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Talks and Interviews with The Brand SERP Guy » Knowledge Panels » #47 – Jason Barnard – Knowledge Panels for Brands

#47 – Jason Barnard – Knowledge Panels for Brands

Jason is also known as The Brand SERP Guy, the one that helps individuals and companies work on their Brands in Search Results. He is the CEO at @Kalicube a great tool that helps you manage your SERPS and your Knowledge Graph.

We talked about how you as a company with a known brand, or you as an individual, that is a brand, need to work on how you are represented in the Google Knowledge Graph.

[00:00:00] Peter Mesarec: Hello and welcome to the Time for Marketing Podcast, the podcast that brings you the best marketing conference speakers and allows them 5 minutes to sum up their presentations. My name is Peter and I’ll be your host today as I was in the previous 46 episodes. As this is episode number 47 and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a great one.

[00:00:25] Peter Mesarec: Before I tell you who’s with me today, if you’re on a telephone or mobile phone, a cellphone, how do you want to call that, you know what you have to do. We are getting some great episodes in the future and there are some awesome episodes that are still very relevant in the archive. All of the archive is open. Go and subscribe to the podcast. And if you’re on YouTube, you can do the same thing there.

Introducing Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) and What It Means to be The Brand SERP Guy

[00:00:48] Peter Mesarec: Enough about me. If you see this webpage here, if you need anything about SEO that is not brands in the SERPs because my today’s guest must does it much better, you can find me on And today with me, Jason Barnard. Hello, Jason, and how are you doing today?

[00:01:09] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Hi, Peter. I’m fine. Thank you very much for inviting me. And 47 is my lucky number. 

[00:01:16] Peter Mesarec: Excellent. See, it’s going to be a great episode today. How is the UK? You survived the biggest heat wave in the history of the histories after dinosaurs. Is it better now? 

[00:01:30] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Well, luckily for me, I wasn’t in the UK because I’m in France, where we have had very hot weather too. But yeah, I was saying the other day the weather is much nicer in France. And maybe the weather’s nicer in the UK, but definitely, definitely that isn’t a good sign. 

[00:01:51] Peter Mesarec: I imagine something wrong with the weather in the UK is all right. Sorry, your accent is so British that I just forgot that you are living in France, even though we talked about that for the last 10 minutes. Jason, people know you as The Brand SERP Guy. Why? What does that mean? 

[00:02:12] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. A SERP, search engine results page, Brand SERP, the search engine results page for your brand name or your personal name. And I specialise in the idea that that is your Google Business Card, potentially your Google homepage. And you need to make sure that it looks positive, accurate, and convincing for your audience. Don’t leave it up to Google. Google doesn’t know how you want to communicate with your audience. You do. And it’s up to you as we’ll see to educate it.

Jason’s Experience in Talking at the Digital Day Serbian Conference About the End of the World as We Know It 

[00:02:43] Peter Mesarec: Yep. We’ll talk about that in a minute. Jason, you are the CEO of Kalicube and you do a great podcast that is called With Jason Barnard… I invited you to do the podcast because you spoke at the Digital Day Serbian Conference. 

[00:03:07] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. 

[00:03:08] Peter Mesarec: Conference that is close, maybe not geographically close, but maybe let’s say culturally close to me. How was that conference? 

[00:03:17] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It was absolutely brilliant. What they asked me to do was to give a keynote speech about, the topic of the conference was The End of the World as We Know It. And it’s about the total change in digital marketing. 

[00:03:33] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And generally speaking, I talk in the SEO circles about Google is a child, we need to educate it. And what was interesting is I thought, what happens if I expand that out to the other big tech platforms, who all function in a similar way trying to understand the world so they can better serve their own users.

[00:03:51] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the whole application of these machines are children we need to educate them applies to Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Bing, Apple. All of the big tech companies are building these Knowledge Graphs who want to understand, and they’re using it to serve their users. And it’s up to us to learn to educate them.

[00:04:12] Peter Mesarec: Talking about the end of the world and the last days… 

[00:04:16] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): We’ve already talked about the end of the world twice and we’re only five minutes here.

Comparing TikTok Search and Google Search

[00:04:20] Peter Mesarec: True. True. The third time is a charm. Last days, there’s a lot of talk about TikTok and its search and how people are abandoning Google for the TikTok search. Is this just one of the next additions of SEO is dead or is there something serious behind that? What do you think? 

[00:04:46] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I think TikTok is flavour of the month. Couple of years ago, it was, what was it called, coffee house. Obviously, TikTok’s a bit more stable in terms of its presence in the universe today.

[00:04:58] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But I think Google has such a wide range of options and opportunities on the SERP and content that we consume and such a vast amount of data from so many different sources that at the end of the day, the comfort and the service we get from Google due to that massive data it has is probably always going to make us feel that Google is giving the better service as it were in terms of finding what we’re looking for.

Google Is a Child and We Need to Learn to Educate It

[00:05:30] Peter Mesarec: All right, all right. Let’s go directly into your presentation. Jason, here are your 5 minutes. 

[00:05:38] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Oh, right, okay. My 5 minutes are going to be all about Google is a child, we need to learn to educate it. This child that Google has created is the Knowledge Graph. And the Knowledge Graph is Google’s understanding of the world. And we can see a Knowledge Graph as a massive Wikipedia but for machines. And to give you an idea of the scale, Wikipedia’s got something like 55, 60 million articles. The Knowledge Graph already contains 150 billion facts.

[00:06:08] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the difference and another deep difference between Wikipedia and Google’s Knowledge Graph is Wikipedia has an idea of notability. It’s for people, and we shouldn’t fill it up with junk. It’s for helping us people understand when we read these articles more about a specific topic, whereas the Knowledge Graph that Google is building isn’t about notability. It’s about pure understanding. It wants to understand the entire world as well as it possibly can so that it can use that knowledge to understand who offers the best service solution to its users problems when they’re searching.

The Foundational Stone on Everything You Do in Google Is Understanding and Confidence in That Understanding 

[00:06:49] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And from that perspective, being in Google’s Knowledge Graph, being understood by Google and making sure Google is confident in that understanding much in a way a child needs to be confident in understanding in order to be able to use it, if we want to be understood by Google as part of its overriding algorithms, if we want to succeed in the future on Google’s platform.

[00:07:18] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I think probably the most important part is that that understanding and the confidence in the understanding is the foundational stone on which everything else you do on Google is based. And without it, your house is likely to collapse. It’s your safety, it’s your solid foundational safety. And somebody said to me the other day, it’s your insurance against Google updates. If Google has understood who you are in its Knowledge Graph, you are much less likely to get hit negatively by any of its upcoming updates because all or most of its updates have entities understanding the Knowledge Graph at their core.

Three Simple Steps to Educate Google: Identify an Entity Home, Write a Description on Google’s NLP, and Corroborate Information

[00:08:03] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, we need to educate Google. How do we do it? I can tell you that in really three simple steps is number one, you identify an Entity Home. Google call it the point of reconciliation. It’s the place that machine is looking out for information about you from you. So it needs to be on your own website, your about page, or your homepage. Then you need to make sure that all the corroborative sources around the web confirm what you say on your Entity Home. So you need to go around spring cleaning and correcting all the factual information around the web about you.

[00:08:37] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): You write a great description that Google’s NLP can get a grip on, which is surprisingly difficult. And at Kalicube, we have a platform called Kalicube Pro, and we have an NLP analysis. So we write descriptions to ensure that Google can understand which entity we’re talking about and pull it out of the Knowledge Graph.

[00:08:55] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And then you put on your Entity Home what I would call signposts to all the corroboration so that the child, Google, reads on your webpage who you are, what you do, and who your audience is, goes out to the corroborative source, LinkedIn, Crunchbase, Wikidata, IMDb, MusicBrainz, whatever it might be, then comes straight back because of the link straight back to your Entity Home goes to the next one, sees more corroboration, comes back, so on and so forth.

[00:09:23] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And that way it builds understanding. And more importantly, it builds confidence in that understanding. And it’s that confidence that makes that foundational stone, let’s say, solid steel instead of quicksand.

Using Kalicube Pro to Compile a List of the Pages of Your Entity and Correct the Information 

[00:09:40] Peter Mesarec: All right. Excellent. How do we find where should all of, what are all of the other pages where we should have information about us? It seems similar to what SEOs do with Google My Business, where you have to go to Yellow Pages and Yelp and stuff like that. But from top of my head, it’s much easier to figure out those pages than these. Is there a way of how to do that easier? 

[00:10:14] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Great question because it allows me to upsell Kalicube Pro, which is the SaaS platform I built, because I used to do this manually. I used to go out there and find the pages that talk about the entity. So it needs to be pages dedicated to the entity. An entity is a thing, a company, a person, a podcast, a music album, a music group. And then I compile my list. I then go out and I correct the information on all of that list. Then I point to the ones that I find interesting or that are most authoritative and relevant from my Entity Home.

[00:10:49] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And that process takes about 16 hours to do properly. If you want to find your entire digital ecosystem, it takes you about 16 hours of searching on Google, doing your Google sheets, sorting it all out, prioritising them, figuring out which ones do need to be corrected and don’t need to be corrected.

[00:11:07] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And we do this with Kalicube Pro and it takes about 10 minutes because I built an algorithm to do it. And not only does it find where you need to correct the information, but it also prioritises it in terms of how important it is to Google. So you can go through the list in the correct order and start with the most effective ones.

The Next Step Is Analysing Your Market Through Entity Equivalent Analysis

[00:11:29] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And then what we do is what we call Entity Equivalent Analysis, which is to analyse your market. So it’s the same entity type, the same georegion, and the same industry. So if you are a dentist in Chicago, then we would be looking at dentists in Chicago as a company. If I was a musician in the UK, we’d be looking at people who are musicians who are in the UK.

[00:12:03] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And that allows us then to understand where else is Google looking for this knowledge, because the child is looking for authoritative relevant sources. And it’s incredibly interesting to see quite how niche the sources can be. So, for example, I’m in Paris. And if I were a Paris poodle parlor where I cut and comb poodles’ hair or fur, the association of Paris of poodle parlors would be a better place for knowledge for Google than the New York Times. So, as you say, it’s very much like old school local SEO but much more nuanced, I would argue, and significantly more important.

Google Is Becoming Significantly Better in Using Other Languages Besides English

[00:12:53] Peter Mesarec: How good is Google in finding these authoritative sources and other languages or as you mentioned, right? Does Google in French, is Google really able in France to find the association of poodle parlors? Or is he going to go back to the default, I don’t know, economic organisations or whatever? 

[00:13:24] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. In languages other than English, Google is always a little bit behind. It’s built in English from an American perspective and then they build in other languages. But I think what is really important is today I would say in non-English languages, Google would be less good right now.

[00:13:48] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But because Google has moved away from translations using word to word traditional translating techniques and has moved towards vectorial translation, which means they don’t need to have any knowledge of the language in order to be able to translate from one to another. Then it’s going to become significantly better very, very fast.

[00:14:12] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And Fabrice Canel from Bing, who’s Mr. Bingbot, the guy who runs Bingbot, was saying to me the other day, it has nothing to do with this particular topic, but Bingbot is run using machine learning, and he said it’s 98% machine learning. And the machine learning we have is improving exponentially. And I don’t think most of us realise what exponentially truly means.

[00:14:38] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And so, sit down and think about the idea that Google today is now improving exponentially, whereas up until the last couple of years, it was improving step by step. This is going to get significantly better, significantly more quickly than most of us can possibly imagine.

Having a Knowledge Panel Makes You Look Credible and Authoritative 

[00:15:01] Peter Mesarec: How big should I be so that this becomes my concern? I’m a very known guy in Ljubljana, Slovenia. But around the world, not really that known yet. Should I work on my Knowledge Graph? Or should I work for my Knowledge Graph for my podcast? Or should I work for my Knowledge Graph for my company? Or should I be at least a company that has hundred employees? 

[00:15:29] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Absolutely everybody needs to think about this. We start right at the beginning. The simplest thing is when somebody googles your name, is there a Knowledge Panel on the right hand side? If there is, then you look credible. If there isn’t, you look less credible. So that’s point number one. That’s your Google Business Card perspective. Having a Knowledge Panel makes you look authoritative and incredible.

[00:15:52] Peter Mesarec: I have a Knowledge Panel. I haven’t Googled myself for a while, but I do. So, that’s important for me. 

[00:15:56] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): You do. Brilliant. You are credible, incredible, if I may say so. 

[00:16:01] Peter Mesarec: Thank you. 

[00:16:02] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But the next step along is saying, well, that understanding is what’s going to be driving Google’s capacity to then match me to my potential audience. So, however big you are, you need to focus on this. Because if Google cannot understand you, it cannot properly match its users’ needs to your solutions.

[00:16:29] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Now, the other point is E-A-T is such a buzzword these days, expertise, authority, and trust. If you think about that, how does Google apply whatever signals it has. Let’s not argue about what signals it has. But if it understands who you are, then it can apply any expertise, authority, and trustworthiness signals directly to an entity that it firmly and confidently understands. So it’s going to apply those signals at full force.

Being understood is the way to maximise whatever signals you’re working on in E-A-T.

jason barnard (the brand serp guy)

[00:17:00] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): If it hasn’t understood you in the Knowledge Graph, i.e. it has no explicit understanding of who you are, it can guess using its NLP. But when it’s guessing, whatever signals it has for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness are going to be diluted. So you’re going to be losing a great deal of the power you’ve been trying to work on to build up in expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. So, being understood is the way to maximise whatever signals you’re working on in E-A-T. 

[00:17:34] Peter Mesarec: All right. Excellent. I think we made it very obvious to everyone, companies and individuals, that this is the next thing in SEO that they have to focus on or at least start to think about that.

Find More About Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) by Googling His Name and Looking at His Brand SERP

[00:17:50] Peter Mesarec: Jason, where can people find you? Do you have future conferences planned? Or if people would like to talk about the Brand SERP or about Kalicube, where can people find you? 

[00:18:02] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Well, in order to find me, if you google my name, Jason Barnard, you will find absolutely everything you need. And I think one of the lovely things about a Brand SERP with a nice Knowledge Panel like I have is that you can look at the Brand SERP and immediately understand who I am, what I do, and who my audience is. And also, it gives you the audience the choice of how you want to interact with me.

[00:18:25] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): At the top, you’ve got my personal site, so you can come along and see what I’ve done as a human being in normal life, as a blue dog and a yellow koala, or a punk folk musician. Second is my company Kalicube, so you can come along and do business with me. Third is Twitter, if you want to come along and tweet at me. LinkedIn is underneath that, then my articles on Search Engine Land and Search Engine Journal, then my book, and then my courses.

[00:18:48] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, basically, you have an immediate a) understanding of what I do but also a choice of how you want to interact with me rather than me forcing you to interact with me in a way that I choose.

[00:19:03] Peter Mesarec: All right. So, everything is as always on Google. Jason, thank you very much for being on the podcast. It was a great episode. And go and enjoy your French packets and other great snails and other great things that you probably have to eat everyday. 

[00:19:20] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Thank you so much, Peter. I’m going to go and have baguette, smelly cheese, tomatoes, and jumbo ham.

[00:19:28] Peter Mesarec: Excellent. Have a great day. 

[00:19:30] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): You too, man. Thanks a lot.

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