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Welcome to Podcast Gurus!

Our guest today is Jason Barnard the CEO of Kalicube, and Podcast Host of Branded Search (and Beyond) Podcast. Jason is also a writer and a digital marketer known as the “The Brand SERP Guy.”

Expect to learn:
1. The importance of knowledge panels on Google, representing factual information about individuals or companies.
2. The importance of creating a personal website as an “entity home” for verification and consolidation of information.
3. The role of SEO in packaging and presenting branding efforts for visibility in search results.

….and many more!

You can find Jason Barnard’s LinkedIn here:
  / jasonmbarnard  

Check out his podcast here:
Branded Search (and Beyond) Podcast

Jason Barnard [00:00:00]: Confidence. If Google has confidence, it will show the information you want. If Google understands the information that you want but it isn’t confident, it probably won’t show it. Don’t ever underestimate Google’s confidence. SERP is search engine results page. SEO doesn’t focus on confidence. From a professional perspective, for your personal brand, you want to be sure, number one, that you come out top.

Jason Barnard [00:00:20]: And number two, the first result is professional. The first result should be your own website. Your website is the start, the very beginning of your self-determination in search and assistive engines. Your personal brand is what Google says it is. Podcast has brought me immense value from a learning perspective and from a brand positioning perspective. Packaging for search engines is simply clarity in your text, consistency in your videos and your podcasts and your tech, and linking back and forth to make sure that Google understands that your website is the hub of everything that you do online. And if it’s the hub of everything you do online, guess what happens? Your audience naturally end up on your websites as well. Whoever wins, whether it’s Google, ChatGPT, Bing, doesn’t matter.

Jason Barnard [00:01:02]: It will still work. And on top of that.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:01:09]: So, Jason, can you tell me about what Brand SERP means? Actually, if we go back to the basic definitions, what is SERP for the people who might not be that aware of those SEO technicalities?

Jason Barnard [00:01:22]: Yeah, I can explain that. SERP, is search engine results page. And strangely enough, I was in the industry, the SEO industry, search engine optimization industry, for a long time before I knew what that meant. And today, I forget that it isn’t really obvious what acronyms mean and that we need to start this kind of show with an explanation that SERP, SERP, which I will say a lot, is search engine results page. Most of the time I talk about Google, but you also get a SERP, a search engine results page on Bing, which belongs to Microsoft. And now we’re moving towards assistive engines, which are things like ChatGPT, Perplexity, where you’re having a conversation with a machine, where we no longer talk about search engine results page, we talk about a conversation. So they’re conversational engines. And whether it’s a search engine like Google or an assistive engine like ChatGPT, at the end of the day, you can look at them all as recommendation engines.

Jason Barnard [00:02:27]: We’re asking them for recommendations to solutions to our problem. Oh, and then I’ve got Brand SERP. Because the Brand SERP is the search engine results page for a brand name, which can be a person, it can be a corporation. It can be a music group, it can be a film, it can be a podcast. A brand is a brand name. And somewhere along the lines, if we have a personal brand, our name is our brand name.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:02:55]: So let’s go for the one-on-one approach on this because when I’m thinking about Google search results, I’m thinking, I’m thinking of me actually, egoistically. Googling something like, hey, recipe for pizza dough, why does the brand here comes into play?

Jason Barnard [00:03:17]: This is a huge question that people actually ask me. Everybody assumes that I do SEO, search engine optimization. And search engine optimization is trying to get to the top of the results for a term like recipe for cookie dough. I don’t do that.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:03:36]: Okay.

Jason Barnard [00:03:38]: I optimize for when people search your name or your company name, and that means it’s the bottom of funnel audience. So we focus on the people who already know who you are, and they’re researching you or trying to get to your website to buy from you, or perhaps researching you as a journalist or researching you as a potential hire. So anybody who will do business with you will Google your name at some point, and it’s phenomenally important and it’s hugely overlooked. These people are bottom of funnel, ready to do business with you. You need to make sure that that search engine results page for your name or your corporation name is absolutely perfect because you want to impress them. It’s your Google business card.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:04:25]: I love that. So actually, let’s take a practical example to get to understand that concept a little bit more, which seems to be fascinating. If I Google Guillaume Jouvencel, the first thing that pops up is my LinkedIn profile. Is that a good thing or what should I be expecting people to find? Knowing that what I do is podcast services? How should I come across on Google if my Brand SERP was optimized?

Jason Barnard [00:04:51]: Right. Well, it’s better than nothing. And that was very rude of me, and I do apologize. It’s you and it’s LinkedIn and that’s professional, so it’s helpful. So worst case scenario is it’s somebody different or it’s a social profile you don’t like and it doesn’t represent you professionally, and it talks about your skiing holiday on TikTok, let’s say. So from a professional perspective, for your personal brand, you want to be sure, number one, that you come out top, and number two, that the first result is professional. LinkedIn is professional. I would say the first result should be your own website and not your corporation website, your personal website. And a lot of people say to me, I don’t want a personal website.

Jason Barnard [00:05:38]: I’m not interested. I’m not important enough. We’re all important enough to have a personal website, even if it’s just to have one page or two pages that say who we are, what we do, who we serve, and why they should work with us. So your website is the start, the very beginning of your self-determination in search and assistive engines. Your ability to educate Google, ChatGPT, Bing, Perplexity, Google Gemini and all these machines that are to come, who you are, what you do, which audience you serve, and why you’re credible. If you don’t tell them who you are, you’re letting them guess. And letting them guess is a huge mistake. So self-determination today and tomorrow starts with your own website. And that should rank number one for your name.

Jason Barnard [00:06:22]: And that allows you to give your personal brand narrative to the subset of their users who are your audience searching your name, ready to do business with you or ready to engage with you.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:06:37]: What are the type of results that you see coming from an optimized Brand SERP? The reason I’m asking this, Jason, to dig a little bit deeper into this is when I’m looking for a service, right? I’m going to look for podcast services. Eventually I’ll find GHA Marketing, then I’ll enter into the funnel, get into a discussion with the founder, me, and then I will eventually be looking up Guillaume Jouvencel on Google search. That’s such a, that’s the very end of the funnel. That’s such a limited scope.

Jason Barnard [00:07:09]: Yeah.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:07:11]: Is it?

Jason Barnard [00:07:12]: Right. Yes. A lot of people get confused or forget that small volume is not necessarily bad. If I’ve got 100,000 people seeing my search result, but they’ve got no idea who I am, how likely are they to buy from me? And that’s typically what SEO does, what search engine optimization does. It says if you rank number one, you’re at the top. Somebody searching for podcast agency or podcast production services will click on the first link and buy. And that’s very, very unlikely.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:07:47]: Right.

Jason Barnard [00:07:48]: So SEO is founded on not a mistaken idea, but a distorted idea. That might be true if I’m buying something that costs a euro, €2, €3, maybe €5. If I’m buying a reasonably-priced product or service, I will not buy from the first person that Google shows me on a search result for a generic term like podcast marketing services. What I will do is research and this is the key for me. The word research and search are very similar, but they’re not the same. The person will research you and they will research you not only on Google, but also YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Forbes magazine, podcastingservicesmedia.com. Whatever your industry media site is, people will not engage with you and buy a high-ticket service without researching you.

Jason Barnard [00:08:48]: Searching is part of it, but it’s not the whole story. But most journeys will include a search on your personal name or a brand name, your corporation name. And as a business leader, you will know people do business with people. And if they’re going to buy a service from your company where you’re taking their reputation in your hand by producing a podcast for them, they want to know who you personally argue on and they’re likely to search your name. And what they see when they search your name will establish in their mind Google’s opinion of you. And they’re using Google because they trust Google. So Google’s opinion will become at least partially their opinion. Your brand, your personal brand is what Google says it is.

Jason Barnard [00:09:33]: That’s huge.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:09:35]: That’s so good. How important is SEO for your personal websites? And the reason I’m asking this, Jason, is I was running a little search whilst you were explaining us this concept and I entered your website on Ahrefs, which is a tool that allows to see domain authority and this kind of stuff. Your jasonbarnard.com website is pretty well optimized, SEO wise. So how important is that?

Jason Barnard [00:10:04]: Not very, is the answer. And that’s good news for everybody because SEO is geeky. So it’s great news that I can tell you. Most of what we do at Kalicube is marketing and branding and we just package it for the machines. SEO is simply packaging your branding and your marketing for the machines, Google, Bing, Perplexity, ChatGPT. So you look at my website and you say it’s well optimized for SEO. That’s logical because that’s where I come from.

Jason Barnard [00:10:33]: But it’s actually not fully optimized from an SEO perspective because although I’m using some SEO techniques, I’m using different SEO techniques to most SEOs and I’m focusing on the marketing, the branding, and importantly, most importantly, communication, clear communication about who I am, what I do, who I serve, why I’m credible. And also making sure that I’m communicating to Google and indeed my audience what the focus should be. So you’ll notice the website is designed by silos. You have a silo for Digital Marketing. You have a silo for my previous career, one of my previous careers as a cartoon maker. You have a silo for the music group, The Barking Dogs from the 1990s, which is my previous, previous career. And that’s very, very important because that allows Google say, well, these are three different careers. And then I communicate in each of those silos the dates and the importance of each of the silos to ensure that Google is focusing and prioritizing and amplifying the digital marketer message. And recently I changed Google’s opinion of me.

Jason Barnard [00:11:50]: And this is lovely. It’s personal brand repositioning. Google recognized me as a digital marketer. I then used Kalicube Pro, which is our proprietary SaaS platform, and my team to educate Google that I’m now an entrepreneur. I want to be considered to be an entrepreneur. Now, I’ve always been an entrepreneur, but I didn’t get Google to focus on it. It was focusing on digital marketer, because that’s what I was trying to sell. Now I’m trying to sell myself as a CEO of a company, who’s had multiple companies, who I realized the other day, my first company, WTPL Music, founded in 1991, is still going strong. My second company, UpToTen, founded in 2000, is still going strong 24 years later.

Jason Barnard [00:12:38]: Kalicube, founded in 2015, is still going strong nine years later. So im actually an entrepreneur more than I am anything else and that repositioning. You can see in Google when you search my name, it says Jason Barnard, entrepreneur. And it presents me as the CEO of Kalicube, with LinkedIn, with Twitter, with a Knowledge Panel, which we’ll talk about a little bit in a little while, focusing very much on my entrepreneurial career rather than the Digital Marketing as before. And I’m saying all of that because that’s Google’s representation, it’s Google’s opinion of me. And Google has defined what my personal brand is. But behind the scenes, I defined what it was using my personal website. And to do that, I actually had to redefine my positioning throughout my entire digital ecosystem. So I actually also redefined it for my audience.

Jason Barnard [00:13:36]: So my human audience, whenever they research me, not search me, research me, keep seeing me on all these different platforms as an entrepreneur. And what, for example, I signed up for Forbes, forbes.com, and I write for them. That’s clearly an entrepreneurial website. I don’t write so much for Search Engine Land because that’s Digital Marketing. So what I’ve done is repositioned myself in truths and in reality and then communicated that to Google. So I’m walking the walk and that’s the huge thing that people miss. I’m not tricking the algorithms, I’m educating them. And to educate them, I also have to walk the walk and change actually what I’m doing or where I’m focusing.

Jason Barnard [00:14:16]: And that’s huge.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:14:19]: It is.

Jason Barnard [00:14:19]: I think that’s the second time I’ve said that’s huge. All of this is huge.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:14:22]: Yeah. But I love it. I love it. And I have so many questions to unpack all this. So maybe following up on your, on your last point, I’m looking at your website right now and on the podcast section, your guest appearances, and they basically are ten pages of nine article, twelve article each. So that’s probably about in the hundreds of interviews given, right? Those people, those podcasters, as we will.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:14:49]: We post something on their website, maybe from episodes you’ve recorded years ago. How do you make sure that that specific branding that you want now to Google to interpret sticks with that? Do you reach out individually to this podcast and say, hey, my personal brand online has changed, please adapt the text according to this, or how do you manage all that?

Jason Barnard [00:15:11]: That’s a great question because as you immediately realized, it’s a huge task when you’ve got to sizeable digital footprint that I do.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:15:19]: Right.

Jason Barnard [00:15:20]: So what our proprietary platform does, Kalicube Pro, is it scans the entirety of the Internet through the lens of Google. It’s a long story of how we do it, but it’s a smart piece of technology that can figure out exactly what’s important both to Google and to your audience. And then it can pull out all of these references to you. And for me, it’s literally thousands and prioritize them. So I know which ones I need to change first and which ones I can probably ignore. And me and my team just go through the list from the top to the bottom and we change everything we can. And we reach out to people, as you said, to ask them to change on their website. And we know which ones matter and which don’t.

Jason Barnard [00:16:02]: So we know which ones we need to insist upon and which ones we don’t. And there’s an interesting point. I was interviewed by a guy called Milosz Krasinski, who’s a polish SEO. And a year ago, that was a very important source of information for Google about me. Since I repositioned myself to entrepreneur, that piece of information is no longer very important to Google and no longer so important to my audience, because my audience is now people who are looking for entrepreneur CEOs. And our machine reflects that. So Milosz used to be listed number six, I think in our list of important sources that we needed to correct if we were changing something about my information. He’s now number 60 or 70, so I don’t need to worry about that particular reference to me.

Jason Barnard [00:16:47]: He’s a friend, so I can ask him to change it, and I do. But if he doesn’t, it doesn’t matter because we know we’ve got so much and that’s the point, weight of evidence. We’ve got 69 other sources that confirm what I do, and that weight of evidence in the favor of the entrepreneur is going to win. So the answer to that question is there is a lot, but it doesn’t matter for me because I can manage it. If you don’t have a prioritized list, you don’t know which one you have to change them all and you’ve created yourself a huge amount of work.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:17:22]: So how do you define? Go ahead, go ahead.

Jason Barnard [00:17:25]: The huge advantage of software, I mean, we all know we use ChatGPT. We use technology to simplify our lives and to make our work simpler, faster, easier and less boring, to be honest. And that’s what Kalicube Pro does, that’s what our platform does, and that’s the service we offer, is to say we know which buttons to press. We know which things need to be changed, and we can change Google’s point of view of you in an afternoon. Literally, it’s in an afternoon. And the best example we’ve had of that is Meta did it when they switched from Facebook to Meta. They did it incredibly well. And that was a huge job. That’s incredibly impressive because in an afternoon, everything changed.

Jason Barnard [00:18:04]: All right things changed. They did an amazing job. And then we tried to emulate that. In fact, we didn’t try. We succeeded in emulating that with my podcast. And as you know, podcasts are mentioned in all sorts of places. And we changed the name of my podcast from With Jason Barnard to Branded Search and Beyond with Jason Barnard. And in one afternoon, we changed at least 300 references to the podcast.

Jason Barnard [00:18:28]: And the next day, the search result for With Jason Barnard showed Branded Search and Beyond with Jason Barnard. And the Branded Search and Beyond SERP, search engine results page, showed the podcast with this new name. So two things we learned from that. Number one is it’s very easy. When you’ve got the machine, takes an afternoon, simple. Number two is if you can do it in the afternoon, Google will switch if you spread it out over three months. We had a client called Olga Zarr. She spread it out over three months. It took her a year to change her name. So do it effectively, prioritize it correctly and do it very fast.

Jason Barnard [00:19:09]: Because her problem was that Google saw one name on one website, another name on another website, then the first name on another website, and that consistency was lacking. So Google got confused and indeed it dropped her search result for a while because it was so unsure. And that brings me to one last point, and then I’ll let you back in. Confidence. If Google has confidence, it will show the information you want. If Google understands the information that you want, but it isn’t confident, it probably won’t show it. And so don’t ever underestimate Google’s, the importance of Google’s confidence. And that’s one place where SEO and what we’re doing differ, is SEO doesn’t focus on confidence, we focus on confidence.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:19:55]: Jason, I love that you’re answering my questions before I ask them. Let’s dig a little bit deeper into this. No, I love it.

Jason Barnard [00:20:01]: I could just be myself then.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:20:06]: Because my point was going to be for the SEO aficionados listening to us right now. When you try and optimize your SEO on and off site, what you want to do is to do what could happen naturally. Because if Google sees that you’re trying to cheat the system or do something that wouldn’t typically happen naturally. I’m talking about encore text. I’m talking about number of backlinks. I’m talking about where the backlinks are, all those kind of things. Google will penalize you for that. And things don’t happen overnight as well. But what you seem to be explaining here is Brand SERP is actually the other way around.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:20:44]: Fast as you act upon all the mentions to your name throughout the whole Internet, the better it is for Google. Am I understanding that correctly?

Jason Barnard [00:20:53]: Yeah. And you’re bringing us into another huge point, is that this isn’t SEO, but it uses SEO techniques and tactics. So one great example is typically with SEO people will talk about link juice and it’s terribly precious. I need to keep my link juice. The power of my links, all the links coming in, I want to keep them. So I won’t link out. With Brand SERPs, it’s the opposite. Well, not quite the opposite.

Jason Barnard [00:21:19]: You do want links in, that’s great. It helps. But what you really want is mentions and then you link out to them to point out to Google, this is indeed the same person because it’s probably guessed that it’s that person. But if you have your website and we come back to that focal point of your website and I link to something which is why I’ve got the 100 podcasts or 200 podcasts. I link to all of them saying this is actually, yes, this is me. So Google understands that it’s me, understands that I’m saying that it’s me, so it can easily identify exactly who I am. So it now has 100 pieces of corroborative information about Jason Barnard as an entrepreneur. So it’s up to me to create focus by giving those backlinks out.

Jason Barnard [00:22:00]: Whereas the traditional SEO, and I like to now say traditional SEO and modern SEO. This is modern SEO because it applies to everything. Understanding is the foundation. You have to give those outbound links because you have to confirm which sources are talking about you. So the precious link juice needs to be shared, which is lovely for me because right at the beginning in 1998, when I started, giving out, giving links to people was normal. It was part of the behavior of the Internet because the Internet was this research, once again idea of hopping from place to place. But since Google started dominating, people focus not on research but on search, and they hoard and keep all of these links. They try to keep people on their website. And we’re going back to research, which is lovely.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:22:51]: What’s with the red top, Jason?

Jason Barnard: Branding.

Guillaume Jouvencel: Really? So it goes to that level of details?

Jason Barnard [00:23:00]: Yeah. Well, when you’re looking at your personal brand, you need absolute consistency and you need absolute clarity. And you need every source to have that clarity and have that consistency. So from my perspective, I need to use the same, what we call semantic triple, which is actually subject – verb – object. Jason Barnard is an entrepreneur. I use that on every single page. At some point, when somebody talks about me. Back to your point. If I wanted to change that, I would have to ask all of the podcasters to change or if I was doing it manually, all of the podcasters to change.

Jason Barnard [00:23:35]: Jason Barnard is a musician, for example, or Jason Barnard is a voice actor. I would have to ask them all. With Kalicube Pro, we need to just ask the ones we know are important. I would tend to want to ask them all because I’m a perfectionist. Also the photo. If I decide to brand myself with the red shirt, I would also need to ask them to show me the photo. But that’s for humans more than it is for the machines.

Jason Barnard [00:24:01]: Because when people see this red shirt, visually, they immediately recognize it as me. They don’t need to see my face, they don’t need to understand or read my name. And although my name is everywhere, the red shirt adds that visual element that attracts attention, that people don’t need to read my content to understand it’s me. And I’ll give you a quick example, is when I get clients on a call, they often come to me and say, I know what you do. I know what I want. How much does it cost? And I say, well, why is this so simple? And they say, because every time I research the topic of Brand SERPs, Knowledge Panels, personal branding, I see you, I see that red shirt. And what they’ve done is researched and seen the red shirt all over the place. They haven’t necessarily digested the content or even read the title.

Jason Barnard [00:24:55]: They’ve just seen the red shirt. And then when they search on Google, because we focus so much on videos and images in the search results on Google, it’s not just those bluelinks. Google includes video, it includes images across their entire search results. People say, I just saw that red shirt so often. So the red shirt is the visual clue that gets people to notice and recognize me at a glance. There you go.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:25:24]: Indeed. When we Google Jason Barnard, well, the first website is your website, but first we have pictures. Super interesting.

Jason Barnard [00:25:33]: And the nice thing is I don’t even like red. I never wore red. I never wear red. So literally as I was coming onto this show, I took off a green shirt and put on the red shirt. And I’ve done that for nine years. I never appear in public professionally without the red shirt.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:25:53]: So why red then?

Jason Barnard [00:25:56]: Because of music.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:25:58]: Okay.

Jason Barnard [00:25:59]: I’m playing a gig with a friend in 2015 because I used to be a professional musician. I played punk folk double bass for ten years, made a career in France playing punk folk double bass. We played with the Mano Negra, who you probably know, on the same festival as Bob Dylan, The Pogues, some pretty big bands. We did relatively well. We sold, I think 40,000 music albums and played 660 gigs. And through the entire career I wore blue. Then I played a gig with the guy, the lead singer 9, 10 years ago. And long story about why I was wearing a red top, but I was wearing Manu Chao’s Adidas red top. And halfway through the gig, I threw it to a friend of mine as a joke.

Jason Barnard [00:26:49]: It was a personal joke between us. It was a lot of fun. And somebody videoed the whole show. Then I watched the show. And I realized that in the first half when I was wearing Manu Chao’s red shirt, I looked really interesting and cool. And in the second half, while I was wearing a blue t-shirt, you didn’t even notice me. And that day, I thought for standing on stage, I will always wear red. And luckily for me, two months later was my first ever conference. I wore red and I haven’t stopped.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:27:23]: Man, such a storyteller.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:27:26]: So cool.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:27:28]: Talk to me a bit about Knowledge Panel then, Jason. What is it?

Jason Barnard [00:27:32]: I love Knowledge Panels. Knowledge Panels are such an interesting part of the search landscape and I’m the only person who’s truly focused and specialized in this. And John Mueller, who’s a spokesperson for Google, has said outside of Google, nobody in the world understands more about Knowledge Panels than Jason Barnard. He’s also said for Google engineers, these are just algorithmic. Jason Barnard is the only person who actually understands how to change them, update them, because they’re algorithms. They’re knowledge algorithms. They’re outside of the Google engineers human control to any incredible detail. They can control them globally, but they don’t control individual aspects.

Jason Barnard [00:28:18]: What we’ve done at Kalicube is bring in control of the facts that Google’s understood. So a Knowledge Panel, I’ll tell you exactly what it is. When you search on Google on desktop and you see an information box on the right-hand side, that is a Knowledge Panel. It contains the facts that Google has understood about the entity, the person or the company. Right. A Knowledge Panel on Google is the information box on the right-hand side when you search on Google. So for example, if you search my name, Jason Barnard, J-A-S-O-N B-A-R-N-A-R-D on desktop, you will see an information box on the right-hand side that contains Google’s summary of the facts about me. Now remember that these are facts according to Google. On the left-hand side, you see Google’s recommendations.

Jason Barnard [00:29:12]: So at Kalicube, we look at it on the right-hand side, facts, the Knowledge Panel. On the left-hand side, recommendations. And those facts come from Google’s Knowledge Graph. Google’s Knowledge Graph is like a machine-readable encyclopedia, but absolutely massive. So if you think of Wikipedia, Wikipedia has 6 million articles in English. Google’s Knowledge Graph contains 54 billion articles. It understands 54 billion people, companies, music albums, events, music groups. And when it understands one of them, it will show that Knowledge Panel, that factual information on the right-hand side, and that is key. We were talking earlier on about understanding and knowledge being the key to Google and to SEO for the future.

Jason Barnard [00:30:03]: That Knowledge Panel represents Google’s understanding, its confident understanding about you when you search your own name. And we say knowledge is power, it’s never been more true. And the reason Google shows a Knowledge Panel is not to just show off it knows the facts, the user-friendliness of that Knowledge Panel is that the person doesn’t need to click through to multiple websites to research you. They can just show you a summary on the right-hand side. And so as an individual or a corporation, you want to be absolutely sure that the facts are correct and that that Knowledge Panel looks as impressive as possible. Because when somebody sees a Knowledge Panel, when they search your name or your corporation name, they think, wow, that person or that company is impressive. Search my name, Jason Barnard, and you’ll think, wow, he looks like a superstar.

Jason Barnard [00:30:58]: Obviously I’m not. But what we can do at Kalicube is amplify how Google represents us in terms of influence, authority, trustworthiness, credibility. That’s for a corporation or a person. Knowledge Panels are the most delightful thing in the entire universe.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:31:18]: So how do I. Because I indeed, again, I’m Googling live what you’re telling me, Jason. I’m Googling Jason Barnard. And indeed we have this thing. I didn’t know it was called the Knowledge Panel, but when I Googled Guillaume Jouvencel, again, I don’t have one. How do I get my very own Knowledge Panel?

Jason Barnard [00:31:40]: Clear, consistent corroboration. It really is as simple as that. But for Google, what’s happening is it looks around the Internet and it finds multiple people with the same name and it isn’t sure who is who. Both because the name is shared between multiple people and because individual people are not consistent. If you are consistent about the information you’re presenting about yourself on all the different platforms you appear on, Google will understand that it’s the same person each time. But at that point, it’s understood and it becomes confident because of the repetition. Google learns by repetition. It’s a child that’s trying to learn.

Jason Barnard [00:32:21]: It’s trying to learn everything about the world. Fill up the Knowledge Graph, the machine-readable encyclopedia with every fact about every person and every corporation. And as it understands, it adds it to its memory. It has perfect recall. So remember that this is vital because it has perfect recall, you get it wrong, it remembers. And as it gathers more and more corroborative facts that are clear and consistent and confirm what it owe you, it will build confidence. Then you can help it in multiple ways. Number one, by being clear and consistent across all of your digital footprint, all of your digital ecosystem and all your social media channels, all your podcast appearances.

Jason Barnard [00:33:03]: But number two, create what we call an entity home. We’re back to the website here. Create your own personal website that Google can refer to to check the facts. Google calls it the point of reconciliation. And John Mueller from Google, who I mentioned, who said Jason Barnard knows more about this than anybody outside Google, calls that the point of reconciliation. We call it the entity home. And he said, we are actively looking for the point of reconciliation because we’re reconciling this fragmented information about any individual or company around the world to create understanding for Google, the child, as we call it at Kalicube. Then with the entity home, your own website, you link to all of the different corroborative sources so that Google understands that it’s indeed you, and that will help it immensely in understanding step one and building confidence, step two.

Jason Barnard [00:33:59]: Oh, and anybody can get a Knowledge Panel. So literally anybody. I’ll give you an example. Allyssa Reyes, who’s the head of Kalicube Pro, who does the client work. She’s super smart, does amazing work, and she has, you won’t find it on Google when you search. She has what we call a Knowledge Panel sprout. And that means that Google has understood, but it’s not confident enough to understand to show it when you search a name. And she only has three social media profiles. So that’s another important point.

Jason Barnard [00:34:36]: I have an immense amount of information about me online and it’s a lot for me to manage. I have to manage it ongoing all the time. I have to track it, I have to update it. This is an ongoing process because there’s so much information about me online. Allyssa is playing the trick of having only three profiles and yet getting Google to understand and be sufficiently confident to create an entry in its machine-readable encyclopedia. Now she needs to build up a little bit of credibility, a couple more profiles and a little bit more confidence, and it will start to show the Knowledge Panel when you search a name.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:35:12]: Why not just work at Google, Jason? Because I guess you could have a pretty interesting position there.

Jason Barnard [00:35:21]: They never asked me.

Guillaume Jouvencel: If they do, would you go?

Jason Barnard: No, probably not. No. In fact, definitely not.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:35:32]: Okay.

Jason Barnard [00:35:32]: If Google asked me to work for them, I would refuse for multiple reasons. Number one is I really enjoy what I’m doing. I was invited to a Knowledge Graph conference, and the Knowledge Graph conference is where people who build Knowledge Graphs, which is the machine-readable encyclopedia, talk about how they build Knowledge Graphs, how they’re building the machine-readable encyclopedia. And I was invited to speak at the conference a couple of years ago, and my question is, why do you want me to speak? Because I don’t actually understand enough about Knowledge Graphs. And they said, because you’re the only person we know in the world who can change a Knowledge Graph from the outside without having access to it. And that’s a magic trick we want to learn how to do. And so from my perspective, from the outside of Google, I can play a magic trick that I truly enjoy and is truly valuable and helpful to people who want to build their personal brand or corporations who want to build their brand. But the other thing is, it’s not limited to Google, because I’m also educating and changing the Knowledge Graphs of Bing, of ChatGPT, of Perplexity, in all of these machines.

Jason Barnard [00:36:44]: Apple, even. So, just working for Google, I’ll be restricted to Google. But right now, I can play, and I call it playing, but it’s actually very serious work with all of these algorithms because the system we use, the system I just described, which is very simple, and you can DIY it, the system we have works for all of these machines because they all function in exactly the same manner. And talking of DIY, like talked multiple times about our services, we’re not looking for lots of clients. We’re looking for clients who want us to take the work off their shoulders. If you want to do the work yourself, just go to kalicube.com. K-A-L-I-C-U-B-E.com. We have so many resources.

Jason Barnard [00:37:27]: We’ve got millions of words, written, recorded video that explain everything you need to do to manage your personal brand or your corporate brand online. Not just search engines, but for people researching you and for that search result on your Brand SERP, for the search engine results page for your brand name. So I want people to be able to do it themselves. So we share everything. We’ve got PDF downloads that explain the processes, exactly what you need to do. I believe this is super important for humanity, which sounds like a huge claim, but I want to share this ability to control, this ability to build self-determination in a world of AI, that’s pretty scary. I’d like to touch on the fact that although all of this works for engines like Google, Bing, so on and so forth, it’s actually audience focused. So we come back to that point about walking the walk.

Jason Barnard [00:38:24]: So we’ve got that at the beginning and at the end, because I think that’s the important thing that we’ve been under communicating, is that although we’re using the machines as a measuring stick and as an insight into what needs to be done, because we can include this. So what the Kalicube Pro platform does is it asks Google what it doesn’t know and what it isn’t confident about and what it’s confused about. And then we use that. Our algorithms figure out exactly what needs to be done to fill in the gaps for what it doesn’t know, support it and build confidence in the things it isn’t confident about. And that allows you to build up Google’s understanding and its confidence in the understanding. But to do that by filling the gaps, we’re actually placing ourselves where the audience is standing, building up the credibility in the eyes of the audience and presenting the right content to the right people at the right time on the right platforms. Because all Google is doing and these other machines are doing is reflecting what they see us doing between human beings. Because at the end of the day, these machines are simply an interface between two human beings, you and your audience.

Jason Barnard [00:39:36]: And they’re just trying to match you to your audience in the way that you should be matching yourself to your audience anyway across your entire digital ecosystem. So at the end of the day, using the machines to understand what’s right and wrong about what you’re doing, fixing that so the machines represent you correctly also fixes the fundamental problem of you not actually doing what you’re supposed to be doing from a branding and marketing perspective across your entire system. So what we’re doing is fixing your branding and marketing across your digital ecosystem so you’re standing in the right place for the right people, offering the right offers at the right time, and then packaging it so the machines can understand. And that’s where SEO comes in. It’s just the packaging of your branding and marketing that you should already be doing. That for me is the foundationally fundamental, important thing about what we’re doing at Kalicube. And it’s an original approach that nobody else that I know of has. And as I said, we’re sharing it.

Jason Barnard [00:40:34]: kalicube.com. K-A-L-I-C-U-B-E.com. Go along. Take all that material, take the PDFs, take the articles, learn to do it yourself. It’s free. And it doesn’t take the geeky SEO techniques that people think it does. It’s all about branding and marketing. And the packaging for the search engines is simply clarity in your texts. It’s consistency in your videos and your podcasts and your texts and linking back and forth to make sure that Google understands that your website is the hub of everything that you do online.

Jason Barnard [00:41:07]: And if it’s the hub of everything you do online, guess what happens? Your audience naturally end up on your website as well.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:41:14]: Jason, that was an absolute masterpiece about a topic that I didn’t know anything about, Knowledge Panel and Brand SERP. But one thing we didn’t touch upon is your podcast. So maybe can we wrap this up with you explaining to us, what’s your podcast story?

Jason Barnard [00:41:31]: Right. Well, I started my podcast as an excuse to travel the world. I asked my accountant, can I just go to all these different conferences and pay for it with the company? And they said, only if you get one client per conference. That’s the only way we can justify it from a fiscal perspective in France. So I said, well, if I create content, a podcast interview from each conference, does that work? Because I’ve got some value from the conference? They said yes. So I picked up my rucksack, left my flat, became full-time digital nomad, and I traveled from conference to conference interviewing people. So I didn’t know anybody really in the SEO industry. And I just grabbed people who were talking about something interesting and said, can I do an interview with you about that? I interviewed them in the corridor of the conference, released as a podcast episode.

Jason Barnard [00:42:19]: And then I realized two things were happening. Number one is I was learning a lot. I’ve done 350 podcast episodes with different people with different specialties, and I’ve asked the questions that I wanted to ask so I could learn, so I know more about Digital Marketing and SEO than I could possibly have imagined before. So the podcast has been a great learning experience. But secondly, I started to be recognized, number one for the red shirt, but also for the fact that I was interviewing these incredibly intelligent people who were sharing a lot of really, really good information, tips and tricks in SEO and then widely in Digital Marketing. And I became what we might call a thought leader. But I don’t like the term thought leader as much as I like trusted, authoritative, influential person. I’ve become an influential, trusted, authoritative, credible person within my industry, Digital Marketing.

Jason Barnard [00:43:13]: So the podcast has brought me immense value from a learning perspective and from a brand positional positioning perspective. And on top of that, it’s brought me some business. A lot of people who come to talk to me for sales calls when they come in and say, I know what I want, I know what you do, how much does it cost? How long does it take? Have seen me on the podcast, have seen that I know what I’m talking about, have seen that these incredibly authoritative people are talking to me and sharing with me. And that’s the last point, is a podcast is a great way to position yourself in the eyes of your audience, the people who come on the sales calls as an influential, authoritative, trusted, credible suits, member of that community, but also to educate Google that I’m an accepted, trusted, authoritative, influential person within that industry, because all of these people who are trusted and influential within the industry are willing to talk to me on my podcast. So it works both for Google and for your audience. And in fact, thirdly for me, because I’m learning. So podcasting has been an absolute boon for me. It’s been so, so much fun as well.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:44:24]: Absolutely amazing. Jason Barnard, ladies and gentlemen, if people want to learn more, well, I think that was literally the topic of this episode, that if they want to learn more, where should they go?

Jason Barnard [00:44:35]: They should search my name. Jason Barnard, J-A-S-O-N B-A-R-N-A-R-D. And the delightful thing about that is what you will see is what I call the Google business card. You will see all the facts about me in the Knowledge Panel, all accurate, all up to date, all exactly what I want it to be because I control what Google shows, because I can control the knowledge algorithm. And then on the left-hand side, as I said, the recommendations and the recommendations is where Google feels that you would want to engage with me. Once again, I control that. So you will see my website if you want to come and learn more about me personally.

Jason Barnard [00:45:09]: Twitter. I’m on Twitter quite a lot. LinkedIn, it’s where I do business on social media. My company website, Kalicube. If you want to do business with me straight away, if you’re ready now to sign a contract with us, come to Kalicube. YouTube, go and watch videos there. If you want to learn more, it’s free. Search Engine Land, Semrush.

Jason Barnard [00:45:28]: Read my articles, learn more. And then there’s all of the songs I wrote. In fact, in my career as a musician, if you want to listen to my songs, that’s an option. So my Brand SERP is my business card. And it’s up to you how you engage with me. It’s not up to me. That’s the beauty of it.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:45:47]: Absolutely amazing. The last question we ask all our guests, Jason, is the following. Three podcasts that you listen to yourself that you would recommend us, me and our audience.

Jason Barnard [00:46:00]: That’s a tough one, because, well, I listen to my own podcast when the episode is incredibly helpful to me or my team.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:46:09]: Okay.

Jason Barnard [00:46:10]: And it sounds really self centered, but I actually listen to it because we’re inviting guests who can teach me something. So I listen back a second time because I want to remember and truly understand what it is that they’ve told me.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:46:24]: Okay. Okay. So yours cannot be. It will be in the show notes anyways. But I need three that are not yours.

Jason Barnard [00:46:34]: Three that are not mine. I actually don’t listen to podcasts.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:46:42]: You’re the first one to tell me that, though. Interesting. Okay. What are your books? Three things that you consume, then.

Jason Barnard [00:46:48]: Oh, books. I can do books. Now, I’ve started reading books. I stopped reading books about 15 years ago when my eyesight started failing, and I couldn’t be bothered putting my glasses on to read a book, so I just stopped reading books. And about ten months ago, I transitioned from being a digital marketer to an entrepreneur CEO, and I found it such a struggle. It’s such a different job. Being a CEO is so different to any other job I’ve ever had. And I needed to upskill very, very, very fast, because if you’re a bad CEO, your company collapses.

Jason Barnard [00:47:23]: And we’ve got 20 people working at Kalicube. They depend on me. And as a CEO, I have to get it right. So I’ve been reading a lot of books about how to be a CEO, including off the top of my head, how to draw or draw to sell. I can’t remember what the name of the book is, but it’s how can you draw your ideas in order to communicate them to people?

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:47:43]: Interesting.

Jason Barnard [00:47:44]: That was really, really interesting because it gets me to understand how people’s brains function. I read another book. I can’t remember the name of the person who wrote it, but it’s how to never lose another client again. And it’s all about the post sale cycle. And if you think about the funnel is we get the person at the bottom of the funnel. They sign up, you’ve got your sale, and then you just go, okay, there you go. That’s my client. And we forget about them.

Jason Barnard [00:48:18]: And in fact, that’s where you should really start treating them with care. And there are eight stages. Each one needs to be taken care of. Onboarding, getting them engaged. If you don’t get them engaged, they don’t stay. Getting them to truly appreciate what you’re doing. I can’t remember what the eight are off the top of my head. But then also get them to advocate for you.

Jason Barnard [00:48:45]: People talk about advocacy, but they don’t talk about the steps leading to advocacy, that you can’t just go straight to a client and say, promote me. Give me a review and tell everybody how wonderful we are. You need to build up to it, because if they’re not engaged, and for me, that was the critical one. If I can’t engage them, they will never advocate.

Guillaume Jouvencel: That’s two.

Jason Barnard: Yeah, that’s two. I’ve been told that I only read business books, but there’s actually one book that I keep reading, and I’ve been reading it since I was a child. It’s Sherlock Holmes. I love Sherlock Holmes.

Jason Barnard [00:49:23]: Interesting. Sherlock Holmes. And I have an amazing capacity to forget books and films. So the Sherlock Holmes stories, if I only read them once every two or three years, when I read them about halfway through, I remember that I’ve read it before, and at the end, it’s always a surprise. I have the capacity to read and reread Sherlock Holmes throughout my entire life, and that is one of my great pleasures.

Guillaume Jouvencel [00:49:54]: Absolutely love it. Jason, thank you so much for coming on Podcast Gurus.

Jason Barnard [00:50:00]: It was an absolute pleasure. Thank you. Guillaume.

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