ones I’ve got now, and then Jason will come back with Allyssa with the big list and I said to her, you shouldn’t have changed anything because if we can change it all in a day, what happens is Google will then rethrow the web and it will get the same consistent message all at the same time. And that’s the trick to switching anything in Google’s brain. It’s consistency immediately all at the same time. 

Data-Informed Identity Selection: Strategic Decision-Making in Navigating Knowledge Panel Possibilities

[00:12:44] Jason Khoo: Yeah. Just so the listeners don’t think that I’m just a self-absorbed person. The reason we chose CEO is I think it was like the percentage chance of getting a Knowledge Panel was much higher on CEO than founder. I think it’s in one of your videos. And so that’s why we wanted to pivot. It’s not just because I just want to hear the word CEO with me, so listeners, I’m not all about myself. 

[00:13:03] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And that’s the point as well, is that we have a list in Kalicube. Pro, we have the data and we can tell you which of the most probable subtitles, CEO is much more common than founder. So we immediately know through data, that’s the one we can aim at and that’s what we do at Kalicube Pro for everything. It analyzes the data and says, this is the easy win, or this is the most probable win we can have. I actually wanted to come back, because I don’t want to forget to say it as well, because you were asking ages ago before we drifted off into the different conversation entities and we were talking about entities named entities and the specific example of a given name entity with the same name.

Elevating Entity Significance: Fostering Understanding of Topic Entities for Enhanced Google Perception

[00:13:41] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It’s really important also to add that topics or entities. So from that perspective, for me, Jason Barnard, I have a topic which is Brand SERPs, and I’ve educated Google that what Brand SERPs means and what the topic is and that it’s related to SEO. 

[00:13:56] Jason Khoo: You’re a great guest because that’s actually after your next comment, I was like I was going to loop it back to the exact question, which is, yeah so you kind of answered.

[00:14:04] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I could just interview myself. 

[00:14:05] Jason Khoo: Yeah, I know, right? 

[00:14:06] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Sorry. 

Entity Enhancement Beyond Personal Names: Elevating Company and Topic Recognition through Knowledge Panels

[00:14:07] Jason Khoo: And to add to the Google Entities, we’re both named Jason. So this podcast in itself will be like, whoa, whoa. Which, which one is which though? Right. So this will be great. And they both do SEO, it’ll be great for Google to try to corroborate, but I guess where my question is, a lot of people, it seems like they are most intrigued when it comes to the entities, when it comes to their name. Now you brought up a really good point. We may need to rebrand it. There’s a whole other conversation. I have so many questions there that I’m going to try to discipline myself. I don’t need to go there right now, but what I’m wondering is there’s a lot of teams out there who are the VP of marketings or the CMOs where their budgets and plans is to make sure that they are entities of the company or the topic is more important. They would don’t really care about their name. And so you and I have mostly talked about people’s names, but can we speak a little bit to like, is there an opportunity for stuff like this? Understanding entities and Knowledge Panels for companies and topics? That’s kind of what I wanted and you already teed off topics, but can we talk about both topics and companies?

[00:15:09] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Companies from a business perspective is absolutely essential. Any company that doesn’t have a Knowledge Panel is in a really bad situation. And when I say Knowledge Panel, I don’t mean the Google Business Profile, which is fine, Google Map. 

Dual Entity Presence: Navigating the Distinction Between Company Location and Conceptual Identity

[00:15:22] Jason Khoo: I was just going to ask that. Yeah. Not the Google Business Profile.

[00:15:25] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And that’s the first thing I explain to every company who comes to Kalicube, for us to help them with their entity optimization is your Google Business Profile is a location in Google Maps. It’s your head office or it’s an outlet. Your company, the concept of your company is another entity. So the two live side by side.

Defending Brand Identity: Strategically Navigating Google Business Profiles and Knowledge Panels for International Companies

[00:15:46] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the trick as an international company is to stop Google showing the Google Business Profile in America for my company, Kalicube, for example, which is in France, because what it will do is it will show the Google Business Profile if that’s all it has. So a simple trick to figure out if your company’s in any kind of state to face the future of SEO and Google’s algorithms, look up your company name and if it’s showing the Google Business Profile, you are in trouble. You need a Knowledge Panel. It needs to be triggered on your Brand SERP. And one thing we’ve managed to do at Kalicube is I was showing a client earlier on and trying to demonstrate that because I’m right next to my office, it’s just down the road. It’s my accountant’s office. It has nothing to do with me. I was trying to demonstrate that when I searched in France, it would show the Google Business Profile because it’s possible or probable that I would want to go to the office. So I would need the Google Map to drive there.

[00:16:41] Jason Khoo: Yes, yep.

Optimizing Entities and Dominating Brand SERPs: Leveraging Knowledge Panels and Entity Association

[00:16:42] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But it didn’t, it showed the Knowledge Panel just to ruin my super demonstration because the Knowledge Panel is now so dominant, Google no longer and thinks that people want to go to my business unless they’re standing right next to it or unless they specifically ask directions. So one of the tricks that we need to play is companies is number one, trigger the Knowledge Panel. Number two, get it to be so dominant that the Google Business Profile rarely or never shows. 

[00:17:08] Jason Khoo: Okay, so like everybody listening, go Google your company’s name right now and see if it’s the Google Business or it’s the Knowledge Panel. So I guess the third one though, that’s really intriguing and I did not know this, but I actually privately, selfishly was actually going to ask you this offline, but I’m glad you actually brought it up. You can optimize and a topic can be an entity. 

[00:17:28] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. 

Strategic Entity Definition and Brand Association: Shaping Concepts and Establishing Authority

[00:17:29] Jason Khoo: Can you talk to that? Because I have so many questions, but I’d rather just have you tee off that.

[00:17:33] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. I mean a company like InLinks work on topics. Generally speaking, they love topics as entities. They’re focusing on the idea of emphasizing, amplifying the topicality of a webpage, which is great. What we did at Kalicube and it’s the great advantage of being what’s a pioneer is that I invented the term Brand SERP and that means I got to define what it is, and I got to push that into Google’s brain. So Google now associates me with Brand SERP. 

[00:18:03] Jason Khoo: Okay. 

[00:18:03] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So I then become the entity or the named entity that is the most closely associated with the term Brand SERP. 

Strategic Pseudonyms and Human-Centric Branding: Navigating Identity Control Beyond Entities

[00:18:11] Jason Khoo: So this is a strategic question. It’s not really entity based, but earlier when you said we need to prepare for being unable to control my name, I was assuming that you were saying Brand SERP Guy was the way that you were trying to do that, but it just so happened that Brand SERP could be a topic you own then that’s kind of a different route you were going.

Pioneering Strategies and Experimental Learning: Navigating Pseudonyms, Recognition, and Marketing Innovations

[00:18:32] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Exactly. The Brand SERP Guy is just a pseudonym, that’s an experiment. And I’m not doing it for Google, I’m doing it for marketing. So this is for human beings that I’ve done it. So I’m called The Brand SERP Guy but it’s human being marketing not Google marketing. And the Google aspect is me convincing Google that it’s my pseudonym and it can show my Knowledge Panel for The Brand SERP Guy as well as for Jason Barnard, which isn’t a trick I’ve played, managed to pull off yet.

[00:18:56] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And that’s another really good piece of advice. Don’t do what I’m doing because I am always experimenting. And I’ve had people copy my schema markup, copy some of the things I’ve done and then say “But it doesn’t work” and then I say no, because it’s an experiment. Everything that I do is an experiment because I don’t experiment on my clients. I figure it out on myself and then I can apply it to my clients. So the day somebody comes to me and says, I need to have a pseudonym that works, that where both of them are recognized as a doctor called Dr. Mike and he manages to do that. I will have learned how to do it by messing it up myself and then fixing the problem.

Nurturing Topical Authority and Entity Recognition: Strategies for Establishing Expertise and Connection with Topics

[00:19:34] Jason Khoo: Got it. So in terms of topics though, my first reaction is but that topic was a term you made up, like not made up. I shouldn’t say it like that, but you know what I mean you coined the term. But for companies, I think their first thought is like, let me use a non-client I have, I’m just thinking of a random term. Okay. Loose leaf tea. I drink a lot of loose leaf tea. I could see a company saying “We want to own the term loose leaf tea.” Is that just not achievable though? Because it is too, I guess, common in the lexicon of language or like is it only you can control topics that are coined or new or like in that way? Or what’s the line essentially? 

[00:20:09] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah, it’s a great question. You’re never going to control the topic and if it’s a general topic, but if you talk to somebody like Koray GUBUR who’s huge on Topical Authority, he will talk about building out a lexicon and an FAQ and articles and covering the Topical Map, and by doing so you become associated with that topic in Google’s brain. I would add to that, if you’re not in the Knowledge Graph, how can Google attach the topic to you because it doesn’t understand who you are. He understands what the topic is, but it can’t attach it to anything because it hasn’t understood the entity which is the company, which is the supposed expert. 

Topic Dominance vs. Entity Recognition: Balancing Immediate Authority with Long-term Identity

[00:20:45] Jason Khoo: Oh, okay. So sorry, I think you were mid flow, but you’re essentially saying Google will understand a topic as an entity, but if your company or your person, whoever it is you’re doing isn’t an entity that’s recognized yet, Google will know that you’re talking about it, but they can assign you as an entity to be matched with it because to them there is no entity.

[00:21:07] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yes. So short term, you can still dominate the search because of the topic and it will rank you even without understanding who you are because you’re such an authority on the topic. But over time, my understanding, my belief, my predictive nature of looking into my crystal ball is that the knowledge of who you are is necessarily going to be something you will need so that it can attach the topic to you. 

Triad of Topic Domination: From Discussion to Entity Recognition and Cohort Centralization

[00:21:34] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And I would go further and say, talking about this topic is one thing, being understood as an entity and having that association is another thing. And the third thing is being right at the center of the cohort of that topic of that market. You need to talk about loose leaf tea, prove you’re an expert, prove that you know everything about it. Get yourself into the Knowledge Graph and move yourself to the center of the cohort by being present in all of the online sources where Google expects to see an expert of loose leaf tea. 

Cohort Analysis: Unveiling Digital Communities and Algorithmic Adaptation

[00:22:06] Jason Khoo: And when you say cohort, that immediately pops in my brain. Like the most common screenshot I see is type in SEO and you’ll see a carousel of Rand Fishkin, Neil Patel. Is that the cohort that you’re talking about? 

[00:22:18] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. And that’s a really good point. If you type my name, Jason Barnard and you will see the people also search for that’s not always, but generally cohort. It’s the group of people in my case or the companies that the Google associates with you. What will override that in people also search for will be family members where you’ve got an incredibly close, strong and long relationship where they will come because it’s relevant, but the people also search for is a really good way to see where Google understands you to be in terms of its cohort analysis and a lot of Google’s algorithms with the queries, the entities, and the results where it has relatively little data. It uses cohort analysis. 

Algorithmic Blueprints: Entity Equivalents and Cohort-Centric Adaptation

[00:22:58] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I was talking to Nathan Chalmers from Bing who’s the whole page algorithm boss at Bing and I asked him the question, the whole page algorithm is templated according to what we call Entity Equivalents which is entity type, GL region, market, and they template it and they adapt it to each individual case. Obviously it’s not completely templated but the algorithms have a template in their brain and they have that as well for Knowledge Panels, but they’re very flexible, very adaptable but it starts there. And then I said to him, for me, how do you generate a result and understand how to generate a result for this specific Jason Barnard? And his explanation was that templated idea. So it’s templated on cohort and you have to think, and if you look and go at GA4, it’s all cohorts. Google functions on cohorts. 

Cohort Confluence: Confidence, Clusters, and Algorithmic Predictions

[00:23:47] Jason Khoo: So if they lack knowledge, they will essentially go to the cohort that they kind of already understand and say, okay, well yeah, he’s probably from this cohort or we’re not really sure yet, but they essentially try to tie you to a bigger  cluster of entities right now.

[00:24:01] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. That’s a brilliant way of putting it and a huge, huge point there is confidence. How confident is it that you’re in that cohort? And if you imagine the cohort as a big circle like this, if you are here, that’s lack of confidence and if you’re right in the middle, that’s hugely confident because you’re ticking all the boxes for that cohort. And a cohort is basically a group of entities where the algorithms can confidently predict the outcome of any given event on a member of the cohort. 

Cohort Consistency and Attribute Clustering: Strengthening Entity Association with Predictable Patterns

[00:24:29] Jason Khoo: Okay. Can I throw an example that I think would make sense? Please. I’m a big NBA fan or, I grew up doing so and so like a cohort would be names like LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, all these like famous NBA players. And he’s just saying like, well, if they’re all these famous NBA players, they’re all from the same cohort, so we have high confidence they all play basketball in America, they probably play for NBA teams,

[00:24:54] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): They probably have loads of money. 

[00:24:56] Jason Khoo: Yeah, exactly. And there’s these assumptions that are like 99.9% probably true and so they can confidently put them in a cohort because they know there’s a cluster of entities and they all probably look so similar in that, like I said earlier of the attributes they would have, which is, I played for this team, I make this much money and so on and so forth, essentially.

Entity Optimization Strategy: Defining, Aligning, and Validating Identity

[00:25:18] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. You could interview yourself, couldn’t you? 

[00:25:21] Jason Khoo: I live for the analogies, and that’s kind of how I understand it. 

[00:25:24] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): No, no, that, that’s a brilliant example. Thank you. You saved the day. 

[00:25:28] Jason Khoo: So where I want to go then is, I understand the entity side but I’m guessing people are going to ask “Okay, how do I optimize for our entities then?” And I know that this could be in an entire episode in itself that you have actually a lot of courses so shameless plug for Jason Barnard and Kalicube. He has videos on this and a book as well that I think it’s in your background.

[00:25:48] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yep. On the wall. 

[00:25:49] Jason Khoo: There you go. Right. Can we talk a little bit about the overall top level strategy of understanding optimizing entities? And we’ve talked about it before, but can we talk a little bit about how to get that started?

Well, the huge key to optimizing an entity is to already express to Google clearly who you are, what you do, which audience you serve.


[00:26:01] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Well, the huge key to optimizing an entity is to already express to Google clearly who you are, what you do, which audience you serve. And it’s basically saying to Google, this is who I am, this is what I do in life, and this is how I can help people, and this is what I can do for them. And that starts at home and we call it the Entity Home which is the webpage that represents the entity. And Google is actively looking for one webpage on the web that clearly represents the entity and it’s written and managed and owned by the entity themselves. So it’s looking for the information from you. That’s your website or one page on your website. But the whole website is going to represent the entity to some extent in Google’s brain. So you need a dedicated website for a person. You need a dedicated website for a company. The person doesn’t belong to the company. The person is a thing in and of itself so you have to have, in my opinion, your own website. If you don’t, you’re a fool, especially with what’s coming with ambiguity and shared names and so on and so forth. Then what you need to do is make sure that when Google double checks the facts, because it won’t believe you on your own Google word, it goes around the web, it sees corroboration.

Validation through Third-Party Validation: Establishing Trust and Authority Beyond Self-Promotion 

[00:27:11] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Consistently from authoritative and trusted sources around the web, including your own social platforms and including all the ones that you semi control or control. So number one is you need to be clear on your own website. Then you need to be consistent across your own digital ecosystem that you control or semi control. Then you need to get third party authoritative corroboration.

[00:27:33] Jason Khoo: And that’s perfect because with one of our clients, we are R&D-ing this and they had asked us, they wanted to be helpful, like you said, enthusiastic, and so they were like, can we just publish all of the recognition we’ve ever received on our blog posts? Will that help tip the scale? And we said it would help, but if you got all this recognition, it’s much more important about the third party sources to cite you than you just saying it on your own blog.

Corroboration Amplification: Leveraging Niche-Specific Validation

[00:27:56] Jason Khoo: Right? Like and so that’s the key word that. After meeting you,  I’ve been using a lot and I want the listeners to know is corroboration. I think that is to me the key of the optimizing entities. So can you talk a little bit about what you mean by corroboration? I think that’s the area I want to look into a little bit.

[00:28:13] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Oh, right, yeah. Okay. Corroboration is really simply other people or repetition of the same piece of information and third party corroboration is third party other people that you don’t control saying the same thing and one thing that a lot of people miss is that the most powerful corroboration is the one that’s closest to your cohort, your niche.

Niche Authority Amplification: Prioritizing Cohort-Relevant Validation Sources

[00:28:34] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So I take Wikipedia as an example. If you gave me the choice between a Wikipedia article and an article on Moz, I would choose Moz. 

[00:28:43] Jason Khoo: Wow. That’s not where I thought that you were going to say. Oh, interesting. Okay. Got you.

[00:28:46] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Well, Wikipedia is great, but it’s a generalist. Moz is a specialist. Moz is at the center of the cohort that I want to belong to so it sends a much stronger corroborative message for my specific niche market.

Strategic Corroboration Source Selection: Industry Intuition and Amplifying Authority

[00:29:01] Jason Khoo: Yeah, so if I was to oversimplify, it’s that, hey, to you marketing teams or leaders of marketing teams right now, you probably already have a really good intuition of what is the highest authority sources in your industry and those probably are the best places to get corroborative sources as you being an author or your company being on that publication or source because you know that those are high level authorities. So for our industry, Jason’s going to be Search Engine Land, Moz, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch I think is another one. There’s these big ones and we’re SEOs so of course we know what they are. For your industry it’s going to be different but you probably have an intuition. But another plug, Kalicube generally has the list, and we’ve even looked at the list for different industries of what the corroborative sources that are most dominant in your industry are. 

[00:29:53] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yes, we do and one really interesting point is I was cited at a conference a few weeks ago by Charles Floate and he was saying, well, there’s the free resources on Kalicube but I use it pretty much every day. And it was a conference talk and he showed the screenshot and I’m going “Brilliant, great. We’ve got recognition.” And then I spoke to him and I said “Do you realize that that list is 30 days rolling? So there are 300 authoritative sources there.” If you get into the Kalicube platform, we’ve got 40,000 that we’ve collected over the last eight years.

[00:30:22] Jason Khoo: Wow. 

[00:30:22] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So Charles is great and basically he knows his market so he does it himself and he doesn’t need the Kalicube Pro platform. But I would always say, even if I think I know data is the thing I need because it will pull up some surprises and if I know it and you know it, that Search Engine Land and Search Engine Journal, Moz are key. The way I can beat you is by finding the ones that aren’t so obvious. 

Data-Driven Insights: Guiding Authority Assessment and Client Confidence

[00:30:44] Jason Khoo: Yeah. And I feel like to be an SEO, you always have to have a tight hold on data. We all know intuition leads you to the wrong places. So I would a hundred percent agree with that. Like even our teams internally have been like, no, no, no. We are going to look at the list. Because sometimes you can also as a user developer, really weird brand affinity and slate someone way too high when you’re like, it’s just because you’re a big fan, it doesn’t mean that everyone is as big on that source as you are, essentially.

[00:31:12] Jason Khoo: Okay. Search Engine Journal. I was like, I know two big publications have search engine and then they have the third noun different, and I always forget what the third noun is.

Corroboration’s Role in Gaining Client Confidence: Turning Data into Conviction

[00:31:18] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Search Engine Land and Search Engine Journal. But the other good point for me when faced with a client is if I’ve looked at the data in Kalicube Pro and I thought Search Engine Land was the most important, let’s say, and I looked at the data from Kalicube Pro, showed me that it is the most important. When I talk to the client, I say, I know Search Engine Land is the most important. I have no doubt I’ve seen the data. And that confidence is the way you can get the clients. To follow you and to work in the way that you need them to work, for you to be able to actually help them with what they’re trying to achieve.

[00:31:52] Jason Khoo: Yeah, definitely and so that’s where I want a lot of people to walk away with was that Knowledge Panel owning your first page, the Brand SERPs. It is a lot about corroboration. Yes, we can. And while I like exit focus on that is. You know, for the marketing teams, you can work on your schema. You can build your own personal website. You can probably get that done in one day if you really were getting, you know, really want to. But to Jason’s point, we could all want Search Engine Land but you cannot overnight become an author on there. You need to start proving it. It’s a whole other thing to do that. Now at Zupo, we have thought leadership and we know how to help clients with that.

Strategic Authority Building: Paving the Path with Informed Effort

[00:32:29] Jason Khoo: Jason, Kalicube, he has the other arm, which he has the Kalicube, but I’m not trying to shill both of our services, but to the users you can, like what we’re talking about is plotting it out, but you still have to do that hard work of becoming an authority and like I think Jason, you’ve been there before where like you’ve been in speeches like just become an authority and you’re like that’s not something you can just say the word just, it’s a whole other initiative.

[00:32:54] Jason Khoo: But what I’m also trying to say though too with the listeners as well, is while you still need to do a lot of work, just like working out though, you need to work out with a plan and the plan’s going. It’s going to make sure you’re doing the right way and not wasting years of stupid working out. In our case, we can plot everything out and then now you’re going to have the confidence to work towards essentially that route. 

[00:33:14] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Absolutely. Brilliant. Yeah, a hundred percent. And to become an authority, what do you need to do? You need to associate yourself with the correct entities within your niche and that means identifying them and your gut feeling might well be wrong. You might be a huge fan of Rand Fishkin, but he’s actually not close enough to me in terms of what I’m trying to achieve or perhaps Barry Schwartz would be a better idea. He’s too much an SEO. Rand Fishkin is probably close because I’m moving towards marketing.

Strategic Entity Alignment and Attribute Amplification for Authority

[00:33:40] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So if I want to move towards marketing, I need to associate myself with Rand Fishkin more than Barry Schwartz or Joe Pulizzi because he’s in marketing, content marketing. So you need to connect yourself to the correct entities. You need to amplify the correct attributes and you need to amplify the correct signals around what it is you’re doing.

[00:33:59] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So just writing for Search Engine Land, you can actually leverage that even further by making sure that you are talking about topics that are as close as possible to the heart of what you need to talk about. So you might be tempted to write about something slightly different because you want to be a bit wacky. Your best bet is to write the core stuff on these platforms and then also write it on your own website. Do two articles about the same topic, rank twice and Google will understand that not only on your own website, are you an expert in this specific niche topic, niche down, but Search Engine Land agrees. 

Strategically Leveraging Repetition and Corroboration for Dominance

[00:34:35] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So I just wrote an article for Search Engine Land which is How To Build A Digital Marketing Strategy From Your Brand SERP given all my secrets away. But we’ve also got the same article pretty much on our own website written slightly differently and that is how I’m going to nail the authority in the Brand SERP and digital marketing space.

[00:34:57] Jason Khoo: I love that you said that because I think that’s probably what the plan is. But when I first got to learn about this topic, I think so far you’re the main guy who’s leading this topic in the web right now. So, sometimes when I look up articles very respectfully roll my eyes like I’ve seen this article for the fifth time. I know what the structure of it is, but it’s a corroboration and quantity game. Essentially, though you’re trying to really hone in on Google and so that’s just one of those byproducts, I guess, right? 

My moat is to have a layer of content around my niche topic that I coined and invented so thick and so complete that anybody coming after me will struggle to break through.

Jason barnard (the brand serp guy)

[00:35:28] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It’s repetition. The child needs to understand. I talk about Google as a child. We need to educate it. This child learns by repetition but it’s also from my perspective, we were going to talk about moats and I’m just going to mention it really quickly. 

[00:35:39] Jason Khoo: We can go right into that if you want. 

[00:35:41] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): My moat is to have a layer of content around my niche topic that I coined and invented so thick and so complete that anybody coming after me will struggle to break through. Or at least they will never dominate. I will always be present and this red shirt will always be somewhere visible on the SERP and on social media and around the web generally. So it’s creating that protective layer which is my moat by creating all of this content, as you say, repetitive but helpful.

[00:36:14] Jason Khoo: Yeah. And so thank you for bringing in the moat part of it. So Jason and I were talking before we started recording that I’ve had peers asked me can we build a moat for our brand or my name? And the reasons are legitimate. We live in a trolling world and people hating on companies and so some of my peers have wanted to create moats because they know that their companies were hot rods for hate.

Guarding the Kingdom: Establishing Topical and Brand Moats for Digital Dominance

[00:36:36] Jason Khoo: To the point where even like go listen to episode one. My guest, Frances Tang talks about why so if you’re really wanting to know the tea, go to episode one. But I was asking Jason, can you create a moat? And so, you know, Jason, I guess the answer is in short yes, but it sounds like what you were saying is you can create a moat but you want to create so much content about this topic that it just floods the first and second page and beyond. So that if anyone tried to move up on this entity, you just have so much content out there that it’s a blip in the sea of things essentially. 

[00:37:07] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah and that’s a topical moat. But Google won’t just rank all of my articles, even if I created the term. So Koray GUBUR is up there. It’s going to try and give variety. It doesn’t want to give just my point of view. So when it can, other people will get there. But theoretically, what should never happen is I will never be removed from the first page of my own topic even if everybody else jumps on board and it becomes mainstream which it already is. So from that perspective, that’s the topical moat.

Fortifying Your Digital Stronghold: Crafting Brand and Content Moats for Lasting Authority

[00:37:38] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And then we talk about the brand moat and that’s what I would call protecting your brand by doing proactive online reputation management and that means controlling page one. If you can control page one, you control the message, the brand narrative, and you can control the quality. Then you want to try to control page two or as much of it as you can. Then page three and that gives you this huge cushion. And any new content, negative, positive, written by somebody else compared to trying to get on your space will struggle to break through that cushion. So it’s a similar idea but those are two different modes. One is for the brand entity and the other is for the topic entity.

[00:38:19] Jason Khoo: Yeah. So how I think most people care about is the brand and how I think of page one as your home. Page two is like the castle walls and page three is like your scouts beyond the walls of your territory. Right? 

Strategic Dominance: Unveiling the Blueprint for Owning the First Page of Search

[00:38:32] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): You do like your analogies, don’t you? 

[00:38:34] Jason Khoo: It’s how I understand everything and so like to Jason’s point, page two is important because that’s the walls that protect your home.

[00:38:41] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I love it. 

[00:38:42] Jason Khoo: Yeah. And then page three is really like, you need to have knowledge and scouts about what’s coming. Right? And so I guess, can we talk a little bit more about that strategy though? You said reputation management. How to control page one essentially because to me that ties really close to search intent. A lot of people, I think just automate  to can we just publish a bunch of blog posts and we’ll own first page on our brand? And I know from the jump it’s not the case. It’s a mix of a lot of things. Can you talk to what owning the first page for a brand generally looks like in terms of strategy?

Crafting the Optimal Brand SERP: Balancing Relevance and Audience Empowerment

[00:39:14] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Which is a lovely question. What’s a typical Brand SERP is the question. If you are a company, it’s going to be what’s most helpful, valuable, and relevant to your audience? So it’s going to be the company itself, a couple of social media profiles, potentially the videos of the company presenting itself to its audience, and also representations of products. If you’ve got a small number of products, for example, for us, Kalicube Pro, the SaaS Platform ranks, but also Kalicube Tuesdays which is our weekly video show and then reviews. 

[00:39:47] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Google will try to give this overview to give your audience the choice of how they want to interact with you. And that’s the key in your brain you should be looking at is it wants to give a balanced, honest overview and allow your audience to decide how they want to interact. Do they want to buy your product? Do they want to watch your show? Do they want to see an introduction to your company on a video? So it’s also about the funnel. Where are they in the funnel and what are they interested in? Which aspect of my company are they interested in? 

Strategic Insights: Sculpting Your Brand SERP through Cohort Analysis

[00:40:15] Jason Khoo: Is this also related to cohort? Because let’s say I have a client who has innocuous, you know, negative stuff on the first page, not like crazy going to kill them, but they just don’t like what are the SERP results? Am I correct in my assumption that you could look at related companies who own their first page are similar industry to the one you own and see what their first page looks like? And that’s the aspiration in terms of like, okay, we know it has to via Twitter, LinkedIn, a YouTube page and these two reputation management sites, like that’s kind of what it could look like or how do you know what the first page can be for yourself? 

[00:40:49] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Well, in the Kalicube Pro platform for our clients and agencies can use it as well, is you create a list of Entity Equivalent which is same entity type, same GL region, same market say you got the cohort. 70 is the good number and it’s not hugely 70 famous ones. It’s 70 across your cohort. We’ve pushed them into the Kalicube Pro public database. We analyze them and then we template. So basically we’re doing what Google and Bing do, but not as well but we template what it looks like.

Strategic Templating for Brand SERP Optimization: Leveraging Cohort Analysis

[00:41:21] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And then you, with your smart brain, you can go in and look at what we’ve produced and you saw that makes sense, that makes sense. I know this doesn’t make sense. This is what we can aim for. And that goes from the blue links, the review platforms that rank the social media platforms that rank but also is there a domination of video boxes or a domination of image boxes? And that depends on cohort. And so if I’m going to build a strategy and say, I’m going to push to get one of the rich elements video boxes, image boxes, Twitter Boxes, I can decide which one to aim for based on whether or not it dominates within this Entity Equivalent list or this cohort, which means that if I was thinking about images, but videos dominate, I’m saving myself from a huge, huge mistake is that I would’ve been focusing on the wrong thing and I would find it more difficult to trigger that rich element. And the rich elements will often kill a blue link. It will push a blue link off the top, off the bottom of the page, which is a great way to manage reputation when you’ve got that kind of small problem, especially with a link that’s at the bottom.

[00:42:21] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the other interesting thing is if I can see that video boxes dominate within my cohort, I also know that a video strategy is going to be powerful for my company, and the video strategy is going to be hitting my audience with the content in the right format because my audience is looking for video because it’s dominating within my cohort that demonstrates it to me. And also with that video, if I look and see that Facebook has 12% and YouTube has 78%, I can see that YouTube is my obvious target. So I do that, but I need to repurpose for Facebook because Facebook has a strong video presence on the Brand SERPs of my cohort. So I can design my digital marketing strategy around this at the same time as managing my reputation at the same time as creating a moat at the same time as getting in Google’s Knowledge Graph at the same time as getting recommendations from Google about what my audience might want to interact with. And the killer, or the kicker is that knowledge which is the right hand side of the SERP on desktop. And recommendations which is the left hand side of the SERPs on desktop come together and make the search generative experience at the top. So I basically nailed it, marketing, digital marketing, SEO, Search Generative Experience for years to come. The Kalicube Process and the Kalicube Platform have solved digital marketing. I couldn’t resist. 

Informed Strategy through Data-Driven Insights: Navigating the Complexities of Brand Optimization

[00:43:46] Jason Khoo: For those who do not understand sarcasm, there might’ve been a hint of sarcasm in that one. 

[00:43:51] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. We were talking about it before and I made it a joke and I couldn’t resist and it was probably a huge mistake.

[00:43:56] Jason Khoo: I love sarcasm and I’ve learned people don’t understand sarcasm, so I just add that disclaimer now. So, but to your point Jason though, I think what’s really important there is it’s very full circle of what we talked about earlier. You cannot optimize your SEO strategy, what Jason said your digital marketing strategy or for The Brand SERP Guy specifically your entity strategy based on what you think it is like what you think the funnel is to this point, Kalicube has 70 data points. I would’ve done like 10 but go with the experts. 70 data points. Look at what the highest rate of like displays are in terms of the first page. And then you operate your strategy based on that essentially.

[00:44:37] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Hundred percent. 

Navigating Brand Ownership in the Digital Landscape: Understanding Google’s Perspective

[00:44:38] Jason Khoo: And I think that’s where a lot of marketing teams make mistakes on owning their brand is that I think they feel like their brand is their website and they can design it however they want and that is not the case. It is what does Google understand your cohort, your industry plays in? And then you kind of have to play it by that rules, know what game you’re playing, and then you have to just win that game essentially. 

[00:44:59] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Well that’s delightful. And one thing, I’d just like to be really clear on it. If you are doing it manually, 10 is enough. 70 is going to really get boring. But if you’ve got a way to analyze it at scale, 70 is the good number because it will give you very reliable results.

Embracing the Three-Step Approach for Search Generative Experience (SGE) and Dynamic Knowledge Panels

[00:45:14] Jason Khoo: You kind of already discussed it but you would recommended the three-step common sense idiot proof approach to preparing for the future of SEO, which is SGE and leveraging brands to optimize recommendations, Knowledge Panels feed late large language model. 

[00:45:29] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Oh, right, yeah. Okay. We can quickly touch on that. I mean, Search Generative Experience on Google was forced on them by Bing releasing, Bing Chat and Google weren’t ready. So what they currently do, both Bing and Google is all the Search Generative Experience and Bing Chat does is summarize the SERP. So it takes the result of the SERP, it summarizes, it, puts it at the top, so it becomes basically a stitch together micro feature snippet element or a dynamic Knowledge Panel. Now the difference is right now it’s the stitch together mini featured snippets, but it’s going to become a dynamic Knowledge Panel.

Seizing Success Today and Tomorrow: Mastering the Dynamic Knowledge Panel Strategy

[00:46:06] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So you need to plan for the dynamic Knowledge Panel because both essentially, sorry. If you could optimize for the dynamic search, the dynamic Knowledge Panel, you will already be winning today. 

[00:46:17] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the way you do that is once again, get your entity in the Knowledge Graph. Get your Knowledge Panel, the knowledge on the right hand side of the SERP. Make sure Google recommends exactly what you want about your brand in your Brand SERP, the left hand side, and those two come together to create the Search Generative Experience today and in the future. So start preparing today, and if you have access to Search Generative Experience on Google and you search the name, you can actually figure out how far behind you are.

Strategic Insights into the Future: Entity Optimization as the Foundation for SGE

[00:46:49] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And on Kalicube, we’ve got a little table that shows you. So if you should search the Kalicube Process and go through the four Kalicube Process articles in one of them, we talk about that and saying depending on whether or not the generative experience triggers automatically or you have to click on a button or if it simply isn’t there. We’ll show you whether you are three months behind, six months behind, or a year behind. 

[00:47:12] Jason Khoo: I’ve actually been saying the same thing in our internal teams that like learning Entity Optimization is the key to SGE in the future. They may not seem very relevant, but if you research what SGE in the larger language models are about, it all points back to entities. I think entities has been talked about in SEO for over a decade, but now it’s really like, no, this is the commitment to entities now, we all need to understand it.

[00:47:36] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Hundred percent. 

Unraveling the Dynamic Nature of SGE: AB Testing and Future-Proofing

[00:47:37] Jason Khoo: I have a quick SGE question for you. I’ve been messing around with SGE I’m trying to figure out how it optimizes, and I think you are right. Have you noticed when you Google on SGE, it changes the response like sometimes daily, sometimes every time you hit generate, the response can be different at times. Have you noticed that?

[00:47:56] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah, I have noticed it. I hadn’t thought about it and you’ve just made me think about  it. And what that shows is they’re desperately AB testing.

[00:48:03] Jason Khoo: Okay. That’s what my guess is because I was telling one of my teams that I work with, there is no way Google can ship out a product that changes the answer every time you hit generate because that does not seem like a good product to me of, you know what I mean?

[00:48:17] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. But then if you, if you look at it from their perspective, they’re so desperate to catch up and so desperate not to get left behind with Bing Chat and Chat GPT and the other tools that are coming out is that they may well have been forced to waste resources to AB test as fast as they possibly can. In order to figure out the best possible product for six months time when they launch. So they might just be saying, we’re going to bite the bullet for six months, spend a lot of money on a system that isn’t optimized for being cost effective for us, just so we have the data so we know what we need to do and we don’t make a mistake.

[00:48:52] Jason Khoo: Got it. 

Cracking the SGE Enigma: Unveiling Google’s AB Testing Strategy

[00:48:52] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): That’s theory. It’s complete theory, but it makes sense.

[00:48:55] Jason Khoo: My theory is exactly the same as yours and how what I think good. What I think that they’re doing though is I don’t think the final product will be like, every time you hit generate, the answer is different. Oh. I think it’ll be 90% the same most of the time. And right like to your point though, I just didn’t think of the word AB testing, but they’ll probably just AB testing like the template of the responders and everything.

[00:49:17] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And then it will settle down at the end of the year or whenever they launch it, and it will become a more stable product because as you say, it’s neither helpful nor cost effective. 

Google Self-Reflection: Leveraging SGE and Knowledge Panels for Brand Clarity

[00:49:26] Jason Khoo: And so your tip though is use SGE to look at your entities or your brand or your personal name to kind of get a window into what Google understands for yourself right now. 

[00:49:36] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah I mean look at SGE but the Knowledge Panel and the recommendations as well. So you can just look at the Knowledge Panel. Don’t have a Knowledge. Panel, you’re not understood. You’ve got a huge problem. The recommendations aren’t exactly what you want. It doesn’t represent your company. You’ve got a huge problem. The SGE results are not dominated by you. You’ve got a huge problem because Google hasn’t understood either the knowledge or the recommendations. So Google your brand name, your company name now, and just before doing it, think what do I expect to see as the results come up, think about what you do see, and then sit down and write down what you want to see and you’ll see what a huge job you’ve got ahead of you. 

[00:50:16] Jason Khoo: Oh yeah. Number four, call Jason and Jason.

[00:50:20] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Call Jason and Jason. You choose. 

Connecting with The Brand SERP Guy: Exploring Various Avenues

[00:50:23] Jason Khoo: Perfect. Well, Jason, I feel like we could go on for another two hours but we need to be respectful of time and everything so I wanted to start closing out. I think that there was a lot we discussed. For any listeners that may feel the frustration of like, oh, but they didn’t talk about this, I’m pretty sure Jason Barnard, who over here has a video somewhere on some platform about it. So reach out or just Google and you’ll find it. 

[00:50:45] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I understand and sorry, I wanted to add something. I’ve made a lot of videos. I make video. I really enjoy making video and writing articles and sharing. I share everything that I think of. All of my tips and tricks are out there somewhere, but I also work a lot on what people ask me. So if you ask me a question and I haven’t made a video or written an article about it, and it’s a great question, I’ll make a video. I’ll figure it out and I’ll make a video. So ping me on social media. Join the Kalicube, Knowledge Panel and Brand SERP support group on Facebook. Start asking me questions. That’s how I learn too. 

[00:51:18] Jason Khoo: Wait, I don’t think I’m part of this Facebook group. I need to get on this. 

[00:51:21] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yes, you do. 

[00:51:22] Jason Khoo: Okay. I need to get on there. But Jason, I’ll kind of allow you to kind of let the audience know where they can find you. You were in a children’s show, you’re a musician, so there’s a lot of ways to find you. So I would like to let you dictate the corroborative sources of where people can find you right now. 

Closing Remarks and Mutual Appreciation: A Memorable Conversation

[00:51:37] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Well, if you want to engage with me, anybody about anything, Google my name because it gives you the choice of how you want to engage. And as you said, You might want to see the cartoon blue dog. You might want to see the folk punk group. You might want to see me live playing music last week with a friend of mine called Fred. We had a gig last week. We’ve got a gig this week. You might want to find me on my website, figure out what I’ve been doing my whole life and what I talk about. You might want to engage with me at Kalicube and do business with me. You might wanna come to Kalicube Pro and sign up as an agency. You might want to talk to me on Twitter. You might want to talk to me on Facebook or maybe on LinkedIn or watch a video. The choice is yours because it’s all on the Brand. SERP.

[00:52:17] Jason Khoo: Amazing. I love it. I love it. Alright, Jason, well thank you for joining us. I think this was an awesome episode and if you’ll allow me, I’ve actually known about you for years and so it is, I’m not trying to kiss your ass or anything, but it’s a big moment for me to be able to have you on a podcast. I think it’s, I’m a little smitten right now.

[00:52:33] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Oh, superb. Oh, thank you. That’s really, really kind. I’ve just gone as red as my shirt. 

[00:52:38] Jason Khoo: Perfect. Well, thank you, Jason. We’ll go ahead and have more of these conversations in the future, but to the listeners, 

[00:52:43] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Brilliant!

[00:52:44] Jason Khoo: Thank you for tuning in. 

[00:52:46] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Absolutely. Thank you so much, Jason. That was a delightful conversation that went in all sorts of directions and made me think several times to come up with new approaches, new answers, new ideas, so I’ve been inspired by this as well.

[00:52:59] Jason Khoo: Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

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