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Talks and Interviews with The Brand SERP Guy » Brand SERPs » The Truth About When Customers Google Your Brand feat. Jason Barnard – EP. 23 by Marketing in the Raw with Adam Helweh

The Truth About When Customers Google Your Brand feat. Jason Barnard – EP. 23 by Marketing in the Raw with Adam Helweh

Businesses often spend a lot of effort trying to rank well for keywords related to WHAT they sell, but they often overlook the opportunity to rank for WHO they are. But you might be missing more than you think by not paying more attention to your branded search results. Jason Barnard is the founder of Kalicube where he shares his insights from tracking over 75,000 branded search engine results pages.

[00:00:00] Adam Helweh: Hello and welcome to Marketing in the Raw. That’s the podcast and I am the host, Adam Helweh. It is my goal to expand how you define the practice of marketing and your vision of where it’s headed, especially in a digitally connected world. Look, SEO and the way search engines, like Google, work has evolved in big ways over the years. One of the biggest changes has been the richness of the results found directly in the search results page itself. Very rarely are you presented with a stack of blue links anymore. Featured snippets, Knowledge Panels, and videos are just a few of the additional elements you’ll run into before clicking through.

[00:00:55] Adam Helweh: On the flip side, businesses that often spend a lot of time trying to rank well for keywords related to what they sell often overlook the opportunity to rank for who they are. But you might be missing more than you think by not paying more attention to your branded search results. That’s why you need to listen to this episode.

Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) as a Musician, Cartoon Blue Dog, and Especially a Digital Marketer

[00:01:15] Adam Helweh: He’s been described as a digital marketer, musician, and cartoon blue dog. You might call Jason Barnard a triple threat, but after you listened to this interview, you’re going to know him as Jason, The Brand SERP Guy. Jason shares his insights from tracking over 75,000 branded search results pages. He reveals the impact poor branded search results might be having on how potential customers perceive you. And we talk about the elements that make up a good branded SERP. Get ready to look at your branded search results like never before with my guest, Jason Barnard.

[00:01:52] Adam Helweh: Jason, sir, so remind me how to say your last name so I say it correctly, because I think it’s pretty straightforward, but there might be some beautiful flourish on there that you throw on or something like that, but is it just Barnard? 

[00:02:06] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah, I wish there were a flourish, but there isn’t. It’s Barnard. And the thing about names is I have a podcast, and I say people’s names wrong all the time. And I think and I hope that not being offended by the fact that somebody can’t say your name is a good human approach.

[00:02:28] Adam Helweh: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:02:29] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Who knows? I had Gary Illyes. Is it Illyes, Illyes, Illyes?

[00:02:37] Adam Helweh: Illyes.

[00:02:39] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Exactly. Apparently, he is quite sensitive about that. Maybe he could take a step back and say, actually it doesn’t really matter as long as people are interested in what I’ve got to say and who I am.

Consistency in the Names Matters a Lot in Branding

[00:02:55] Adam Helweh: This is coming from the guy that were, that talks about brand related stuff here, right? So sometimes consistency in the names matters a lot. And part of the reason… 

[00:03:05] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Sorry. You just got me there because so I’m wrong actually, which is amazingly. We’re one minute in, and I’ve already messed up. Brilliant. 

[00:03:15] Adam Helweh: I’m an awesome host. I just find ways of making the people, the guests wrong, especially as quick as possible. We just, we broke the record here. 

[00:03:23] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But you’re right. And I hadn’t thought about that is in branding, hearing and seeing the same thing over and over and over and again is what branding is all about. So two minutes in, I’m saying, yeah, I’m going to have to rethink that, and thank you very much.

Getting Into the Definition of a Brand More Than Just the Tip of the Iceberg 

[00:03:41] Adam Helweh: And I think that gave us a really good opportunity to talk about something that I didn’t initially think about bringing up, which is if we’re going to be talking about bbanded SERPs and branded search, which sounds at the surface maybe not as tantalising to some folks, I think. But let’s talk about, we got to get into what a brand really is just to tip of the iceberg of that. Because at least for me, Jason, I run into it more often than not that the word brand is being applied to a bunch of fonts and logos and colours. And I anticipate by the response that you just had with that at the top of the show here that that’s not your definition of a brand. It’s not mine either by the way, but yeah. 

[00:04:30] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): No, in fact, I’m coming at it from a very Knowledge Graph point of view. A brand is an entity. It’s a thing we can identify. So, we can identify it. And this is actually really interesting because I hadn’t thought of this way before you just mentioned that through the font, through the colours, through the way we say it. But the fact is a brand is an identifiable entity, an identifiable thing. So you, me, Gary Illyes, Google, Alphabet Incorporated, Facebook Incorporated, they’re all entities that we can identify. And there is, I think, enormous ambiguity that we don’t realise.

The Problem of Machines With the Ambiguity of Brands

[00:05:14] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): There are 300 Jason Barnards in the world. Which one do I mean? Alphabet Inc. is not the same thing as alphabet. Alphabet is very ambiguous. Alphabet Inc. in the US is very specific. And Facebook is a great example because you have Facebook Inc. And Facebook Inc. is a company. That’s an entity. Facebook is a platform. That’s an entity. It’s actually a creative work very strangely. So, you end up with this situation, I think, as human beings, we forget that every time we say something like Facebook, Google, Adam Helweh, I cannot say your name. I’m telling you. I’m sorry.

[00:05:59] Adam Helweh: You did better than most people did. It’s almost, almost. But Helweh, it’s a Lebanese last name. It doesn’t sound as good as it means in Arabic, but I… 

[00:06:11] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I think it’s, I wouldn’t know how to say it. And you were much, much kinder to me about my name, which is very simple, than I was about yours. I just weighed it in there and said it wrong. But to come back to the topic is those entities that we talk about, because the human has an imagination and we can make that leap, we understand what we’re talking about. And if we talk about digital marketing and machines, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, IBM, trying to understand the world in a manner that is very similar to human beings, they have enormous problems with ambiguity. And that is the single biggest problem these machines have today.

Human Beings Perceive a Brand Emotionally but Machines Need to Understand It Functionally and Factually

[00:06:57] Adam Helweh: And so, what you’re talking about now is the leap from how we perceive a brand to ultimately being able to properly have some level of control after we understand why we need to have that level of control in order to get the right results out of these search engines in this particular case that we’re talking about so that they understand who we are as a brand and how to provide a united front, so to speak. 

[00:07:27] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Oh, yeah, that’s a really brilliant way of putting it. It gave me goosebumps on my arms. Because as human beings, we perceive a brand emotionally. We look at the brand and we go, okay, this is how I feel about that brand. But Google and Microsoft and Facebook and Apple, and I think we forget these other machines exist, and they need to understand. They need to understand functionally and factually what is this brand, what is the entity, how can I identify it. Because if I can’t understand that, I can’t represent it. Whereas as human beings, we’re saying, this is my representation in my little brain. The entity itself is secondary. So, we’re approaching it from completely opposite directions, which is phenomenally good insight that I’ve never had before.

If Google Understands What the Users Are Looking For, Then It Can Give the Best Solution

[00:08:16] Adam Helweh: And as somebody who has their foot in search, would you say that this is sort of, again, you and I are having these really interesting things that are sparking in the conversation that are outside of the initial questions that I had thought about asking. But search has continued to move in the direction of trying to behave more human like in a lot of ways, in how it indexes content, how it surfaces content, the content that it shows in search results pages versus just the good old search results themselves, like the Knowledge Graph elements or the position zero elements and those sorts of things.

[00:08:57] Adam Helweh: So, do you envision a world where along that same lines, the elements that we’re going to talk about today may start to behave even more and more like a human perceives the brand elements to be? If that makes sense as a question. 

[00:09:13] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It does a hundred percent, and I loved the way you phrased it. I love the way you’ve approached it. Because we’ve gone from search which is Google saying, I’ve tried to understand the world through the number of words in a page and the number of links and I rank them as the 10 best suggestions and you choose which one you want, to a world where Google is saying, I think I have the answer because I’ve understood what you’re looking for and I’ve understood what the potential.

[00:09:41] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): We need to remember as users, when we search on Google, we’re asking a question or making Google aware of a problem and asking it for a solution. And it’s now saying, I think I have the best solution, which is position zero, for example. And so, it’s increasingly saying, this is my recommendation. So, we’re now asking Google to recommend our answers to its users. And interestingly enough, we forget that it’s our audience, but our audience is simply a subset of Google’s users.

The Aim Is for Google to Understand, Be Credible, and Be Deliverable, and It Can Recommend Things to Users Before They Even Knew They Knew It Like Google Discover

[00:10:19] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, we have to make sure that Google understands who we are, what we do, what we offer, and who we offer it to so that it can say this is a pertinent, helpful answer or solution to this person. And if we don’t approach it that way, and I say empathy for the devil, it’s having empathy and sympathy for Google and saying, what are your problems? It’s problems are understanding who you are, what you do, what you offer, and to whom. It’s credibility, are you more or less credible than your competitors? And deliverability, can you deliver the solution? And it’s as simple as that. It really is very simple. And if Google can fill those three and say, yes, I understand, yes, it’s credible, yes, it’s deliverable, then it can give you as the best solution to its users or the subset of its users. That is your audience. And that’s your aim.

[00:11:18] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And then you ask the question, and I love that idea is saying, it’s actually now going further with things like Google Discover. And that’s where the Knowledge Graph topic layers. Does it understand what your topic is, what your core topic is, what those related topics are? Because it’s now saying, I’m going to recommend things to my users before they even knew they knew it. They wanted it, sorry. In which case, we’re saying Google, if it understands who we are, what we offer, and who our audience is, it can start pushing our offers through Discover, and we’ve got a big jump on the competition. So, Google has gone from, sorry, just to conclude, from search to answer to assistive push engine saying, I will provide the solution to your problem before you even knew you had the problem.

The Difference Between Generic Terms, Branded Terms, and Exact Match Brand Name 

[00:12:11] Adam Helweh: Let’s peel this back a little bit. I love that. Let’s make sure we set the stage a little bit more. We mentioned the term brand search or branded search. Let’s just at least define what is branded search and how is it different or similar to any other search results that we might be looking to claim in our SEO activities as a company. 

[00:12:37] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Yeah. You’re a great host because I was getting a bit overexcited and going off on a different tangent. But I think there are three levels to the SEO that we’re doing, the terms that we’re aiming for. You have these generic terms, which is whatever everyone obsesses about. It’s saying, I want to rank for blue shoes. I want to rank for even blue shoes in Portland or cheap blue shoes, whatever it might be, but that’s very generic. Then you have branded terms which are Adidas blue shoes, which would be my brand associated with a product. At which point, Google is obviously going to tend to rank me better, which is great.

[00:13:22] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And then we have exact match brand, which is what I’m obsessed by, which is something else entirely. It’s a subset of the branded terms like Adidas blue shoes. It’s simply Adidas, its exact match. It’s saying, what does Google show when you search my exact match brand name or my personal exact name?

[00:13:46] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And what’s interesting now is that initially we all think, I think we all think, and I thought this, that isn’t very interesting. It isn’t very important. But in fact, it’s the fundamental building block on which everything else is built. Because if Google can understand who you are, what you do, and who your audience is, it can present your brand on a SERP that is your exact match brand name, i.e. it can show to your audience who are searching your name exactly who you are, what you do, and who your audience is. And until it can do that, how can it hope to understand where you’re going to be appropriate in the wider SEO world if it hasn’t understood who you are, what you offer, and who your audience is within your own brand?

Brand SERPs Are Your New Business Card

[00:14:36] Adam Helweh: You say that SERPs are your new business card. Can you expand upon that? 

[00:14:42] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. The Brand SERP is your new business card. I actually, the whole thing’s tied from a very personal experience, which is, I think often the case is that I used to, I’ve always, we all go and pitch to potential clients. And I would go in and I would pitch. And I’m terribly voluble and terribly enthusiastic. And I tend to convince people face to face. And yet I only converted, let’s say, 50% of the time.

[00:15:10] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And what would happen is I would walk out of the office. They would all be going, yeah, he’s great, he’s great. And then they would look my name up on Google, Jason Barnard, and it would show punk music. It would show a blue dog and a yellow koala cartoon, which is my past lives. I used to be a punk musician. I used to be a blue dog in a cartoon. And they would say, he’s not serious. He’s not what he says he is. He’s a stupid blue dog in a kids cartoon. And I lost the sales an awful lot of the time. And then I thought, okay, what can I do to change that situation?

Jason on Optimising His Own Brand SERP and Getting a Higher Conversion Rate 

[00:15:46] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, what I did is I started to optimise all the things to do with digital marketing. So if you look at my name now on Google, Jason Barnard, you will see that on the right you have the Knowledge Panel, which shows the blue dog, the yellow koala, the punk folk group that I used to play in. And on the left hand side, you will see just digital marketing.

[00:16:07] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, it became my business card. Because what happens when, I think, when we all walk out of the room or we sent an email or we’ve communicated with somebody on Twitter or LinkedIn or Facebook, and we’ve done the big sale, we’ve made all the efforts to convince somebody that we are a credible solution for them, what do they do? They look us up on Google, and we trust Google. And if Google shows me to be a blue dog, I look ridiculous. If Google shows bad reviews, I look incompetent. If Google shows a bad article, it’s showing something, an aspect about myself or my company that is not reflecting well, and I will lose the sale.

[00:16:51] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): The quick story there is once I did that, my conversion rate, and I don’t have exact figures because obviously I’m one person and this is very small example, went from 50% to 80%. But the most important thing for me, nobody ever discusses my pricing anymore. I never negotiate how much I charge.

Multiple Levels for Personal Name Search: Uniqueness, Online Presence, User Engagement, and Probability of Search

[00:17:12] Adam Helweh: That’s really interesting as well. And thinking about, what you’re really talking about is making sure that you have a presence in one that’s primarily that one that’s accurate, especially for what it is that you want to drive, you want to bring attention to. In addition to that, all the other Jason Barnards that are out there, depending on whatever any of those folks are doing also, there is a share of those results, especially on that first page that you may or may not be sharing with those folks depending on what it is that they’re doing. And so, there’s some competition there as well even around the branded elements, right? 

[00:17:58] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Well, for personal name, you’ve got multiple levels. One of which is how unique your name is. Another of which is how much online presence you have. Another of which is how well does Google understand the user engagement with that content. And the next one is the probability that somebody is searching for you and not somebody else. And that’s Dawn Anderson, who’s an absolute genius, who pointed out the probabilistic element of it is incredibly important in those ambiguous cases. But with a brand, a company, because of trademark copywriting laws in individual countries, they will tend to be unique within a geolocation.

Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) On Dominating His Personal Brand SERP

[00:18:44] Adam Helweh: Google is taking into account who’s searching the elements of other elements of it, but at a bare minimum, who’s searching and then who they expect to connect you with based on Jason being out. I think you’re in the UK, right? 

[00:19:01] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): No, I’m in France actually.

[00:19:02] Adam Helweh: You’re in France. Oh, okay.

[00:19:03] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But yes, born in the UK. But from my personal name, I’ve managed to dominate it. There’s a football, a hockey player. There’s a podcaster who does music. And there’s reasonably famous Jason Barnards. They don’t get to look in because I’ve managed to convince Google that I’m the leading Jason Barnard in the world, but that’s on personal names. And that’s one very interesting question. The ambiguity makes it excessively complicated, and each case is very different. But if you take brands, they tend to be unique at least within their geolocation and certainly within their industry and their geolocation.

[00:19:41] Adam Helweh: Far more unique than the individual people. Exactly. Yeah.

The Different Claims on the Management of a Brand SERP and the Management of a Personal Brand SERP 

[00:19:46] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. And so, the management of a Brand SERP and the management of a personal Brand SERP are two quite different claims. And from a brand perspective, you said we want it to be accurate. Yes, a hundred percent has to be accurate, has to be positive, and it has to be convincing. And that convincing is the interesting one is that you need video boxes, you need Twitter boxes, you need the Knowledge Panel. Because if you just see 10 blue links for a brand, you don’t think they’re very convincing. It’s not very professional. It looks poor, if I may use the strange accent that I just used and I don’t know where that comes from. It looks poor.

[00:20:28] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, you need to make it convincing too. So, you need that accurate, positive and convincing. And the way Google decides what it’s going to put there is this content pertinent for the audience searching this brand name, who presumably already knows the brand, and is it valuable to them. And it’s up to us to make sure that Google sees the content we see as valuable as valuable. And that’s where the key comes in, and that’s where you dominate. And I would say control your Brand SERP. That result when somebody searches your brand name is your business card, and you can control it. And it isn’t very complicated.

What Does an Optimal Brand SERP Look Like? 

[00:21:13] Adam Helweh: So, you touched upon this already a little bit. But so, somebody goes, they search for the brand, the brand name, your brand name, what is an optimal…

[00:21:23] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Say Kalicube because it gives me some promotion there for the brand name.

[00:21:25] Adam Helweh: Sure. Sure. And so, what is an optimal branded SERP page look like to you?

[00:21:34] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Genius question. I love that because it allows me to then expand on the idea. Obviously, number one, your homepage is number one. Underneath that, you have Rich Sitelinks because the Rich Sitelinks are those blue links with the description that all come from the same site. So, that gives you more control because it takes up a couple of places, kills a blue link off the bottom of the page, reduces the amount of control, then the number of results you need to control. So, that’s the top of the SERP has to be like that. If it’s not like that, you’re losing the game.

[00:22:07] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): On the right, you need a Knowledge Panel, because that Knowledge Panel indicates that Google has understood who you are, what you do, and who your audience is. Underneath on the left, I’m going back to the left-hand side, you definitely need your social accounts, things you control. We come back to that word again, control.

[00:22:25] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): You would ideally have a Twitter account because Twitter feeds directly into Google. It has a fire hose into Google. You can have those Twitter Boxes simply by having an engaging quality Twitter feed. If you’re working on Twitter and you don’t have the Twitter Boxes on your Brand SERP, it means your Twitter activity is not hitting the target audience that you should be hitting. Your Twitter strategy is rubbish. So, that’s a great insight into your content strategy too.

[00:22:55] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Underneath that, you should expect to see video boxes, image boxes, hotel finders, flight finders, maps, Google My Business, Google map pack, sorry, excuse me, I’m getting a bit confused. But it very much depends on your industry. It will vary enormously by industry.

It Depends on the Industry What You Will See in a Brand SERP and What Are the Sources of Information

[00:23:15] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): On Kalicube, which is my company, I’ve actually got a project where I collect Brand SERPs, and I’ve got 10 million in a database. So, I can actually just sort through it and figure this out. And one of the things I’ve done is categorise all the brands, 70,000 brands categorised, so that I can tell you in, for example, the property industry, real estate, videos will tend to be popular, in news, and this is an interesting one. Videos will obviously be popular, but YouTube doesn’t dominate. In all the other industries, YouTube would dominate because YouTube is not news. YouTube is evergreen stuff. Something like CNN or the BBC would tend to be more appropriate for that. So, it depends on the industry a) what elements you would expect to see appear on a Brand SERP and b) what the sources of that information are going to be.

The Effect of Reviews That Appear on Your Brand SERP

[00:24:16] Adam Helweh: Very similar to when we started working on this, we ended up seeing many more reviews. So, we have our G2 reviews. So for an agency, we’ve got now, somebody goes and searches for secret sushi, and you get the search results. When you get the website, you get the the profiles and that. But then you get mostly at the top of that list, G2, Clutch, Agency Spotter, all of these places where there are reviews. And in that particular case as well, you get stars that show up, that show what your rating is and stuff, which are really great to show in a search result, especially when it comes to for exactly the reason you were talking. It shows what your brand reputation is. It is your business card very much so in that sense.

[00:25:07] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah, absolutely. And the thing is, yes, they are great, unless they’re bad reviews. And if they’re bad reviews and Google is showing bad reviews but you have good reviews, you need to ask yourself, why does Google think that is representative? And then you have to do some soul searching, which is the hard part.

[00:25:24] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the other thing I would say is yes, get reviews up there because they have those stars. You need to a) make sure that you’re certain or as certain as you can be that those star, that star rating will be maintained and would not drop, but they are great to have. But there is a lack of control, so be very careful about filling your Brand SERP with these because you don’t control them. Whereas your social accounts, you do control. You have a higher level of control.

A Great Brand SERP Is a Balanced Brand SERP

[00:25:55] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, a great Brand SERP, and that was the initial question you asked, is a balanced Brand SERP. Some social accounts, some content that you’re creating and curating, some third-party sites to reassure people that it’s not just you talking to them, a nice Knowledge Panel, review sites. Be careful of Glassdoor and other employee review sites because they can flip on you very, very quickly, and they’re very difficult to manage. Because if you can ask a client for a review about your product or your service, relatively simple, asking an employee or an ex-employee for a review about you as an employer is very, very, very delicate. So I would, if anybody has Glassdoor ranking on their Brand SERP, I would advise you to get rid of it, not because I don’t think it’s a good source of information, but because it’s very difficult to manage because it’s such a delicate relationship that you’re going to have with the people who are going to be reviewing you. 

[00:26:59] Adam Helweh: And when you say get rid of it, you really primarily mean, you don’t mean get rid of Glassdoor.

[00:27:03] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): No.

How to Go About With Negative Reviews and Articles on Your SERP

[00:27:03] Adam Helweh: What you’re talking about is, and I want to talk about this here, so now somebody finds that they go do a search and check it out. They’re listening to this podcast and they go take a look and they find that in the top 10, it’s not that they don’t have a good well-rounded rich presence as you were describing, but they have a lot of negative stuff there instead or things that they didn’t expect to see. So how to, and that’s essentially with Glassdoor.

[00:27:28] Adam Helweh: What you’re talking about is at a bare minimum, trying to do some best practices and other things in order to bury those results with other stuff. How would you describe somebody should tackle when they run into a scenario like, hey, there is Glassdoor and I want to follow Jason’s recommendation or there is some bad news that has popped up and has dominated that first page. 

[00:27:53] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Or I’ll add another one, which is your competition, and this happens a lot. And it’s obvious that if your competition keeps appearing, don’t forget that it’s your existing clients who google your brand name to navigate to your site. So, they’re seeing your Brand SERP potentially multiple times per day. You don’t want them seeing that bad review, that competitor, or that bad article or that inaccurate information, because over time it will print itself in their minds and they will end up jumping ship.

[00:28:25] Adam Helweh: Yup.

Managing the Problem Proactively and Making Sure That You Control the First and Second Page of Your SERP

[00:28:26] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, that’s an incredibly important part of all this. And this is the point in which most people come and see me. I say to them, you should have done this before. You should be managing this proactively. You should be making sure that that first page is controlled by you, potentially, if you can, the second page, because that stuff will never come up if you’re controlling pages one and two, if you’re demonstrating to Google the content you think is representative is actually truly representative and Google believes you.

[00:28:57] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But if you have that kind of problem, and I actually sell Brand SERP courses, which is how to manage your Brand SERP yourself, and this is the one I sell the most of. It’s the one that people jump on board because they have this problem. Because if you go in an agency, they will say that’s $10,000 for three months work, and I have no guarantee that we will be able to do anything about it, which is an appalling, appalling situation to find yourself in, because you’re faced with an agency who don’t actually have to do anything because they don’t have to deliver anything. I’m not saying that’s what they do. I’m saying that it’s one of the problems that you need to face.

Drowning Content Is Not the Best Approach in Trying to Make Google Rank the Information You Want

[00:29:36] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And a lot of these agency will say, we will drown it. And that’s the one word you should run away from as fast as you possibly can. You said bury it. I like that much better. The thing about drowning is what they’re saying is we will create new content that will outrank the existing content that Google sees as relevant and useful and valuable to your audience. If you think about that for more than one second, you will realise that a new piece of content proving its value and its relevancy to your existing audience against something that already has proved its value and its relevancy is going to be very difficult. And the probability, the likelihood that will outrank the existing piece of content is very low unless you’re talking about CNN, New York Times, BBC, big, big, big, big media who are really going to nail it.

[00:30:28] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Because Google’s aim here is not to rank the one with the most links, inbound links, the one with the biggest domain authority or the best word count ratio. It’s aiming to rank the ones that are the most relevant and valuable, which means that any new piece of content really, really is going to suffer from enormous disadvantage that content aiming to rank for generic keywords would not suffer from.

The Idea of Leapfrogging: Looking Further Down the SERP and Pushing up Valuable Content

[00:30:57] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, I talk about leapfrogging. And that simply means looking further down the SERP, seeing things that Google already sees as the most valuable, picking that up, and you can do SEO on other people’s content, push it up, and leapfrog this negative content and push it down. And I will push my course a little bit more because there’s another set of techniques, which are actually very, very, very valuable because they hit wider.

[00:31:28] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): The problem with drowning is that it doesn’t hit the root of the problem. It doesn’t help your overall strategy. It’s simply, it’s firefighting. But if you say, if I can trigger video boxes or Twitter boxes or Rich Sitelinks underneath my own page, what happens? You said 10 blue links earlier on. The average number of blue links on a Brand SERP is not 10. It’s eight and a half. Because you have a video box or a Twitter box, it will kill a blue link. So, you can both leapfrog and work on your content strategy to push these videos up, which will take two places and kill a blue link. 

[00:32:12] Adam Helweh: It’s often an undervalued technique in a lot of ways if you were to just do better for having great site links and and to your point, having content that fills up those other areas that with a, what I might call, a shallow results page would not be present because then it would just go back to that default 10 blue links, for instance.

[00:32:36] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Brilliant.

Using Google Ads to Dominate and Prove the Relevancy of Your Content

[00:32:37] Adam Helweh: Then like you said, it turns, even with ads, for instance, even with Google ads, just by using extensions on ads, you have an opportunity to take over more of the space and push your competition down in that sort of thing. So, I like that approach that follows suit with what we do with ads.

[00:32:59] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I like what you just said about ads. I have another course which is called the fundamentals. And one of those is how to manage your Google ads campaign for your branded terms. And interestingly enough, you will tend to get 9 or 10 out of 10 in your quality score. And what people fail to realise is even when you’ve got 10 out of 10, there’s still room for improvement. 10 out of 10 isn’t the ceiling. There is no ceiling. You can keep improving, keep improving, keep improving, and keep pushing the CPC down.

[00:33:32] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, you can actually a) dominate very cheaply if you can manage to prove to Google in this case, the Google ads algorithm that your content, that you are relevant, which is you’ve got the quality score components, click-through rate relevancy, and landing page experience. You should win on all of them, but you can improve all of them beyond your initial 10 out of 10 because you happen to be the brand name.

Adding Google Ads Is Not Just About the Quality Score; It’s About Pushing the Negative Content Down

[00:33:59] Adam Helweh: If all you pay attention to is the quality score alone, that’s one thing. But knowing that, like you’re saying, knowing that of course Google would love to take more money off of a cost per click from you, but you do have an opportunity there to benefit by having that cost per click go down more by taking that action you’re talking about.

[00:34:17] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah, sorry. I was going off and trying, telling everyone how to save money. And you were actually talking about the fundamental thing is saying actually if I have a Google ad with the extensions and then my homepage with the sitelinks on desktop, I’ve already covered the entire above the fold, especially if I’ve got the the Knowledge Panel on the right-hand side.

[00:34:42] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, I think that is a very good technique that you suggest, which is very easy, very quick, is to add those Google ads at the gray extensions, and you will push the content down, not off the SERP, but certainly out of sight for the casual visitor, who would be your existing clients, who are just navigating to your site.

The Lack of Rich Sitelinks of Brands Which Makes Them Badly Organised

[00:35:06] Adam Helweh: Let me ask you, Jason. So, on the sitelinks element before they, and I think other folks may be running into this sort of thing where Google is grabbing what it grabs, right? So, previously, we could demote a lot of those sitelinks that we didn’t want to have appear, things that seem to be really incorrect. We call it incorrect, but maybe we’re not sending the right signals to Google to find the correct elements, but we see tertiary pages or secondary pages that are not very important holding up the 4 or possibly even 6 site links that are showing up in our organic search engine results. Is there some, is there a recommendation you have for how listeners may be able to better control what shows up there now, considering the, as far as I know, the demotion element has been removed from search console which makes it harder to have even the minimal control that they previously allowed?

[00:36:05] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Right. Well, there were a couple of things there. Number one is that the average number of sitelinks, once you get the Rich Sitelinks, the average number is 5 and a half. And the other surprising figure is 50% of brands do not have Rich Sitelinks, which means that Google doesn’t see the value for the audience of that brand to be able to navigate directly to a specific area of the site, which means that the site is very badly organised. So, 50% of brand sites are badly organised, statement number one.

[00:36:41] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Statement number two is why did they remove that possibility? It’s because people were abusing it and getting it wrong. I’m not defending Google and saying they’re perfect. They’re not perfect. But the idea of the Brand SERP is to show to the users that Google understands the most valuable results possible. So if Google sees that people are clicking through to your blog, it will tend to show your blog as a Rich Sitelink. If it sees they’re tending to click through to the log-in page, it will tend to show that.

[00:37:16] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Now, if your site’s badly organised, it can’t even find it, can’t identify it with confidence. And it’s not a question of Google doesn’t know. It does. It just doesn’t have the confidence to say, yes, I’m a hundred percent sure this is right, and I’m not going to disappoint my users. So, you have to think about both understanding and confidence.

User Behavior as the Most Important Signal When It Comes to the Whole Page Algorithm

[00:37:34] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the second point there is I was talking to Nathan Chalmers from Bing. Obviously, it’s not Google. But the whole page algorithm, he’s the guy who runs the whole page algorithm, which I didn’t know existed. And this is an incredible insight is that when you asked John Mueller, does Google use click-through rate as a ranking signal? He can say no, because they don’t within the blue links. But when you talk to Nathan Chalmers from Bing, who runs the whole page algorithm, and Google almost certainly have exactly the same system going on, he uses click through rate and user behavior pretty much exclusively, but he doesn’t deal with ranking. He deals with demoting things that are not going to help the user, and he does that using user behavior.

[00:38:31] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, you end up with this situation. If you look at the set Rich Sitelinks, you can say actually the Rich Sitelinks are not part of the blue link algorithm. They’re part of the whole page algorithm. So, user behavior is possibly, arguably the single most important signal there, and that all comes down to the whole page algorithm rather than the fundamental founding blue link algorithm.

[00:38:55] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, I would suggest you a) organise your site clearly, make sure Google understands the structure of your site, and make sure that your users can usefully use the pages that you wish to show in the Rich Sitelinks. So, we’re going to be looking at, and I’ve actually got figures for this log-in pages, blog pages, category pages, About Us pages. The single most dominant Rich Sitelink is About Us. Contact Us is second. Blogs are about fourth or fifth in the list.

The Importance of Expertise, Authority, and Trust on the First Result 

[00:39:30] Adam Helweh: It’s very akin to, honestly, what ends up happening a lot of the times when folks end up, most of our clients, the About Us page tends to be very well trafficked. And so, it’s very reflective of what users normally do it sounds like from the sitelink data you’re talking about.

[00:39:48] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. It comes down. It’s a really interesting bringing together of what users are actually interested in is who you are, can I trust you, and EAT, which is expertise, authority, and trust, which Google is pushing towards now. Obviously, they don’t measure it explicitly. They don’t have an algorithm to say, this is what expertise is, this is what authority is, and this is what trust is. But they have machine learning where they’re saying, this is what we considered to be a trustworthy result. Please machine figure out how to rank these, all these billions and billions and billions of web pages with expertise, authority, and trust. As part of your goal in that, the first result cannot be non-expert, non-authoritative, and non-trustworthy.

[00:40:40] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, the About Us page becomes phenomenally important to every single SEO strategy. And one interesting thing about Brand SERPs and a reflection of how you’re doing is if Google doesn’t show it, it means Google hasn’t found it or Google doesn’t trust it. 

[00:40:57] Adam Helweh: Well, that’s awesome regarding the sitelinks. That’s definitely something, I think, most folks don’t pay much of attention to or clients that over the years have gone, why is that particular page there, but they’ve not really understood why does it show up, how does it show up. I think a lot of folks don’t really. SEO in general, I’ve had at least two clients who have said to me, SEO is just black magic, and it’s definitely not black magic. But there is a lot of what I might call, I don’t know, nebulousness about it for folks that are not paying attention to the data.

Getting Interested in SEO and Starting Kalicube 

[00:41:35] Adam Helweh: And speaking of data, you mentioned already Kalicube, and I’m interested just to know, that’s your research project. Can you just give us a real quick idea of how did it start? What made you even get interested in this, considering that you’ve started back in 2015? 

[00:41:51] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Well, in fact, I started SEO in 1998. I launched my first website and it became one of the 10,000th biggest site in the world in terms of pure traffic. And it was a site for kids. We were having 60 million visits a year. That’s 5 million a month, a hundred million page views a month. It was phenomenal. And that’s where I cut my teeth, if we can say that, in terms of actually ranking for Google, because one of the reasons we ranked number one for Google across the board for kids games, kids songs, kids entertainment, competing with PBS, Disney, and sites like that, which was phenomenal for a tiny independent site. And I can’t remember where I was going with that, because the beginning question, why did I start talking about that?

[00:42:43] Adam Helweh: Kalicube. What made you go to transition to Kalicube. 

[00:42:47] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Genius. Sorry. Excuse me. Yeah. I then had to get a proper job. And the whole thing with Kalicube was that when I optimise my own personal Brand SERP, I thought this is going to take me a couple of months because I’m good at SEO. And it did. It took me a couple of months to get a reasonable Brand SERP. And then I thought, what else can I do? And over the next couple of years, I thought I can change that. I can change that. I can change that. And I was learning to control and manipulate, if you like, my own result, the result that Google shows for me. And it struck me that it was much, much deeper, much, much more intricate and much more interesting and much more insightful than I had initially thought.

An Experiment Using AI Summary on Jason’s Own Brand SERP

[00:43:33] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I’ve got a friend, Andrea Volpini, who’s an Italian guy who runs a company called WordLift to do semantic SEO. It’s a phenomenal tool. We do lots of experiments together. It’s this mad professor experimentee thing going on between two people who met through semantic SEO and Knowledge Graph and Knowledge Panels and who’ve become friends. And he once said to me, because he did an AI summary of my Brand SERP, and it basically said what a machine would understand about me from my own Brand SERP. And I looked at it and I said, that’s not right. There’s some things I don’t want to be there. It was over emphasizing the music career and the cartoon career.

[00:44:23] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And so, that was a Saturday. And then I spent Saturday and Sunday updating all the sites that I controlled. And then I said to him on Tuesday, can you rerun the program? And the program rerun on the Tuesday. And on Tuesday, it said exactly what I wanted. And he said, Jason Barnard, Google’s his CMS. Google is Jason Barnard’s CMS. And I thought it’s exaggerating obviously.

[00:44:48] Adam Helweh: Sure, sure.

Having Total Control With a Brand SERP and the Importance of Every Single Person Searching Your Exact Match Brand Name

[00:44:49] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): With a Brand SERP, at least, you can get not very far away from total control. And so, over the years, it’s been since, seven years now, 2015, I really started to focus on this. I realised how much control you can have and how much difference it makes. I will challenge anybody now to guess how many searches there are on their brand name without looking, then go to search console, isolate your homepage, isolate your exact match brand name, and check how much of your traffic is coming from branded search. And it can be anything from 5% to 90%. It really truly it’s that vast.

[00:45:34] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But the one thing that brings all of these brands together is that every single person searching their exact match brand name is vital to their business. It’s their clients. It’s their prospects. It’s journalists. It’s investors. It’s potential hires. It’s people who want to do business with you or are already doing business with you.

Some Interesting Statistics Regarding Video Boxes, Twitter Boxes, and Knowledge Panels 

[00:45:54] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, Kalicube grew out of that is that I thought this is phenomenally important. It is phenomenally insightful. How can I figure out how it works? And the only way to figure out how this stuff works is not to focus on my personal experience, which is one example, and it’s very specific. It’s to say, let’s pick 70,000 brands and people, track them all, cumulate the data, aggregate the data, sorry, is the correct word.

[00:46:24] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And then I can find statistics, for example, video boxes, 80% YouTube. 80% YouTube, that means there’s 20% Facebook, Twitter, CNN, Bloomberg, whatever it might be. 11% of Brand SERPs have Twitter boxes. Why don’t the other 89% have? They all probably have Twitter accounts. 40% have Knowledge Panels. Why don’t the other 60% have Knowledge Panels, which indicate that Google has understood who you are, what you do, and who your audience is? So, that data is phenomenally, phenomenally interesting.

Updates on Knowledge Panels and the Future of Kalicube

[00:47:00] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Recently, sorry, just to finish this particular point talking about Knowledge Panels is in Knowledge Panels, they cite, Google will cite a domain to sites. They will cite to site. I was trying to avoid saying that, but I gave up in the end. And a year and a half ago, it would only be Wikipedia or nothing. Then in July, August of 2019, what I call the Budapest update, which I wrote about in Search Engine Journal, they brought in other domains, and you got 220 other domains that I’ve found where they would cite them instead of Wikipedia.

[00:47:37] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Now, recently last month literally, Wikipedia now occupies only 50% of Knowledge Panels, and the other, or in fact, it’s 50% Wikipedia, 30% no citation, 20% others. Those others are the trusted sources for Google’s Knowledge Graph. That’s an incredible insight. So, that’s where Kalicube is coming from. That’s where Kalicube is going to.

Emphasising the Work Done by Google as a Machine and the Results It Gives 

[00:48:03] Adam Helweh: What I love about this, and I think it should be emphasised for people who are listening, is search feels like black magic to a lot of people because it is a place where businesses make money, right? And what I mean by that is it’s a place where Google, the search engine is making money, and Bing is making money. And there’s a lot riding on what level of transparency that those search engines have with us in regards to continuing to make sure that the results are trustworthy and an accurate because early on people would game the system quite honestly. They’d find, oh, we’ll just put meta tags in it. We’d put this stuff in, hide it inside, white text on top of the white background or stuff.

[00:48:51] Adam Helweh: There are all kinds of things that they were doing. And that’s a lot harder to do in a lot of cases these days. But just generally speaking, Google doesn’t share everything in plain English to everybody about exactly how to rank. There’s some universal truths definitely about making the right content that’s properly structured and relevant to your audience. And the way we look at it a lot of times is we definitely want to take into account that this is a machine that we’re talking about that is doing the indexing and so on. But for the most part for future proofing your content and even making it rank well, now you want to continue to think of the human being on the other end when you’re creating that content.

The Importance of Understanding How Branded Search Results Work

[00:49:37] Adam Helweh: But what you’ve done with Kalicube is similar to, it’s an important element because beyond whatever minor information we get from something like Google, it is folks like yourself, I interviewed Rand Fishkin not long ago as well. And we talked about many times what was being told even to him as somebody who was really highly paying attention, acutely aware of what was going on in the industry, what was being told was not exactly what the data showed. And that when you end up doing the tests and you get the data and you start paying attention to what is really happening versus the nebulous information that you might be receiving, if you get an answer at all about what actually is going on for, in this case, branded search results pages, the data tells a lot more truths than we’re able to get elsewhere.

[00:50:38] Adam Helweh: And so, I think it’s important to listen. We’re having this conversation. I’m really thankful for being able to talk with you about this and get some insights based on data that you’ve actually been tracking and paying attention to over the years, because I think that’s where those folks, those marketers out there who are commonly either working with an agency or at a bare minimum, trying to do some of their own little Google research themselves on how to do some best practices for SEO are most commonly going to find things that still don’t go that one additional level deep to be able to give them some better control in regards to their search engine results. Again, in this particular instance, they’re branded search results. So, I think it’s important what you’re doing. I want to ask you the most important question here as we wrap up.

The Brand SERP Is a Particular Situation That Gives Insights Into Google and Bing

[00:51:37] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Before that last question, sorry, I just wanted to interrupt because what you’re saying, that was an amazing chunk of talk that makes so much sense. I talked to John Mueller from Google and Gary Illyes from Google and Frederic Dubut from Bing and Nathan Chalmers from Bing. None of them, not one of them, when I said some Brand SERPs, can you tell me about that? They go, we don’t know anything about that. They haven’t thought about it, not explicitly.

[00:52:10] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And so, I’m looking at something and I’m saying, you’re all missing the boat. Nathan Chalmers gave actually a pretty good answer because he’s got a good grip of it. He’s the whole page algorithm, but all of these people don’t deal with that overall situation. And the Brand SERP is a very particular and specific situation that actually gives us more insights into Google and Bing than I think they are willing to give and I think also that they’ve even thought about. I think they’ve left a hole where we can actually look in.

An Explanation Regarding Blue Links and Blue Link Algorithm

[00:52:43] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And I’ve got a really good example of that just to finish this and then you asked that last question is I had to look at is the raw blue link results from Google. And I looked at Microsoft. Obviously, Brand SERPs, I’m obsessed by that so that’s all I’m ever going to look at. And of the top 10 results in Startpage, which is the raw algorithm for the blue links, which is what everything else is based on before you bring in those Rich Elements. If you look up Darwinism in Search, you can read about the theory that Gary Illyes explained to me that I wrote about in Search Engine Journal on the whole page algorithm that Nathan Chalmers talks about that adds on to the top of that, which means that basically the blue link algorithm that we’re all obsessed by actually has very little relevance in many cases. And in the case of Microsoft, those top 10 results, 7 from, 3 from Microsoft and other sites, 2 ads at the top.

[00:53:43] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): When you then look at that on Google, only one of the blue links actually survives, and it’s the homepage. There are no ads, homepage, Rich Sitelinks, news, videos, Twitter, a couple of blue links that they brought up from page two of those initial results, and the Knowledge Panel. So, the whole page algorithm and the other candidate sets, the videos, the Twitter Boxes, the news, have completely changed that blue link algorithm to the point of which the blue link algorithm, excuse me, no longer cares.

[00:54:23] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And I don’t think anybody’s really looked into that and really thought it through and said, actually, and this is an extreme case, obviously, the blue link algorithm, although it’s the basis of everything else that goes on, in certain circumstances today is completely redundant or almost completely redundant. And it’s going to become increasingly redundant as we move forward, especially when you look at the push idea of Discover and other Google features that we’re getting now. That blue algorithm is something we’re going to have to let go of.

Being a Cartoon Blue Dog, Learning Macromedia Flash, and Releasing a Successful Site for Kids 

[00:55:02] Adam Helweh: I don’t think anybody who’s listening to this is going to look at their branded search results the same way again. So, I think that’s awesome. I want to ask you the most important final question here. Just this is, I don’t want to put you on the spot or anything, but I think you can take the heat. So, you’ve said it earlier today, and you say it on your website. You referenced this blue dog. When I saw it, I’m thinking of Blues Clues or something like that, but that’s not what you’re talking about, I don’t think. What is this blue dog that you were referring to? And I initially thought it had to do with music, and then you mentioned earlier something about a cartoon. So now, I got to know. 

[00:55:44] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Okay. Yeah. I was slightly worried. That’s the easiest question in the world. I used to be a musician. I was a punk folk musician. I played double bass in a group. If you’ve heard of the Pogues, we weren’t the Pogues, but we supported them. We were in the same sphere as the Pogues in the 90s. We were convinced we were going to be rock stars, and we’re going to fill up stadiums like U2. We never did, obviously. And that’s the story of most people who join rock bands.

[00:56:15] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And then I thought, okay, I’m going to make children’s music. So, I wrote some children’s songs. I couldn’t get it signed to a record label, so my wife and I invented two characters, a blue dog and a yellow koala. I was the blue dog. She was the yellow koala. And we’ve launched a website using Macromedia Flash when it was version 3, 1998, before there was any coding.

[00:56:39] Adam Helweh: I was designing stuff on that. Yup.

[00:56:43] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Great. I learned that and make cartoons for kids using Flash from 1998 to 2008. And that was the site that became 5 million visits a month, 60 million a year, 100 million page views a month, which adds up to over a billion a year, which is a nuts number for a site that’s aimed at kids under 10 years old. And actually, my principal role was playing a cartoon blue dog, helping to educate preschool children. And I absolutely loved it.

Coming From a Different Profession to Embracing Being a Digital Marketer  

[00:57:23] Adam Helweh: I love the fact that, although you talked earlier about wanting to emphasise the digital marketer in you, that you also keep around all these great elements of who you are. You talked about the music, and you talked about being a digital nomad and the blue dog. And I think it’s wonderful. And this was my first time really getting to talk with you, Jason. And I think I love that you helped me sound like a much better host than I’ve been. So, I appreciate that. Usually my job is to help you sound really good on here, and you did a great job of making me sound much better than usual. So, I appreciate that.

[00:58:03] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Honestly, this is one of my favourite conversations over the last months. You are actually very good. You ask the right questions, and you’re obviously incredibly smart. I love the conclusions you keep bringing, and that’s the art of what you’re doing. And I think that we should all embrace what we did before. I don’t think any of us were born digital marketers. We all come from somewhere else at some point or most of us. And embracing that is important.

[00:58:34] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Because I remember in the byte days back in Flash 3, meeting all the people I went to UCON ’99, which was Macromedia’s prize giving. And my Flash game was we’re competing with Disney and Prince of Egypt at the time. And I met Anderson, the guy who started Netscape.

[00:58:56] Adam Helweh: Andreessen.

[00:58:57] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Thank you. You’re much better than I. He was a rockstar at the time. He was a musician. And a lot of the people in this industry come from music. If you talked to Marty Weintraub, he’s a musician as well. A lot of people come from other industries. And I think that creates this amazing potpourri of people who have different approaches, and that’s what makes it rich, and that’s what makes I think this industry so if phenomenally important and interesting is that, important and interesting, maybe I’ve overstated it. Interesting.

People share so much that we end up with this situation where I’m learning every day. You’re learning every day. And I think we’re learning in order to help our clients and our businesses.

jason barnard (the brand serp guy)

[00:59:36] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And I love it so much because the people I meet are so interesting, and the approaches are also very different. And people share so much that we end up with this situation where I’m learning every day. You’re learning every day. And I think we’re learning in order to help our clients and our businesses which is, sorry, I’m becoming a bit emotional and hippie.

[01:00:01] Adam Helweh: Well, to your point about the music and the learning and all that sort of stuff. Marc Canter, who I interviewed not long ago, he was the one who started Macromedia. And so, we have an episode where he’s sharing with me how that started and essentially that early history of digital multimedia. And he started by doing early, early digital music. It was digital music. He was doing experimenting and doing all this digital music. And in the end, Macromedia came about from wanting to create digital creativity tools and publishing tools. And so, it’s interesting to hear that, extended it out through your experience in doing things.

[01:00:46] Adam Helweh: And I, myself, that’s how I ended up getting into this was it was the early start of digital creativity in publishing tools that have changed dramatically, right? Macromedia isn’t around any longer. And back in the day, between, if you think of any sort of rival companies, Microsoft and Apple, in this case, it was Macromedia and Adobe who were the two big wigs that had very similar products in those areas until Adobe ultimately absorbed them. So, it’s interesting to hear how that opens the doors for continuing our exploration on the digital side while parallel. In parallel, you did a lot of, between music and being a blue dog and married to a yellow koala, that you explored your creativity on that front.

Connect With Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) Through His Website and Podcast

[01:01:35] Adam Helweh: Jason, with that, I want to just make sure that you can share with folks where they can learn more about you and connect with you. 

[01:01:43] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. I think that was a really lovely conclusion and much better than mine. I got a bit lost on my route towards hippiedom. I’m Jason Barnard. Search my name on Google, and you will immediately find who I am, what I do, and who my audience is. Look on first result will be Slightly lower down, you’ll see Kalicube.Pro with my podcast, as you mentioned earlier on. So, connect with me on those.

[01:02:12] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And more and more, I’m pushing up the idea of Brand SERPs, the search engine results page for what appears when somebody searches your brand name. It’s your business card. And it’s an insight into your content strategy and a window into your digital ecosystem that I think is phenomenally important. And right now is probably underestimated, but will soon be the talk of the team. 

[01:02:37] Adam Helweh: I hear you on that, loud and clear. And again, very much appreciate you joining me. 

[01:02:43] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. That was absolutely wonderful, Adam. Thank you very much. 

[01:02:48] Adam Helweh: Wow. What an episode. Like totally worth the price of admission, huh? What am I talking about? It was free. Okay. So look, this is how you can get my back on this now that you’re at the end of the episode and everything and I know you want to pay me back for all the great information that we shared. Go to wherever it is that you normally find podcasts, look for this show, Marketing in the Raw, and then click the subscribe button. That would be incredible. We’ll be square. Everything will be good. If you want me indebted to you, then leave us a review or a rating, wherever it is that you listen to podcasts. It helps a lot of other folks find us, folks that are interested in these topics. And you wouldn’t want to be greedy, would you? Last but not least, if you’d like to connect in any way, you can feel free to email me. I’m Adam Helweh. You can email me at [email protected] or you can go and check out what it is that we’re doing at the agency at All right. Take care.

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