Jason Barnard is an author and digital marketing consultant who specializes in Brand Search Engine Results Pages (Brand SERPs). He helps brand managers upskill in SEO and marketing techniques to optimize their brand’s presence on Google. Jason states that Google’s search results about you say a lot about your personal brand. His company Kalicube helps brand managers to communicate with Google’s algorithm and make those results a perfect reflection of their brand message. Tune in to hear how to effectively present your brand message on Google search.
[00:00:00] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Building up your presence, your personal brand on Google is phenomenally important. People always google your name before they actually truly interact with you or do business with you. Google is still in that mindset is it’s looking for the one label it can put on you. And it struggles with multiple labels. And when it shows your brand, it’s Google’s understanding and summary of who you are, what you do, and which audience you serve and what will be useful to them. And if it’s not looking like you wanted, it’s because you’re not communicating correctly with Google.
[00:00:36] Tonya Eberhart: Welcome to Be BOLD Branding, where we discuss the power of differentiating yourself through your own unique story and stand out personal brand.
[00:00:49] Tonya Eberhart: Have you ever googled yourself? And if you did, did you like what you saw? Every entrepreneur on earth needs to hear this podcast today. We’re here with Jason Barnard and he’s an author and digital marketing consultant who says that Google is your new business card. Today we’ll learn how your personal brand affects how Google and your prospects see you.
[00:01:14] Michael Carr: We like to welcome Jason to Be BOLD Branding. Thank you, sir, for joining us.
[00:01:19] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): An absolute pleasure. I’m delighted to be here to be talking about personal branding. And I’m incredibly keen and incredibly interested to discuss this because I think I know quite a lot about it, but I know it from a Google perspective. And so I’m hoping that you can build in your more general perspective into my Google knowledge.
[00:01:45] Michael Carr: We want the same in reverse. So it’s going to work out really good.
[00:01:48] Tonya Eberhart: That’s right.
The Upbringing of Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) That Shaped Who He Is Now
[00:01:49] Michael Carr: We’re excited about this. And because we have a bent towards personal branding, the personal side, let’s start with that. Let’s talk about your story first, if you will. This is a question we like to ask of our guests when we first come on to get to know him a little bit. Was there a specific event or person in your life that shaped who you are and resulted in what you do now?
[00:02:13] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Oh, that’s a really interesting question. I would say that it’s probably circumstance that has shaped who I am today. I was born in Yorkshire in the north of England in a small village, but my father was a university professor and my mother was a university teacher in arts. And she left when I was very small and left my father to bring up three children in the middle of the Yorkshire countryside. Our nearest neighbour was a kilometer away, half a mile. And the village had 25 people in it.
[00:02:50] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And a lot of what built my personality in the way I feel and think about the world is the extreme loneliness of being brought up in that kind of circumstance. And also in the 70s, I think a father bringing up three children alone was phenomenally unusual. And it definitely had me with a big sticker on my head saying I was a bit different.
[00:03:18] Michael Carr: That is different for sure. Both of us grew up in little bitty small towns in North Georgia in the mountains, but not that small. Yeah. Yeah. There were more people for sure. Her town was smaller than my town that I grew up in, but 25 people in the whole village. That’s amazing.
Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) on Using and Appreciating His Advantages in the World
[00:03:39] Tonya Eberhart: And I have to ask this, Jason. Did you see that uniqueness? What made you different, did you see it as a positive or a negative?
[00:03:48] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It was a negative throughout my childhood. I felt different. I felt that I was struggling against something, and I didn’t know what it was. And what it did mean to me is that I felt I needed to go out and do what I felt I wanted to do. And I had the massive, massive advantage of being Anglophone, reasonably good-looking, well-educated, a man, and white. And those are massive advantages that I feel allow us or me at least, allowed me to do what I felt was exciting and interesting for me. And I didn’t have the disadvantages that a lot of other people had. And I think that was phenomenally important that gave me the freedom. And I appreciate that and I respect that and I do realise that most people don’t get that.
[00:04:48] Tonya Eberhart: And such humility it gave you.
[00:04:50] Michael Carr: Yeah, it is.
[00:04:51] Tonya Eberhart: Which is such a beautiful trait, such a beautiful trait.
[00:04:54] Michael Carr: Yeah. I think it’s the best trait, period, that humans can try to aspire to. Yeah.
[00:04:59] Tonya Eberhart: Absolutely.
[00:05:00] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): One of the things was that when I, further down the line, I moved to Paris. And I think one of the foundational things that I had in my mind is I always have a lot of other things to fall back on. And I think it’s incredibly important to remember that that advantage is not given to everybody. And that if it had all gone horribly wrong, I could have become an accountant in some company in London. And it would’ve all been fine. And I think, generally speaking or overall, I had a lot less courage than some people I’ve met in the meantime.
Writing a Book Gives an Enormous Difference to Google and Your Audience in Personal Branding
[00:05:37] Tonya Eberhart: And do you think it’s that advantage and that advantage of visibility and advantage of what actually Google brings, if we lean a little bit toward the business side of saying, okay, how did this effect and lead to in a roundabout way to what you’re doing today? You do help people become known and gain that advantage with Google.
[00:06:05] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. A hundred percent. I was talking to Scott Turman, who is the boss of the company who helped me write this book. And the book was this experiment that I wanted to do. And I was lucky enough to meet Scott and BrightRay and Emily Batdorf, who helped me write the book.
[00:06:19] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And one of the things we’ve seen is that building up your presence, your personal brand on Google is phenomenally important. People always google your name before they actually truly interact with you or do business with you. And writing a book is an amazing way to get Google to understand. And up until last year, I didn’t have that advantage. I had different aspects that Google had understood about me. And one thing I’ve realised is the book makes an enormous difference. If you want to do personal branding, a book is an amazing way to do it both from your audience’s perspective but also from Google’s.
[00:07:00] Michael Carr: Yeah. We would agree with that. Yeah. A hundred percent, a hundred percent.
Looking Credible and Having Immense Respect Coming From Writing a Book
[00:07:03] Tonya Eberhart: From the very beginning, it was just such a great credibility tool for us, right? And people would say, okay, well, how many thousands of books have you sold? It’s like that’s not what it’s about, right? And in fact, good luck with that, right? But that’s not what it’s about. It’s about having that credibility that people see that on Google. And then they realise this is somebody I should be working with.
[00:07:31] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah, no, a hundred percent. And a book still has that immense, I don’t know what you would call it, respect.
[00:07:40] Tonya Eberhart: It does.
[00:07:40] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It immediately makes, the thing about a book is it’s such a phenomenal chunk of work, but also, as you said, Google understands it. And I see that you, Tonya, have written multiple books, and that immediately pops up on Google. You immediately look credible. And I’m sorry, Michael, from your perspective, that doesn’t happen for you, but your name is quite common, and that’s quite a big problem from a personal branding perspective that we need to address. But definitely, Tonya Eberhart, is that how you say it?
[00:08:12] Tonya Eberhart: Yes.
[00:08:14] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): You come up, you look incredibly professional, authoritative, trustworthy, and expert, and those books are a huge part of that, I think.
Google Is Looking to Solve the Problem of Intent When You Are Searching for a Specific Named Entity
[00:08:25] Tonya Eberhart: Well, I was going to ask, did you google us? Of course I knew you did. And I was going to say, poor Michael, because Michael Carr is such a common name and he has such a hard time. On two of those books, Michael’s my co-author. So we probably need to know what do we miss there, right?
[00:08:42] Michael Carr: I know. What happened?
[00:08:44] Tonya Eberhart: On two of those.
[00:08:45] Michael Carr: Where am I?
[00:08:45] Tonya Eberhart: I assure you, you’re on there.
[00:08:48] Michael Carr: It’s okay. Because if you google me and ask me, what secret of my success is, I’ll just say listening to her.
[00:08:53] Tonya Eberhart: But I was very interested to know what you thought about googling the two of us and immediately, I knew Michael would have some issues.
[00:09:07] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. The thing about Google is it’s looking to solve the problem of intent. So if I search for Tonya, the intent is fairly obvious because your name is fairly unique.
[00:09:21] Tonya Eberhart: Right.
[00:09:22] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I wouldn’t imagine there are 500 Tonya Eberharts in the world. I don’t really know. I know there are about 300 Jason Barnards, and I’m competing with them in that sense is that Google’s saying, what is the probability that this person is searching for that specific named entity, we call them? You’re a named entity. I’m a named entity.
[00:09:46] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I have a homonym, somebody with the same name as me, Jason Barnard, who is a podcaster in the UK. And yet in the UK, I come up and he doesn’t. And that’s all to do with Google’s confidence in its understanding of me as opposed to him. I don’t deserve to come up number one. Although I’m British and born in Britain and brought up in Britain, I spent most of my life in France. So I’m not actually relevant or even necessarily that probable in the UK. And with a unique name like yours, I didn’t actually search how many other Tonya Eberharts there are. Let’s say 10.
[00:10:26] Tonya Eberhart: Maybe. I know there’s a sort of famous tennis player named Tonya Eberhart. That’s all I know.
[00:10:35] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Okay. So you are, I think we’re all competing with other people in that particular term.
[00:10:41] Tonya Eberhart: Absolutely. Sure.
Competing With Other People’s Name Is a Question of How Famous Are You, How Confident Is Google, and Google’s Geo Sensitivity
[00:10:42] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Then it’s a question of how famous are you and how confident is Google. And if you look at Michael Carr, you’re immediately looking at an actor, a British musical composer. IMDb is a huge source of information for Google. So at the moment, we’re looking at, Michael, your question is very much that there is always going to be that ambiguity, and it’s not something you are going to be able to deal with in the short term.
[00:11:08] Michael Carr: Right.
[00:11:09] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): What is going to happen is number one, Google’s going to get more and more geo sensitive. So if I’m in your town, you are more likely to come up than another Michael Carr.
[00:11:19] Michael Carr: We’re seeing that.
[00:11:21] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Oh, right. Okay. You’ve already seen that in terms of, where are you?
[00:11:25] Michael Carr: We’re north of Atlanta into suburbs in Jackson County.
[00:11:29] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right.
[00:11:30] Michael Carr: And if you google me in anywhere in this area, I’m going to come up pretty regularly. But it’s because of the work that we’ve done with Google, doing exactly what you’re talking about in getting that. If you put in Michael Carr real estate, you may see that I come up faster. This Google thing and this name thing reminds me of what my grandpa used to say. He used to ask me, do you know why there’s so many Smiths in the phone book? Because there’s always the S in Smith and in the phone book, there was always a bunch of them. And I would be like, no, why? And he said, because they all have phones.
[00:12:07] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I like your grandpa.
[00:12:10] Tonya Eberhart: His grandpa’s quite clever.
[00:12:11] Michael Carr: That was the extent of what he knew about how to stand out with the name like Carr. So, there was a bunch of, even though Carr isn’t the most, obviously the most, I know that I don’t have michaelcarr.com because of an actor that had it. I’ve tried to buy it from them for years, haven’t been able to be successful. There’s a photographer. There’s a football player, I think, professional here in the United States.
[00:12:37] Tonya Eberhart: There’s a lot of you famous Carrs.
Playing Google’s Game and Complaining, But All We Need to Do Is Educate Google So That It Understands Us Correctly
[00:12:39] Michael Carr: There’s a lot of Michael Carrs that are in. There’s a lawyer that’s pretty prominent here in the United States. So, you’re talking the language though that, and I want you to continue. I don’t want to disrupt you. Keep talking about that because this is the value of the Google, right? And not only where it’s been, but where it’s going. I’m a huge Google fan. I’ve been tracking them and trying to play the Google game for a long time. I know enough to be dangerous about it, but it’s very important. And we continue. In fact, I was on a call today with our SEO staff and advertising marketing staff to try to continue to bolster that more and more.
[00:13:20] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Yeah, no, a hundred percent. And playing the Google game is exactly the right phrase. This is Google’s game. It makes up the rules, Google decides, and we can complain all we like.
[00:13:32] Tonya Eberhart: Which we have.
[00:13:33] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And we can moan about the fact that Google doesn’t understand and Google’s stupid, which is perhaps true. But the question is where are we coming from? We’re asking Google to present us in the way we want it to present us. And we need to educate Google so that it presents us correctly. We need to educate Google so that it understands us correctly.
Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) on Educating Google So It Shows That He Is a Digital Marketer and Then an Author
[00:13:56] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And if we’re looking at a relatively unique name, Jason Barnard, relatively unique, my approach has been to educate Google. And we were talking about why did I get into this. And the answer is because I was a blue dog in a cartoon. I was a cartoon blue dog and I sung songs. Excuse me. I’m getting interested. I sung songs for many, many years, and Google recognised me as a cartoon blue dog in a TV series produced by ITV international. And that was the weight of evidence online about me.
[00:14:32] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Then what I did is realise that when you search my name, it said Jason Barnard is a cartoon blue dog. And as a digital marketer, that doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t help me with my business. So I then educated Google so that it would show Jason Barnard is a digital marketer. And once I’d done that, I thought, okay, great, Jason Barnard digital marketer. What can I now do?
[00:14:53] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the answer was let’s see if I can make it look at me as an author. So I wrote the book as an experiment, the book behind me. As you said, you’re not going to make a fortune out of your book. What it does bring is credibility with your audience and it brings credibility and understanding for Google. So once I was an author, it was quite easy for me to switch to become an author because Google has Google Books, and that’s a relatively easy thing for Google to then digest and understand about me. So you have that whole question of not only what is your name, but how well does Google understand you.
[00:15:29] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And if you look at Michael Carr, you have the actor and you have the composer. Both of those industries are incredibly well-documented online by human curated databases, like IMDb, MusicBrainz, Deezer, Spotify, and so on and so forth. So you are fighting an uphill battle, Michael, I’m afraid because your industry is not well-documented. And the fact that you are an author is an advantage because that is documented but only through Google Books.
[00:16:02] Michael Carr: Okay.
[00:16:03] Tonya Eberhart: Okay. We need to talk to you about how to fix that.
[00:16:05] Michael Carr: Yeah. Our listeners need to talk about how to fix that for sure.
Don’t Let Google Decide What Your Brand Is; Google Is a Child You Need to Educate for It to Show Your Personal Brand Message
[00:16:09] Tonya Eberhart: That’s right. But let me interject here just one moment, Jason, because there could not be a more perfect alignment here with your message and with personal branding, because a lot of people will say, well, your client, your customer in the angles to decide what your brand is, right? And I say, nonsense. You have the obligation to influence that to tell them how you want to be viewed to show them what you’re all about and tell them your story and why they need to work with you, right? That’s exactly the same thing you’re talking about. It’s like Google’s going to see you a different way unless you tell it to see you differently. And that’s what personal branding’s all about. So I love that alignment.
[00:16:50] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. And that’s a brilliant way of putting it is don’t let Google decide.
[00:16:56] Tonya Eberhart: Exactly.
[00:16:57] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Google is a child. Google is a child trying to understand the world. Up until five years ago, Google was just counting words and links and it was very simple. And we were in a world where we could trick the system incredibly easily. And what Google has done is built an understanding of the world called the Knowledge Graph. And what it’s doing is building basically a massive, massive encyclopedia, like Wikipedia, but much bigger. If you look at Wikipedia, you’ve got 50 million articles. The Knowledge Graph has 1,500 billion facts in it.
[00:17:31] Tonya Eberhart: Wow.
[00:17:32] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And it only just started. And so, as you said, the idea here is to say, if I want that Google to understand what I need it to present, I need to educate it and explain to it. And if we don’t do it, who else will. We have that responsibility of saying to Google, I’m the parent, I’m the adult, I’m going to explain to you what I want you to say. And if what I want you to say is honest and truthful and is corroborated around the web, Google will literally say what you ask it to say. So it’s a representation of you. It’s your Google business card. It wants to show your personal brand message the way you want it, as long as you explain it and you educate this child that is Google.
[00:18:16] Tonya Eberhart: I love it.
Google Is Finding the Completed Puzzle of You So It Can Be Confident It Has Understood What You Want to Say
[00:18:17] Michael Carr: What a great takeaway there, super. And for you to explain it that way is probably the best I’ve ever heard. And that’s, that you’re, because we all do it, right? Oh, Google, what do they know? You know what I mean? I googled this and this came up, but you’re right. It’s trying to figure it out. You’ll be the one that takes the initiative to tell it how it’s supposed to show you and take some responsibility in that. So that’s really good.
[00:18:46] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And if you actually look at your digital ecosystem, we all have one and we’ve all been around for a while. And over time, we’ve created these different profiles. We forget about them. We don’t actually pay attention to them. And what Google is seeing is this incredibly contradictory, fragmented version of ourselves spread all around the internet. And it’s trying to make sense of that.
[00:19:09] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And if we come to another analogy, we’ve got Google the child with a broken plate. It’s got lots of different pieces and it’s trying to fit it together into the full plate. And it probably can, as long as it’s not too messy in terms of your digital ecosystem, but what it’s looking for is the full version presented by you, the entity, the person, yourself. And most people don’t do that.
[00:19:37] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Google is struggling to find the completed puzzle to compare its version so that it can be confident that it’s understood what it is you want to say. And it seems ironic, but Google’s looking for your explanation and it’s looking for what I call an Entity Home. Google call it the point of reconciliation, which is where it can look for the information about you from you.
The Role of the Knowledge Panel in Google and the Big Problem of Multifacetedness
[00:20:03] Tonya Eberhart: I love that, because that’s exactly the same in personal branding is if you have different messages and different imagery across different platforms, then one of our clients lovingly called it multiple personality disorders. And I think that’s so true. But now, how does that play into the Knowledge Panel at Google? Can you tell us what that is and the importance that it plays in your personal brand?
[00:20:35] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Well, there are actually a couple of questions there. Number one is the Knowledge Panel is simply Google’s summary of its understanding of the facts that are relevant to your audience. So if your Knowledge Panel is full of information that isn’t true or information that isn’t important, you need to look at why Google thinks that that is true and why it’s important. And it’s up to you to then correct this child who’s misunderstood.
[00:20:58] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the other thing is I love the idea that multifacetedness is an incredibly big problem for all of us. If you go to an employer and you say, well, I’m a musician, I’m a cartoon maker, I’m a digital marketer, and I can cook. They’ll say, no, no, no, no, that’s too much, you have to be specialised in one specific thing. And Google is still in that mindset is it’s looking for the one label it can put on you and it struggles with multiple labels.
[00:21:25] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the idea here is that what Google will then do is it will create multiple named entities. So you will end up with multiple Knowledge Panels if you have multiple facets. And at one point, I had four. I had author, I had musician, I had podcaster, and I had another one that didn’t have a title. And my job was to say to Google, actually, it’s all the same person.
[00:21:49] Tonya Eberhart: That’s exactly what we do with personal branding. Exactly.
[00:21:52] Michael Carr: It’s all what we do.
Your Entity Home Is the Absolute Key Which Gives Google the Full Plate Puzzle All in One Piece
[00:21:53] Tonya Eberhart: Your personal brand should explain why you are doing all of these things. You don’t have four different brands. You have one brand that explains why you’re all of those things. So, can you give our audience a couple of what are the first few steps that they should do to make sure that their personal brand that what they want Google to see, Google is actually seeing?
[00:22:18] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Well, the thing about Google is it’s still quite young. It’s a child that doesn’t really understand the multifacetedness. It’s very difficult to say. It wants one title that it can attribute to you. So it needs one dominant title. It doesn’t mean to say it doesn’t understand the multiple professions you have or the multiple aspects of your personality, but it does need one dominant one.
[00:22:44] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So in your case, it’s author. In my case, it’s author. It used to be musician before that. Then it was an SEO specialist, but it is looking for that. So you need to make sure that you are very clear which is your dominant aspect, your dominant facet. I’ve chosen author right now. Next year, I could change it to something else. And that’s all about educating the child that I’ve now changed profession.
[00:23:08] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the key, the absolute key to all of this is not Wikipedia. It’s not Wikidata. It’s not Crunchbase. It’s not LinkedIn. It’s your Entity Home, which is the webpage on your own website that represents you and gives Google that full plate, the plate puzzle, all in one piece that says, this is who I am, this is how all the pieces fit together. Google’s actively looking for that. And if you don’t provide it, you actually literally have no hope.
It Is up to You to Explain to Google Which Representation of Yourself You Want It to Show and You Can Do It Even Without the Use of Wikipedia
[00:23:40] Michael Carr: We like that, because it literally is personal branding and our branding program. But because we talk about that when we meet with people, we find what is going to be that lead, that dominant reason why that you’re trying to express to your customers, that you’re trying to teach your customers. And like Tonya said, you can have these several other things that help make up the lie, but you have to have that dominant lead. And so now, listeners, you’re hearing this is most important to Google, and especially as Google continues to perfect this and our job is to get in there and represent ourselves just like on the street, represent ourselves correctly and concisely and consistently.
[00:24:24] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Which is absolutely lovely because if you imagine that Google thinks, well, this Jason Barnard might be one of these four different ones, an author, a musician, a podcaster, and something else, it doesn’t know which one to show in the right-hand side on desktop when you search my name. And it really is up to me to decide. It’s not up to Google. It’s up to me to explain and to ensure that Google knows which one I want it to show and understands that these four different people are actually the same one. And most people completely, completely forget that or ignore it.
[00:25:02] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): My sister is a film director, so she’s famous. She’s been at the Cannes Film Festival. She’s got articles in New York Times and the Guardian and all of these different things. And Google still doesn’t fully understand her. It’s taking all of its knowledge from Wikipedia because she does not have an Entity Home. She hasn’t taken responsibility for explaining to Google. And indeed, I would argue to her audience who she is, what she does, and who her audience is and why they might be interested in what she has to offer. She’s left it all to Wikipedia. And Google actually has a very low level of confidence in its understanding of who she is, what she does, and who her audience is compared to me. Now, I don’t have a Wikipedia page. I haven’t been at Cannes Film Festival. I don’t have articles in New York Times and the Guardian.
[00:25:54] Michael Carr: Right.
Separating Your Personal Life From Your Business and the Importance of Relationships in Google’s Understanding
[00:25:54] Tonya Eberhart: Very interesting. So how does it impact you when you have a personal website? A lot of us, a lot of entrepreneurs do a personal website and then a business website.
[00:26:08] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): That’s a brilliant question, because a lot of what we do is we confuse ourselves between our business and our personal life.
[00:26:18] Michael Carr: Right.
[00:26:18] Tonya Eberhart: Yeah.
[00:26:18] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And I’ve done that more than once. I’ve done that with the blue dog. I’ve done it with my companies. I’ve done it with The Brand SERP Guy today. And it’s really important to realise that you are not your company and your company is not you. You are the founder, you are the CEO, you’re whatever it might be within your company, but the company is one aspect of your life. You still go to the restaurant with your friends. You still go and watch football matches. You still go to the beach. You still have a wife or a husband and children and parents and grandparents. And the company has nothing to do with that.
[00:26:57] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the idea that your company is going to represent you in Google’s mind is completely airiness. It’s one aspect. And Google thinks about all of this in terms of entities and relationships. So, I am the CEO and the founder of Kalicube, so I have a relationship with Kalicube. But I’m also the brother of Clio Barnard, I’m also the brother of Josie Barnard, I’m the husband or ex-husband of Veronique Barnard, the father of Leonor Barnard, and so on and so forth.
[00:27:28] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And those family relationships are incredibly important. Because what Google is looking for and what Google understands, what we all understand is relationships that are close, strong, and long-lasting, mother, brother, sister. But even partner, wife, husband is temporary, theoretically, could be long, could be short. We don’t know. It could be a year. It could be a month. It could be 50 years. But mother, father, founder are all relationships that will never be broken that are permanent. And those are the relationships that Google’s relying on.
Solving the Problem of Name Ambiguity by Adding a Qualifier or Adding a Middle Initial
[00:28:07] Michael Carr: Very interesting. So I got to ask a question here. Take my example, for instance, where you’ve got a Michael Carr. Google doesn’t know with you. In Europe, googling my name, it doesn’t know if you’re looking for the actor or the football player or the attorney or whatever. So, is that something that will never be overcome? A lot of our clients and listeners would want to know this. Is it something that you have to promote more language to like Michael Carr realty or Michael Carr real estate agent? And do you have to educate your local crowd in that to help educate Google? Am I making sense with that analogy?
[00:28:57] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): You absolutely are. The single most important thing to remember is that Google is increasingly geo sensitive. So, you will be able to dominate your town. You might be able to dominate your state. But once you get outside there, it becomes more complicated.
[00:29:14] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And as you say, the trick is to add some what I call qualifier, real estate, SEO, whatever it is that you want associated with yourself. The problem there obviously is if you change jobs further down the line. You have a problem in the sense that you’ve encouraged everyone’s search for Jason Barnard SEO and all of a sudden I’m a blue dog in a cartoon. And I want them to say Jason Barnard voice actor. Whereas saying Jason M Barnard or Jason Martin Barnard is something that’s not going to change. So you have those two choices and you need to be really careful about the one you make.
[00:29:55] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the other thing I would say, beyond the geo, beyond the qualifier is that at some point in the future, Google is going to get such a good grip of the world that we are going to need one or the other or even both. Because right now, Jason Barnard, there’s a podcaster in the UK, there’s an ice hockey player in Canada, there’s a footballer in South Africa. I dominate when people search my name even in those countries purely through Google’s confidence in its understanding of me, but I cannot rely on that long term.
[00:30:30] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Once Google gets a better understanding of the other Jason Barnards, either because they’ve worked on it or because Google gets smarter, I’m going to need to find a way to differentiate myself. I think that’s for me at least five years down the line, but definitely something I need to bear in mind that I need to start thinking about how I can make sure that when people are looking for me on Google, they will find me, because that ambiguity is going to be a huge problem as Google gets to grip with more and more understanding.
Personal Names Across the World Are Incredibly Geo Localised
[00:31:06] Michael Carr: Ooh, that’s good stuff. Jason, that’s super, super good stuff. Because I’ve noticed and Tonya and I have talked about a lot about it, it seems as if a lot of social media platforms, as well as Google, I know we’re talking about Google and they’re my favourite by far, they’re doing that. They’re shrinking your space down. It’s harder to be Gary Vee nowadays than it was 10 years ago when it was just wide open. And then people were swimming out into the ocean as fast as they could get ahead of the game. It’s becoming more, I called it fractionalised, where they’re bringing it back, like you said, down to your hometown, where your other records are, where your mom and dad were, where your, like you said, all of these tighter, never going to end connections. And that just brings the world closer and closer back. It’s almost like we expanded. The internet allowed us to reach everywhere. And then now, it’s pulling us back into more colloquial local.
[00:32:08] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah, no, I love that kind of idea. And it’s that because personal names, if we talk about companies that the problem is much less large, but for individuals, because we share names across the entire world, it becomes incredibly geo localised. And we are going to need to figure out ways for ourselves to be able to be present for our audience, because Google’s going to get better understanding of, in my case here, the other Jason Barnards. And it’s trying to cover that ambiguity, because what it’s looking at is what is the probability that the person is looking for this specific Jason Barnard and not the podcaster or the ice hockey player or the football player. And the answer is in South Africa, it’s so obvious that the probability is way in favour of the football player.
[00:32:55] Michael Carr: Right, right.
[00:32:56] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But for now, I’m getting away with it. But in five years time, I’m not.
[00:33:01] Tonya Eberhart: Understood, understood.
Proceeding to the Next Part of the Program and Talking About Jason’s Experience Playing in a Folk Punk Band
[00:33:02] Michael Carr: That’s so good, that really. Hey, Jason, thank you for this. And if it’s okay with you, we want to switch just a little bit in our program here. We always ask our guest five important questions about their personal brand, okay? And we do this Jay Leno style, 5, 4, 3, 2 1. And so if it’s okay with you, we want to ask you about yours.
[00:33:25] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Okay. Do I have to be quick with the answers or can I…
[00:33:28] Michael Carr: You can be whatever you want to be with the answers. I can already tell you’re going to be able to answer these with no problem.
[00:33:34] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Brilliant. I actually love this kind of thing. I was in a folk punk band in the 1990s. And I actually love being onstage and not knowing what’s going to happen. That’s my favourite moment.
[00:33:47] Tonya Eberhart: You’re in the right place.
[00:33:48] Michael Carr: What instrument do you play?
[00:33:51] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): The double bass, the bull fiddle.
[00:33:52] Michael Carr: Okay. Yeah.
[00:33:53] Tonya Eberhart: Nice.
The Ideal Customers of Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) Are Those Who Care About Their Brand Message on Google
[00:33:53] Michael Carr: Very nice. Very good. All right. Well, question number five about your personal brand is who do you serve? Who’s your ideal customers?
[00:34:03] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Anybody who cares about what Google shows about them or their company when somebody searches their brand name. So, basically, anybody who cares about their own brand message to their audience on their Google business card. So, what’s lovely about this is it’s people, it’s companies, it’s films, it’s podcasts, it’s music, albums, it’s music groups, literally 50 billion opportunities for me.
[00:34:33] Michael Carr: I love that.
[00:34:33] Tonya Eberhart: So true.
[00:34:34] Michael Carr: But for the sake of our listeners, I want to point out it’s still very finite, because you’re just lucky enough that you’re smart enough that your ideal customer can be 5 billion people. You’re still helping them with one specific thing. And you answer that perfectly.
[00:34:50] Tonya Eberhart: Yes. All right.
[00:34:51] Michael Carr: Great start, Jason.
[00:34:52] Tonya Eberhart: Question number four.
[00:34:53] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And that is really cool. I only help people with one thing and it’s how they appear when their audience googles their brand name. And although the audience is vast, the focus is very, very, very, very clear. Excuse me. I’m sorry. I interrupted Tonya.
[00:35:06] Michael Carr: Very good.
How Does Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) Serve His Customers?
[00:35:07] Tonya Eberhart: Oh, you’re perfectly fine. Great clarification. Question number four. Exactly how do you serve them?
[00:35:13] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I can ensure that Google shows what you want it to show when your audience googles your name or your personal name, your brand name, including the Knowledge Panel we talked about on the right-hand side on desktop that you see for stars such as Tonya Eberhart. I can see your Knowledge Panel right here on the screen in front of me, but also Tom Cruise or Queen Elizabeth. It will show that factual information. And we can help you to educate Google so that Google shows the correct information and the relevant information, both in that Knowledge Panel but also on the left-hand side, which is your social accounts, your website, your videos, your Twitter account, and make sure that it’s representing you and your brand message the way you intended.
Jason’s Qualifications in Serving His Customers Include Becoming an Expert in Educating Google Without Access to Its Algorithms
[00:36:04] Michael Carr: Beautiful. Number three, what qualifies you to serve them?
[00:36:09] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Oh, I’ve done thousands and thousands of experiments on this, literally thousands. And I’m lucky enough that I come from a place where I was in a music group. I wrote 90, no, 120 songs, recorded 6 music albums. I was a blue dog in a cartoon series. We did 52 episodes for ITV international. And that’s allowed me to experiment on all of these different entities, the TV series, the episodes, the songs, the albums, the music group, to understand how Google learns about the world.
[00:36:51] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And so, I’ve become an expert in educating Google without having any access to Google’s algorithms, simply presenting the information to the machine in a way that it understands and it can digest and it can become confident in that understanding, sufficiently confident that it can show your Knowledge Panel and it can show facts about you that are accurate and it can show exactly what you wanted as a brand message.
[00:37:17] Michael Carr: Very good.
[00:37:18] Tonya Eberhart: I love that. Because he’s not just educating us and all the people listening today, he actually educates Google in what to do.
[00:37:28] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I love it too. It’s so much fun.
[00:37:31] Tonya Eberhart: That’s great.
[00:37:32] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Educating a machine that we don’t understand and that, in fact, when you think about it, Google engineers no longer fully understand exactly how it functions. And John Mueller from Google said, we see this as an algorithm. Jason Barnard is the person outside Google who actually understands the most, because he knows how to influence the algorithm to present what he is trying to get that algorithm to show.
[00:37:57] Michael Carr: That’s really good.
The Effect in Jason’s Life of Improving His Google Business Card
[00:37:58] Tonya Eberhart: Excellent. Okay. All right. Another very important question in your personal brand, number two, how does it make their life better, meaning your customers?
[00:38:09] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Ooh, that’s a really good question. And I’m wondering if these are increasing importance as we go down from five to one.
[00:38:15] Tonya Eberhart: Yes.
[00:38:16] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): What it did for me was that when my prospects searched for my name seven or eight years ago, they would see Jason Barnard as a cartoon blue dog, and they didn’t sign the contract. Now they see Jason Barnard is a Google expert. He knows about how to educate Google. He understands how we can ensure that our Google business card looks absolutely perfect. And I convert way more clients than when it said Jason Barnard is a cartoon blue dog.
[00:38:48] Tonya Eberhart: Perfect.
No One Does What Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) Does in His Industry
[00:38:49] Michael Carr: Yep. Great answer. The number one, as you said, that we line these up in order of importance. Number one, what sets you apart from others that do the same thing in your industry?
[00:39:01] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Oh. Now, here I’m going to sound really pretentious. Nobody does what I do.
[00:39:06] Michael Carr: Love it.
[00:39:08] Tonya Eberhart: Bingo.
[00:39:10] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Well, the thing is I’m absolutely stunned, because I came across this in 2013 and then built the Kalicube Pro SaaS Platform, which is a platform that basically automates the entire process of figuring out where Google is getting its information from for any individual person or company. And it’s not generalised. It’s for this specific person. Where is it getting its information?
[00:39:35] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And what stuns me is I started in the internet in 1998. It’s now 2022. And nobody has thought about this to the extent at which they think we can educate Google and control and make sure that it’s showing what we want. And I look at it and I think, I can’t believe that a) I didn’t see it before, but b) a quarter of a century after the start of the internet, why hasn’t anybody else got involved in this? Why didn’t anyone else see this idea? I’m stunned and I love it and I’m alone.
[00:40:14] Michael Carr: Well, paddle hard, my friend, because that’s the key, right?
[00:40:18] Tonya Eberhart: That’s the key.
The Thing That’s Going to Drive You Forwards Isn’t Technical; It’s Great PR, Great Marketing, and Great Personal Branding
[00:40:18] Michael Carr: Being the first is always better than even being the best is one of the 22 immutable laws of marketing. And you’re clearly both, which is really, really good. This conversation excites me, Jason. It really does, because I’ve played somewhat of the Google game too. I’ve tried to hire the mad scientist in his basement, hacking away at the algorithm. I’ve hired the vine kid SEO people and stuff like that. And clearly, they need some more work to be done because I’m not coming up in the UK like I’m supposed to be. And how am I going to be famous in the UK if I don’t come up correctly, Jason?
[00:40:57] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Brilliant. Can I make a point about that? Which is I think incredibly important is the mad scientist in the basement was how it all worked 10 years ago. And the mad scientist in the basement can still bring you results. So it’s absolutely not a problem. It’s not a debate. But the single thing that’s going to drive you forwards from now on is how well Google understands you, how much it has confidence in that understanding, and how well it understands who you serve and what you can actually do for them. And that comes down to personal branding, marketing, digital PR. It isn’t technical. It’s great PR, great marketing, and great personal branding.
[00:41:45] Michael Carr: Yeah. And I like the order in which you did that originally there, because personal branding is so important to get that dialed in before you start that marketing and that digital presence. So now, it’s all streamlined for the biggest sorter of this information on earth, which is Google.
[00:42:06] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. And it is a humongous question is before you start pushing your message out there, decide what you’re saying. Because once you put it out there, going back and correcting it is actually quite difficult. So don’t just throw everything out there. You need to decide what do I want to say, to whom do I want to say it, and how do I want it presented. And be incredibly consistent across every single platform.
[00:42:30] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Because as you said, Google is looking at all this stuff, brings it all together. And when it shows your Brand SERP, the search engine results page for your personal name, it’s Google’s understanding and summary of who you are, what you do, and which audience you serve and what will be useful to them. And if it’s not looking like you wanted, it’s because you’re not communicating correctly with Google.
[00:42:53] Michael Carr: That’s awesome.
[00:42:55] Tonya Eberhart: Absolutely love it.
[00:42:56] Michael Carr: Yes.
A Message Jason Wants to Leave the Listeners for Their Personal Brand
[00:42:56] Tonya Eberhart: Okay. Two more brief questions for you. What’s the one message you would like to leave our listeners today when it comes to their personal brand?
[00:43:06] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. I think it would be make a decision and stick to it. And don’t make a decision today and start off tomorrow. It’s what I was just saying. It’s really think about it. Think about how is this going to be something I can live with for the next 5 years? How will it look in 10 years time?
[00:43:28] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And I had a guest on my podcast called Michael Moore, who was saying, what’s the story you’ll be telling for the rest of your life? If you can figure out the story you’ve got to tell for the rest of your life, you’re away. And unfortunately, for a lot of us, it used to be the blue dog for me. Before that, it was the punk folk double bassist. And now, my story is Google is a child. We need to learn to educate it. That’s my story. And because I can educate it, I can actually get Google to represent my personal brand as Google’s educator. We talk about horse whisperers. Maybe I’m the Google whisperer.
[00:44:05] Tonya Eberhart: There you go.
[00:44:06] Michael Carr: I love it.
[00:44:07] Tonya Eberhart: There you go. I love it.
[00:44:09] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I would’ve rather you, guys, said it, but I thought I’d throw it in there anyway.
[00:44:13] Tonya Eberhart: We like it. We like it.
[00:44:15] Michael Carr: We can call you that from now. That’s for sure.
[00:44:17] Tonya Eberhart: That’s true.
How to Reach Jason for Questions or for a Chance to Work With Him
[00:44:18] Michael Carr: Okay. The second question here before we close out, how can prospects reach you if they have questions or they want to work with you?
[00:44:26] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Now, I love this question because everybody tells me I have to give everybody one single point of contact. And that is the way I think you make money. That’s the way I think that this is supposed to work, but that’s not the way I’m doing it. If you search my name, Jason Barnard, on Google, what will come up is your choice of how you want to interact with me. It’s not up to me. It’s up to you. And my job as the Google whisperer is to make sure that Google allows you the opportunities that make sense to you as my audience.
[00:44:59] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, if you search my name, Jason Barnard, on Google, you will see my website where you can learn about me personally, then kalicube.com if you want to do business with me, then Twitter if you want to tweet at me, then my articles on Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Land, and other media outlets within the digital marketing space, then some videos of me playing music but also talking about digital marketing, then LinkedIn, and my podcast.
[00:45:27] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, basically, the idea here is my Google business card allows you to communicate with me and to interact with me in the way that suits you, as opposed the way I’m trying to impose on you. And I had Ted Rubin on my show a few couple of years ago. And he was saying, I always communicate with people on the platform that they prefer and in the manner they prefer. And I like that. And my Google business card allows you to choose the platform, and I don’t impose it.
[00:45:58] Tonya Eberhart: Best answer I’ve heard yet.
[00:45:59] Michael Carr: Best answer. Yeah. For sure, because it is true. They’re there for the consumption of the consumer the way they want to do it. We all communicate differently. And I like that answer because you’ll respond into any of those.
[00:46:15] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yep. A hundred percent. Absolutely. And I love the idea as well, because I’ve got my preferences and I know what they are.
[00:46:23] Michael Carr: Yep.
[00:46:24] Tonya Eberhart: That’s true.
[00:46:25] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But it’s not my job to decide how you want to talk to me.
[00:46:29] Michael Carr: Right.
[00:46:29] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It’s your job to decide how you want to talk to me. And it’s my job if I want to build a relationship with you to accept your methodology, your approach, and work on your terms. And I love that.
[00:46:44] Michael Carr: Yeah. I do too. I do too.
[00:46:46] Tonya Eberhart: And we have loved this episode, Jason.
[00:46:49] Michael Carr: It’s probably my favourite in three years, honestly.
Jason Being Thankful for the Great Questions Asked That Lead to Great Answers
[00:46:51] Tonya Eberhart: Absolutely. Thank you very much. Yes. We’re going to make a lot of other people mad, I think. They’re all wonderful too, but this was incredible. We appreciate you very much.
[00:47:04] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. And, well, my friend Anton Shulke tells me that great questions give lead to great answers. So, if I was being smart and I hope I was, it’s thanks to the questions you asked. And I loved the countdown of five plus two, which was cheating because you should have said seven.
[00:47:24] Tonya Eberhart: But they were very important.
[00:47:26] Michael Carr: That’s true.
[00:47:28] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Absolutely brilliant. This was absolutely delightful. And I’m smiling from ear to ear. If anyone’s listening just on a podcast and not seeing the video, I’ve got a big smile.
[00:47:37] Michael Carr: Well, we do too.
[00:47:38] Tonya Eberhart: We do too. Thank you.
[00:47:39] Michael Carr: Yeah. Thank you. Thank you so much, sir.
[00:47:41] Michael Carr: And for those listeners out there, listen, we bring this train of value. This is what we want to present for you. So hit that subscribe button, hit the notification button so you can get it, you can find out information like this. For a person who got his first website in 1999 and had been trying to figure out this Google thing for all this time, I learned more in this past 40 minutes than I’ve learned from anybody I’ve even paid money to. So thank you so much, Mr. Jason. Thank you so much, Ms. Tonya.
[00:48:10] Michael Carr: For those listeners out there, listen, we want this for you. We want to lead you to prosperity. We’re not just talking about money. We’re talking about the full 360 of an abundant life we truly wish for everyone of you. We know at BrandFace that prosperity favours the bold. So we say be bold, folks, especially with your brand, especially with Google. Thank you, Mr. Jason.
[00:48:31] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Absolutely. Be bold with Google. Educate it. Tell it what you want it to show. It will show it if you educate it well.
[00:48:40] Michael Carr: Awesome.
[00:48:41] Tonya Eberhart: Brought to you by BrandFace, the only comprehensive personal brand building system across the globe.