How to manage your brand presence on Google
We learn from Jason Barnard, The Brand SERP Guy, Digital Marketing Consultant, and Author “How to manage your brand presence on Google”, especially from a point of view of small businesses, freelancers, consultants, etc.
“Google is your new business card, it is a child, thirsty for knowledge. We need to educate it,” he says.
[00:00:00] Khudania Ajay: Coming live from London is our guest this evening. Welcome to this very special edition of the KAJ Masterclass LIVE, the show which ensures that you profit from your time spent here with experts, either through their industry insights, information, or simply learning from them.
Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) as a Multifaceted Human Being Who Is Working on His Identity in Google’s Mind
[00:00:38] Khudania Ajay: And today, we have Jason Barnard. He is a podcast host like me, but bigger and better. And he is also known as The Brand SERP Guy, a digital marketing consultant, and a lot of other things, an author. I have no words to actually describe what he is, so we’ll ask him. Welcome to the show, Jason. And the first question is who is Jason Barnard? Let’s start from there.
[00:01:06] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Thank you so much, Ajay, for the introduction. Like everybody else, I’m a multifaceted human being. I have multiple facets, multiple aspects to me. And this is one of the lovely things that I enjoy most about what I do, which is working on my identity and my branding in Google’s mind. Let’s call it a mind.
[00:01:26] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I work on Google, and Google has trouble understanding these multiple facets. So, I’m an author, I’m a digital marketer, I was this cartoon blue dog in a TV series, I was a punk folk musician, I’m a double bass player, all of those things, and more. So, as with everybody, including yourself, Ajay, I’m absolutely sure you can’t say this is me in one word or two words. There are multiple aspects.
Google as a Search Engine, to Becoming an Answer Engine, and Increasingly Becoming an Assistive Engine
[00:01:51] Khudania Ajay: That is why I asked you to talk about yourself because I was failing in this particular job. I was struggling actually on how to put it in just a couple of words and describe what you are, which is a very difficult work. But let’s talk about the work, big work that you do. And that is the topic today, how to manage your brand presence on Google.
[00:02:16] Khudania Ajay: Now, Jason, everybody knows what Google is. There’s this word, google it. Google it, and you will get the answer. And Google tries to give the answer. And that’s its own struggle, to give the best answer possible to everybody. And it’s trying to define that particular stuff where people have their own views. For you, how would you describe what Google is as of now? And then we’ll talk more.
[00:02:45] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. That’s a really interesting question because you mentioned answers. It used to be a search engine, then it became an answer engine, where it would try to provide us with the best answer to our question or the best solution to our problem. And now it’s increasingly becoming what Dawn Anderson calls an assistive engine. So, not only does it answer your question, but it also suggests other things, other information that might be interesting.
Google Is Trying to Assist Its Users in Their Search for a Solution to Their Problem or in Terms of Brand SERPs, the Most Useful Information About a Person or a Brand
[00:03:08] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And you’ll see that in People Also Ask. It will show you a list of related questions. It will show you related videos. It will show you related images. And it’s pushing you towards a deeper understanding without ever leaving Google. And so, that’s really, really interesting. It’s trying to assist its users in their search for a solution to the problem along a journey, because the solutions we find to problems are often through a journey, from the initial questions of research to the actual purchase decision or the conversion decision in the case of businesses.
[00:03:45] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And from my perspective, because I’m looking at Brand SERPs, that’s a search engine results page for a brand name or a person’s name, is that Google tries to assist us by giving us, the audience, the most useful information about that person or that company when we google their name. And it’s not just saying I want to go to the website, it’s I want to know more about it. And Google provides that information in the search engine results page. And if it’s good, you’ve got Google’s stamp of approval. If it’s bad, you’ve got exactly the opposite.
Google Is Your Business Card: In Designing Your Google Business Card, You Have to Teach Google Like a Child
[00:04:22] Khudania Ajay: Right. Now, let’s look at how you look at Google itself. You call it a new business card for people. And then you also call it that it’s a child thirsty for knowledge. Now, how do you assimilate both the things people think that you go to Google, you search for whatever you need? But then how do you know that when others are searching for you or something that is relevant to you, whether your business card or you are coming relevant in that search? And if not, how do you do that? What do you tell, especially from point of view of small businesses, freelancers, consultants, and obviously a lot of podcasters like me?
[00:05:19] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And myself. Yeah, no, exactly. Google is your business card. When somebody searches your name, your personal name, or your company name, however big or small you are, however many people it is, they are by definition the most important people to your business, because they’re the people who are either doing business with you or want to do business with you. So, the idea of what they see when they google your name, your personal name, your brand name, your company name, your podcast name, the idea that what they see is your Google business card is fundamentally important.
[00:05:51] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And a lot of people say, I’ll let Google decide what it puts on my Google business card. I say, take control and ensure that Google shows exactly what you want it to show, your brand message in your words with the images that you want and the videos that you want, rather than what Google chooses to show.
[00:06:11] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And then when you talked about Google as a child, the way you do that, the way you design your Google business card is to teach Google like you would a child. Which aspects, as we were talking earlier on, which aspects of me are the most important? Which aspects of my business are the most important to my audience? And if I can explain that to Google the child, then Google the child will present what I ask it to present, because it wants to present my brand message in my words to my audience. It understands that the subset of its users that are my audience want to know about me in my own words.
How Do You Educate the Child That Is Google: Explain the Information and Corroborate on Other Authoritative Sources
[00:06:51] Khudania Ajay: Right, Jason, but you see this child is a brilliant child and much more brilliant than a father or mother can think of. And if Google is so brilliant, so advanced, and won’t learn anything from anybody, so how do you educate this child so that it recognises its parents? The business is my business, in that manner.
[00:07:19] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. No. It’s a really nice way of putting it because I’m Google’s parent, you’re Google’s parent, we’re all Google’s parent, which is a lovely way to look at it. Google is a child, and we are the parent who is teaching it about ourselves. And so, what we as parents do here is say, okay, Google the child. I’ve got my little child Google that I’m educating. And I say, okay, child that is Google, Kalicube is my company, the Barking Dogs was my music group, Boowa and Kwala was the blue dog and yellow koala cartoon from the naughties.
[00:07:52] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And I explain it to the child, and then I say to the child, now go and check online on other sources that I’m telling the truth. Just like you would tell your child, if you’re talking about history, go and ask the history teacher. The history teacher will corroborate. The history teacher is an authoritative source for the child. The child will therefore fully believe what I’ve told it.
Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) Offers a Set of Online Courses on How to Educate Google Through the Kalicube Academy
[00:08:14] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, in this case, when I say for example my company is Kalicube, I would tell the child, go and look at Kalicube’s website. It will confirm it. Then go and look at the Crunchbase profile for Kalicube. It will confirm it. Go and look in Wikidata. Then it will confirm it as well.
[00:08:32] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And you’ve just put up the Academy for Google. It’s actually the Kalicube Academy, which is a set of online courses, where we teach exactly how you educate Google to make your Google business card the best it can possibly be for your audience when they google your brand name. And it’s a wonderful, wonderful course. I love it. I made it, but I’ve got a super team at Kalicube behind me helping me with the slides, the presentation, the support for the students. And we can really teach you to take control of Google the child’s education. We educate Google, and we have control through the techniques we teach in the academy.
What Are the Baby Steps to Take in Teaching Google the Child as Its Legitimate Parent?
[00:09:16] Khudania Ajay: Right, Jason, we’ll come to more of the Academy. In terms of, as I said, that if Google is a child and your existence in terms of business, even as an individual, because you may be known in your neighbourhood, but if Google does not recognise you, then even the neighbourhood, the way we are moving as a society, even the neighbourhood may not recognise you because everything is so connected to Google.
[00:09:46] Khudania Ajay: So, in terms of businesses, everybody who wants to make their presence felt. And not just mere presence, but in terms of a brand presence, either as an individual personal brand or a business brand or any sort of a brand. Because brand, it will define your legitimacy for Google, and then you will be the actual, you can say, legitimate parents for that child who is actually learning about its parts. So, how do you take those baby steps to teach the child that is the man actually?
[00:10:27] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah, no, I like it. We’re the legitimate parents. We’re going to legitimate parents with baby steps to teach the child that is Google. You’ve really taken this analogy to a new level, which is delightful.
First, Create a Place Where Your Entity Lives and Clearly Explain Who You Are, What You Do, and Which Audience You Serve
[00:10:38] Khudania Ajay: Yeah. Just as I said, the child is the father of man, so Google is in that matter, you see.
[00:10:45] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Brilliant. Yeah. And we’ve got an Academy to teach us to teach the child, which is delightful. Yeah, no, the baby steps are actually very simple, is that Google wants to know where your entity lives. Now, an entity is a thing. So, it’s a person, a company, a place, a podcast. And Google is looking for one page controlled by the person, the company, the podcast, or whatever entity we’re talking about, where they explain exactly who they are, what they do, and who their audience is.
[00:11:16] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And from there, when you’ve explained it on one page that’s incredibly clear about who you are, what you do, and which audience you serve, you’ve taken the first baby step. Google now knows either parent have told it this is who I am, this is who I work for, this is my mother, this is my sister, this is my music group, this is my blue dog and yellow koala.
Next Step, Link Out to Relevant, Trustworthy, and Authoritative Sources That Confirm All the Pieces of Information You Have Just Given It
[00:11:38] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And from there, the next baby step is to link out to all the sources that confirm all the pieces of information I’ve just given it. And these sources need to be relevant in terms of the industry, in terms of the geo region. And they need to be authoritative, i.e. important. And as you rightly said, we want to point it to sources who are brands or authors, people and companies, and not to websites as such.
[00:12:04] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, obviously, you need to link out to websites such as Crunchbase. It’s an authority in the tech sphere. MusicBrainz is an authority in the music sphere. IMDb is an authority in the film and TV industries. So, you need to point Google to the corroboration in sources it trusts.
[00:12:23] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, if we come back to the child, if I were to say to the child, go and check this piece of history information with the baker, the child wouldn’t necessarily believe the baker because the baker is not an authority. And if I told the child, go and check the cake baking recipe I just gave you with the history teacher, the child wouldn’t necessarily trust the history teacher because the history teacher knows about history and not about baking. So, it needs to be a relevant, trustworthy, authoritative source on the subject in the geo region that we’re talking about.
Can Anybody Manage Their Own Brand on Google and What Can Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) Do for Them?
[00:12:57] Khudania Ajay: Right, Jason. So, somebody who wants to manage his or her brand on Google, can they do it by themselves? You talk about a Knowledge Panel in Google, if you can tell about that. If they come to you, to The Brand SERP Guy, what will the guy do for this man or woman?
[00:13:20] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Yeah. It’s very much something you can do yourself. Absolutely no problem at all. I was looking at Brand SERP management from a new perspective a couple of weeks ago. And it’s mostly about quality marketing, content marketing, quality branding on that content you produce, and SEO, which is search engine optimisation. It’s basically how you package your content and your branding for Google. And it’s in that order of importance. Marketing is the most important. Branding is the second most important, and SEO techniques are only the third most important. So, any marketer, any brand manager can do this.
[00:13:56] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): If you want to do it yourself and make all the mistakes I’ve made over the last 10 years, go ahead. I’ve made all the mistakes, hopefully, so you don’t need to make mistakes. And that’s what we teach in the Academy. We say this is what you need to do step by step by step by step. And this is what you should avoid step by step by step by step. And the things I’m saying to avoid are things either I know don’t work or that I’ve done wrong in the past.
If You Don’t Want to Do the Work by Yourself, Kalicube Offers an All in Service That Can Speed Up Your 10 Years of Work Into a Year’s Work
[00:14:19] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, the Academy, basically, will speed up 10 years of work into a year’s work. And you can do it yourself by learning in the Academy. And if you come to me and say, I’m too lazy to do this myself, I don’t have the time, I don’t have the resources. Those are three different reasons. Obviously, some people just want to sit in the garden having a cup of tea, so they’re lazy. And some people don’t have the resources but work very hard. Come to me, and I can actually do this for you.
[00:14:45] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Kalicube has a team who can do all of this for you. And what we do is we go out, we find your marketing that exists, we find the branding that you’ve got, and we package it for Google for you. And then we suggest what marketing and branding techniques you should be implementing to improve your Brand SERP further.
[00:15:03] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And it’s an all in service, and we do that over a full year. We don’t take clients who want to do less than a year. Because in less than a year, we cannot have the effect that we need. This child still learns slowly. And a year is still relatively short for teaching this child truly who you are, what you do, and which audience you serve.
What Does Managing Your Brand SERP Mean and Is It as Technical as SEO?
[00:15:25] Khudania Ajay: Right. So, in terms of Academy, firstly, for general people, because a lot of viewers in India, they do know about Google but the technicalities, especially. People have been listening to this whole world about SEO, as if without SEO, the world does not exist. Earlier they used to only think about that without Google, the world does not exist for them. And now a lot of people, and certainly everybody starts telling them that, listen, without SEO, Google will not exist for you because you will be thrown into oblivion or wherever, because Google will not recognise you.
[00:16:03] Khudania Ajay: And now, you are coming out with this word called SERP. What does it mean? What does exactly people make out of this thing? Will they have to learn this new thing apart from SEO? They are still trying to figure out SEO, metadata, and whatnot. I don’t know. I myself not a tech person. So, can you tell in simple words how these things are related and whether they should be scared of this or they should find it a part of their brand building exercise?
[00:16:33] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Great question. SEO is search engine optimisation. People get obsessed about it. SERP, search engine results page, sounds complicated, but it’s actually just what you see when you search on Google. So, it’s nothing complicated. We all know it. We all understand it. Most of us use it. And I come from the world of SEO. After being a blue dog in a cartoon, I moved into SEO. And it was very, very geeky. You had to be a technician. You had to know about metadata. It was very complicated.
Kalicube Focuses on Marketing and Branding and Using SEO as a Support Only, Which Lessens the Technical Side of Things
[00:17:01] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And what we’ve done at Kalicube is bring it back to marketing and branding first and using SEO as the support to the marketing and branding work we are doing as businesses anyway. So, what we then do is make sure that there is no need for any technical search engine optimisation knowledge, no need to be a developer, no need for metadata, no need to make things complicated. Great branding, great marketing, and a little bit of SEO, and you’re going to be absolutely perfectly well off in terms of getting Google to show a great Google business card for you.
[00:17:35] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And one of the things I’m very pleased about is that we’ve managed to make it non geeky. Anybody can do it. And one of the things I did was the two people who run the Academy, one doesn’t know anything about digital marketing when she started and now knows quite a lot, and the other is a teacher and not an SEO expert.
[00:17:56] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Faith is a teacher. And so, she approaches this from a pedagogical point of view. So, the whole Academy team is based on pedagogy and not geekiness. So, Katrina and Faith, you can rely on them to always make this understandable to everybody. And when I get too geeky, they tell me I’m too geeky and help me to make it simpler for everybody else. And that’s a really great team.
The Kalicube Academy Offers Video Courses if You Have Some SEO Knowledge and a Regular Coaching Course for Very Specific Problems
[00:18:27] Khudania Ajay: Okay. So, I will ask you, at the sake of repeating, tell us once more about the Academy part so that people can get it registered in their minds if they can. What exactly the Academy does, what people can expect to learn there, and after that, can they be sure that after that Google will start recognising them better? And is it forever or they need to keep on updating their knowledge?
[00:19:00] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. That’s a really nice question. From the perspective of yes, if you take the courses, you will understand how Google thinks and you will be able to educate it. It’s an education that you need to maintain. So after a year, you would keep going, you would keep going. But the academy is something that we update regularly to make sure we keep up with the changes in the way Google thinks.
[00:19:23] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And so if you are a little bit geeky and you know some SEO, then you can just take the courses on your own in the corner video course. There’s absolutely no problem. If you are a little bit less knowledgeable or you need support, we have a second offer, which is obviously more expensive, whereby we give you regular coaching course and we hold your hand and work with you on the specific problems you are encountering in your specific case, because obviously these courses on the academy are quite general.
[00:19:55] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So if you’ve got a very specific problem, if you don’t really know SEO, you might get stuck with the application of the SEO to your marketing. So a lot of it, if you are knowledgeable about SEO, you won’t have any problems. But if you’re less knowledgeable about SEO, we can definitely help you with the handheld version where we walk you through the specific problems that you might have. But once again, I really want to reiterate. If you’ve got a great marketing strategy, if you’ve got a great branding strategy, you don’t need very much SEO at all. And the SEO you do actually need is very simple.
Anyone Can Access Free Resources and Information Through Kalicube to Help People Understand Brand SERPs
[00:20:30] Khudania Ajay: Okay, Jason. And how do people connect with you? How can they know more about, not just about your Academy, but also about you, if they have any questions to ask or if they can lay their hands on any free resources?
[00:20:48] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Loads of free resources. That’s a really, really lovely question. I’m glad we came to that, having talked about the paid for Academy for so long. If you visit kalicube.com, you will find the 9 offers we have, and 6 of the 9 offers are free. So, you can research this as much as you want. We share all of the information. I really want to get people to understand. I want to help people.
[00:21:10] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And if you think about it, if there are 2 billion companies who potentially need our services or 2 billion people who need our services, we can’t possibly serve them all. So, I would rather give this information to the 2 billion people, so they can do it themselves. So, visit the kalicube.com site, go into the FAQ section, look at the case studies, look at the daily Brand SERP. We’ve got explanations of pretty much everything we offer. And the paid for offers are basically, we package it all together for you and make it incredibly easy.
[00:21:41] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But none of this is secret. None of it is something we’re keeping to ourselves in a, what’s the word, a jealous, envious manner. We are sharing. And I want to share because I want people to understand Brand SERPs, I want them to understand Google as a child, and I want them to be able to help themselves be better represented by Google when their audience googles their brand name or their personal name.
Jason Barnard’s Podcast Aims to Create Resources From Other People Which Are Relevant to Brand SERPs and Knowledge Panels
[00:22:10] Khudania Ajay: Right, Jason. And you also have a podcast, where you share a lot of knowledge.
[00:22:18] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. I don’t share that much knowledge on my own podcast. I invite people who know something I don’t and I’m curious to understand. And so, I invite them and like you, I ask them questions, they explain it all to me, and hopefully the audience gets something out of it. We’ve got quite a good audience, so I think they probably do.
[00:22:36] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But certainly the motivation for the podcast myself is if I don’t know it, then I haven’t created a resource about it. So, I need to understand it, so I can then create a resource if it’s relevant to Brand SERPs and Knowledge Panels. So, yeah, come along and listen to the With Jason Barnard… podcast. I absolutely love it. Not because it’s my podcast, but because I learn so much from hosting it.
You Can Choose How You Want to Interact With Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) by Just Searching His Name on Google
[00:23:02] Khudania Ajay: Right, Jason. And what’s the best way to connect with you directly? LinkedIn, Twitter, what’s the best way?
[00:23:09] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): That’s the brilliant thing about Brand SERPs. If you google my name, Jason Barnard, you get to choose how you interact with me. You’ll have my site at the top, then the Twitter boxes, then my author boxes with articles on Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Land, my company, if you want to do business with me, LinkedIn, just underneath that, and then my podcast. So, you get to choose how you interact with me by googling my brand name and looking at my Google business card.
How Can Someone Remove Their Presence on the World Wide Web and Google?
[00:23:40] Khudania Ajay: Right, Jason. I think you’ve answered all the questions so well. I’ve also learned a lot of things. And I’ll certainly go to your website. Now, one last question I wanted to ask. We spend so much of our time in building our brand presence on Google, personal brand, business, small business. And one fine day, the father goes old, and he wants to rest in peace forever, father, mother, and especially in terms of personal brand. But Google knows everything about you. You search, and there you are all over the place.
[00:24:23] Khudania Ajay: If somebody works so hard and one fine day he wants to be forgotten, what are the chances? What can he do? I know there are some ways you can write to do. But just in terms the way that technology is moving, just from that perspective, my last question to you, how do you see that happening? How can one do that if they want to do it themselves or maybe within their lifetime itself, when they know that their days are over, they would like to rest?
[00:24:54] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. I think we need to distinguish between the world wide web and Google. The world wide web, if you’ve put things on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram, on LinkedIn, on Mention, somebody has talked about you in the New York Times, you need to go around each of those sources and ask them to take the information down, because all Google is doing is finding this information and reflecting it.
[00:25:15] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, in order to be forgotten on the worldwide web, you would need to find every single source about you and ask it to be removed. We have a platform called Kalicube Pro, which will actually do that and find all of the sources, but I’d never thought about it as a way to try to remove myself from the internet.
To Be Removed From Google Requires That You Remove Yourself From the Rest of the Web
[00:25:33] Khudania Ajay: The youngsters, around 40%, if I’m correct, I don’t vouch for the actual numbers. But around 40% of the youngsters, they were doing their searches on TikTok, on Instagram. And that’s why off late or maybe since the last few months, Google has started indexing videos, especially from TikTok and as well as Instagram.
[00:25:57] Khudania Ajay: So, I check that when I read that a month back. And I could see TikTok videos on Google, if you are doing that particular search. Obviously, I cannot see those videos in India because TikTok is banned. I have seen some part of Instagram appearing. But if Google knows you, then Google has to forget you. That is the way I look at it, and that was the reason for that particular question.
Having an Entity Home in Is Your Only Hope of Controlling What Google Understands About You
[00:26:26] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Yeah. To be removed from Google requires that you remove yourself from the rest of the web. As you say, Google’s reflecting TikTok, so it’s actually TikTok you need to be removed from. But in terms of Google’s understanding of you, as I said, the Entity Home, which is where the entity lives, the person, the company, online in Google’s mind is your only hope of controlling what Google understands about you. So, start today, build your Entity Home, make sure that you have one place that you own online that represents you as a person or a company or a podcast, because that’s your only hope of control.
[00:27:08] Khudania Ajay: Right. Thank you so much for your time. And as we continue to educate Google about our presence, we also need to upgrade ourselves to also make sure that we can also be forgotten someday whenever we want to. Until then, the discussion about technology and its impact or influence on us will continue to happen in forums like these and many others. Thank you so much for your time indeed, sir. And we look forward to having you again.
[00:27:38] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Thank you, Ajay. Bye bye, everybody. Thank you.
[00:27:40] Khudania Ajay: Bye.