Thumbnail: Navigating the AI-Driven Future of Search Engines with Jason Barnard

Search engines are evolving rapidly, and AI is at the helm of this transformation. In this episode, Cash Miller sits down with the knowledgeable Jason Barnard to delve into the future of search, focusing on the role of Generative AI in platforms like Google and Bing. As search dynamics shift, understanding these advancements becomes crucial for businesses and marketers alike. Listen in for an enlightening conversation that aims to keep you ahead in the digital landscape.

Contact Information:
Host: Cash Miller
Email: [email protected]
LinkedIn: Cash Miller
Websites:, Small Business Delivered

Guest: Jason BarnardEmail: [email protected]

[00:00:00] Speaker: Gear up as Cash Miller and a team of accomplished guests steer you on an enlightening voyage filled with valuable tips, fresh insights, and effective strategies. Welcome to Marketing Masters, the agency power show. 

[00:00:22] Cash Miller: Hello, everyone. This is Cash Miller, the host of Marketing Masters. I’m the CEO of Titan Digital. This is going to be a really interesting conversation today because A. I. and how it is working with search things that Bing and Google, Microsoft, Google, the Bahamas of the search realm, the things that they are doing to incorporate AI into their actual search results and how things could be working in the future. That’s going to be the discussion today. I’ve got with me, Jason Barnard. His company is Kalicube and Jason is a [00:01:00] preeminent expert that doesn’t work for Google but is about as close as you’re going to get to be bringing in someone that as if they did work for it, you know, for one of the two big companies.

[00:01:11] Cash Miller: He’s extremely knowledgeable and he’s got a real insight into what the two companies are doing with AI and how they’re going to be incorporating in search results. So I’m really excited by the show. Jason, thank you for being here. Introduce yourself, let us know, and what’s Kalicube too? 

The Significance of Branding in SEO and Online Business Growth

[00:01:29] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Brilliant, well, thank you so much, Cash. You’ve made me as red as my shirt with your compliments. I’m Jason Barnard. I run a company called Kalicube and we focus on educating Google and educating Google about your brand, your marketing strategy, who you serve, how you serve them, and why you are the best solution to the subset of Google and Bing’s users who are truly your audience. Because at the end of the day, these search engines are recommendation engines and we want them to recommend our clients. 

[00:02:03] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And I built a SaaS platform called Kalicube Pro that automates the process of understanding how to educate these machines, how to convince them that we’re the most credible solution, how to educate them about what solutions we offer and to whom. And that all centers on brand. Everything is about brand now. And what we’ve ended up with is a situation whereby focusing on brand, marketing and SEO in that order, you can build a solid online business with the marketing you should be doing any way for the audience you’re serving, packaged for Google.

The Kalicube Process: Transforming Google into a Secondary Revenue Source

[00:02:43] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So Google becomes the addition. It becomes the secondary source of traffic and revenue. And we have a system called the Kalicube Process that I’ve invented which is marketing, brand, and SEO mixed together and with Kalicube, we’ve implemented that ourselves. First year, we got 25% increase in revenues and leads, just from the digital marketing without any SEO because we focused on marketing first and serving our audience in the places they hang out online. We used Kalicube Pro to understand where we needed to focus. And then the second year, 300% growth in search traffic simply because Google and Bing have understood who they can recommend us to for what services and that we’re the incredibly, most incredible, credible solution for the subset of their users who are our audience.

[00:03:36] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Now that’s the pitch and my business is growing hugely. That’s 100% growth in two years because we had 60% growth in revenue the second year. 100% growth in two years is absolutely huge based on good marketing, common sense and packaging for Google and Bing.

The Diverse Pathways and Lifelong Learning in the Digital Marketing Industry

[00:03:53] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And now, who am I? I come from a world of rock music. I was a double bass player, you can see the bass behind me, in  the 90s, in a punk folk band. Then I was a cartoon blue dog in a TV series and now I’m a digital marketer and enjoying it thoroughly. 

[00:04:12] Cash Miller: Wow. I always find it interesting that people that get into this, we all have like very diverse backgrounds, I’ve noticed. You know, like before I was a digital marketer, I was in the U. S. Army and people, we end up as a kind of as a group. People start dabbling and then it’s like, wow, this is like really interesting. And then they kind of go further and eventually it becomes a career, you know? And so people get their starts in different, different ways.

[00:04:42] Cash Miller: But this industry has always been one that is very self taught. We learn from others and such, and we have to be willing to really dive in. And if you’re not willing to learn, you will not succeed in this industry because it’s a constant flow of information and there’s so many things that are always changing in one realm or another. So you have to have a I guess a real want to learn and grow as a person because of the knowledge that is available. If you don’t want to do that, you won’t be successful 

Witnessing the Evolution of the Internet: From Early Days to the Age of AI

[00:05:19] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yes. Curiosity and consistency and a desire to learn as you say is hugely important. I actually started in 1998 on the internet. So I started in the year Google was incorporated. So Google and I have grown up together over the last 25 years. 

[00:05:37] Cash Miller: Yeah, I didn’t start that early. I started about 2007 and it’s really the way the internet is, itself, has been shaped and of course, AI, we’re getting this huge upheaval now. But the changes in the internet back then, when you started, it was Yahoo and stuff and Google was barely even known and now it’s, you know, so you see that transformation of many companies and not just how we’ve used the internet and how that’s been shaped. But the companies behind them and stuff that have grown and evolved and such, it’s really an amazing thing and now we have a lot of history to go with. 

The AI Revolution in Search: Google and Bing’s Race to Define the Future

[00:06:16] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right, yeah, and I had a really interesting experience. I was invited to a Google seminar in Paris at Google France and the seminar was about where the cloud technology they currently sell came from and why they developed it and the history of it. And it’s a really interesting point is they developed the technology to be able to do the things that they wanted to do because the technology didn’t exist, big query, big data, building a knowledge graph, all of that didn’t exist and so they had to build the technology to do what they wanted to do. So a huge part of both Google and Bing is the race to build the technology for the next stage.

[00:06:55] Cash Miller: Yeah. Well, so what we’ve got is exactly that. We’ve got a race on now when it comes to AI and you’ve got a little bit some significant insight into what Google’s doing with their search results, but also what Bing’s doing because Bing has been second fiddle for better than a decade now. They’ve always been playing catch up but of course they’re backed by Microsoft. So it’s something that they can continue in with no problem. But now with Bing and Microsoft is a backer of Chat GPT and Google’s got their barred that they’re coming out. So where is this going? Give us some of that insight that you have on what these two companies, because these are still the dominant players over 90% or whatever of all searches are going on on either platform with the majority still on Google. Where are they taking this? 

[00:07:55] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. That’s a hugely interesting question, hugely important. Everybody is asking this question. I was visiting my father for tea on Sunday and he asked and he was absolutely enthralled and he understood whereas he hadn’t understood before and I explained kind of what’s happening, where it’s going. So even, he’s 86, so an 86 year old man is interested in Generative AI in search, which is hugely wonderful. It might just be because I’m his son, but that’s different. 

The Rapid Rise of Generative AI in Search: A Transformation in User Experience

[00:08:26] Cash Miller: Well, it’s really fascinating. I don’t think and your father being of that age is I think of how many things, a bit older, like younger generations, they’re used to it. We’ve seen this huge transformation and we’re around to see more. That’s kind of the thing. I was born when computers were just coming along as far as personal ones so it’s amazing. So where are we going though with AI, with the search results?

[00:08:55] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): As you say, it’s a huge upheaval, and it’s been very fast. Bing released their Bing Chat using ChatGPT on Bing in February and that forced Google’s hand. Google weren’t ready. They’ve been preparing for Generative AI in search for years, but they weren’t yet ready and are being forced Google to then release very quickly. And I think it’s important to remember that the Generative AI we’re looking at today is actually simply a summary of the search results. Both machines simply take the search results they’re generating anyway and then summarize them. 

[00:09:31] Cash Miller: Okay.

Bing’s Commitment to Transparency and Efficiency in Search with Generative AI

[00:09:31] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So from that perspective, the aim of it is to help the user get to the answer more efficiently. And at Bing, I talked to Meenaz Merchant, who was saying at Bing, our goal is to get the user to their solution to their problem as efficiently as possible and Generative AI makes that hugely, hugely simple. I’m talking to Ali Alvi. I did a series of interviews with the Bing team leads because Bing have nothing to lose by sharing what they’re doing and their technologies and their insights and what they’re doing with their algorithms. So they’re much more open. 

Generative AI and the Evolution of Search: From Featured Snippets to Dynamic Knowledge Panels

[00:10:06] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So I interviewed five people at Bing, and you can find that series on our website on and indeed on Search Engine Journal, I wrote them up as articles. The approach that Ali Alvi explained to me was the featured snippet is to simplify the Knowledge Panel which is the knowledge information box on the right hand side on desktop is a summary of the entity, the thing that we’re searching for that simplifies our job as a user.

[00:10:38] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): We don’t have to go to multiple sites to find the different parts of the information. It brings it all together in a Knowledge Panel. So that’s why Knowledge Panels are a huge focus for us. But luckily for us, the Generative AI right now is multiple micro featured snippets stitched together and it’s going to become a dynamic Knowledge Panel, i. e. understanding and truth of the minds of these huge, huge machines. 

[00:11:05] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So it becomes a Knowledge Panel, and if you’re recommended by the Generative AI in the future, it’s recommended based on knowledge on understanding and on credibility which Google call E E A T. And I would add an N to that which is Notability, Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. Because being notable is hugely important. With Generative AI, you’re going to be given a very small choice of options. You’ve moved from 10 blue links, 10 options so two or three options, and at that point, you need to be notable expert, experienced, authoritative, and trustworthy, and in essence, understood, confidently and credible.

The Complex Landscape of Search Results: A Blend of Ads, Organic Content, and Evolving Formats

[00:11:57] Cash Miller: So, okay, so that’s a lot of what Bing is considering. So how similar is Google approaching it from what you understand? Are they taking the same type of path to it or are they looking at it’s going to be the same thing, essentially?

[00:12:11] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah, I’ve got access to the search engine experience and it’s exactly the same is that they stitch to that together mini featured snippets so it’s a stitch together feature snippet right now, but I’m looking to the future and saying if we treat it like the dynamic Knowledge Panel, then we’re ready for the future and we’re already working today. And what I like to say about Kalicube is our strategy worked yesterday, works today and already works tomorrow. 

[00:12:42] Cash Miller: So, in the case of this when we look at the search results in it, at least on desktop and stuff, but even on phones and whatnot, you’re including, I mean, the, the results are already made up of multiple parts. You’ve got your ad section, you’ve got your organic and depending on the search, you could have the map section and in the case of Google, they’ve had like the local listing ads and stuff and you get this depending on the search you’re doing, the result, the way the page physically looks and the things that you’re having to scan through can look very different. 

The Impact of Generative AI on Search Layouts and the Future of Search Results

[00:13:15] Cash Miller: How is adding another piece, another element going to affect it? And are they going to, do you think they’re going to, over the long term, is it going to affect other areas? Because right now my understanding is you’re basically planting it on the page, you’re leaving the other stuff alone, you just have this new part. But does it stay that way? Does anything else go away, get reduced? Because we know how they’ve done, you know, with ads and such. It used to be we had sidebars and stuff and now they’re all on the top. They added another listing. They’ve changed the physical make up of the search results. Are they going to be doing that you think down the road and we’re going to see another shake up? 

[00:14:02] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I think I mean what we already see with the Search Generative Experience is once you start the conversation, the search results either disappear or reduce drastically. So what both are saying, Bing and Google, is that search will always be the jumping off point, i. e. people come in through search and as you said earlier before the show, you were talking about the fact that they can’t shoot themselves in the foot with their own advertising platform.

Enhancing User Experience and Expanding Search Pathways with Generative AI

[00:14:22] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So search will always be the jumping off point but the idea is to bring people down the funnel and answers the question along the way. And Fabrice Canel who I have chats with every now and then explained to me that for them the idea is to bring the user down the funnel when it’s helpful and then send to the website when the person is ready to go to the website. So making it much more fluid, simple for the user, for your audience. 

[00:14:54] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And when I suggested to him perhaps that would mean a reduction in the search volume, he said [00:15:00] no, it’s going to create new usage. And that’s supply creates its own demand is that he expects search to expand and Search Generative Experience or Bing Chat in that case, to be an addition to an additional pathway to conversion on your website. 

Balancing the Evolution of Search with the Impact on Organic Traffic and Ad Revenue

[00:15:19] Cash Miller: Well, okay, so what I wonder a little bit is so in the case of Google shooting itself in the foot and stuff, that is related to traditionally organic results are what have always driven traffic for especially news sites, blogs, things like that. And then on those sites, they make money often because of the advertising that’s placed because of Google’s Ad Network. Click on one of the ads, a display ad or whatnot, and of course the site’s going to get paid. You know a portion of the revenue that’s generated from the click that’s how you know..

[00:15:52] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): You mentioned 12 billion dollars a year I think 

[00:15:55] Cash Miller: Yeah it’s like for Google it’s a 10 to 12 billion dollar a year business so they don’t want to shoot themselves in the foot by jeopardizing. If you jeopardize the traffic that goes to the site, you jeopardize the revenue that comes from the ads that are on the site and that’s the problem that they’re going to have so what I wonder based on what you’re saying, if you add something else into the search results and it’s taking up more space will it just still… I think it still has the ability or the possibility of jeopardizing some of that traffic because the more you put in front of people, we talk about the majority of traffic comes to, you know, when it’s organic related, it’s the first result, second, third and so on. As you go down, it drops off dramatically, right? And then you get into, if you ever get to page two, forget it, like, you know, but if you’re also pushing those results down the page, we’re showing all this other stuff. You’ve got ads, now you’ve got the AI stuff. I can’t see the organic traffic not suffering.

The Intriguing Parallels and Contradictions in Search Algorithms: From Magic Mixers to Darwinism

[00:16:58] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yes, sure, and 100% it’s a really, really good point. And it also brings to mind the fact that I was talking to Fabrice from Bing and they don’t have that as a situation so they can afford to bring people down the funnel and then send them to the website. And Google needs to create that. 

[00:17:14] Cash Miller: Right, the network, they don’t have the same network that Google has, so it’s not a revenue generator like that.

[00:17:18] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So Google’s approach isn’t gonna be what Bing’s approach was, which is an assumption I was kind of making, and you’ve made a very good point that wakes me up to say, well, actually, no, I need to consider what Google are actually doing. And what’s really interesting from both perspectives is three or four years ago, Nathan Chalmers from Bing talked to me about the whole page algorithm, how Google designs, or Bing in this case, sorry, designs that final page, how they choose whether they put videos and Knowledge Panels and image boxes or blue links. And Gary Illyes a few weeks ago said that they do exactly the same thing, they call it the Magic Mixer, it’s a really silly name if you ask me, but nobody asked  me.

[00:18:01] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And Bing call it the Whole Page Algorithm. And the huge irony, it’s a delightful story, is I wrote an article about Darwinism in Search. And when I met Nathan Chalmers, who’s the team lead for the Whole Page Algorithm at Bing, he was laughing and I was going “Why are you laughing?” He said “Because you wrote the article on Darwinism in Search and it’s absolutely brilliant.” The irony is, one of the algorithms in the Whole Page Algorithm is called Darwin and it’s totally anti Darwinistic. 

The Potential for AI-Excluded Search Results: Customized SERPs Based on User Intent

[00:18:30] Cash Miller: Oh, that’s good. I don’t know because that’s really interesting also is whenever a search result loads up based on your intent and stuff, the page you get back, whatever you’re searching for can vary, significantly. So is there a point possibly where AI is not even included in the results depending on what you want? Because I think of local businesses and such that are more map reliant and the map doesn’t always come up, of course. Because it understands your intent, I need something or I’m researching something, there’s a big difference. Would they end up not showing AI results as part of the return? That page when it loads based on the search, you know, similar to? Because even ads don’t show up for certain searches so it depends on what it is because whatever you’re doing, you can get a much drastic different, display. So what do you think?

[00:19:29] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yes. I remember seeing somewhere a figure I think it’s depending on the market and depending on the geo region, anywhere between 6% and 12% of SERPs have ads and actually the majority don’t. I can’t remember where I saw that and you can quote me on it in the sense that my memory is very good for numbers, so I’m very sure of that. The local results are getting generated or included into the Generative AI and they’re including ads already. 

Google’s Knowledge Panel: Balancing Knowledge and Recommendations in SERPs

[00:19:58] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But the point you make about not showing the Generative Experience is that if there’s a Knowledge Panel, Google will not show the Search Generative Experience by default, you have to click on the button to get it. So if Google and this is the Kalicube approach, we’re saying the right hand side of your SERP is knowledge, Google’s knowledge and the left hand side is Google’s recommendations. So from that perspective, if Google has both knowledge and recommendations in the SERP, there is no real need to put the Search Generative Experience in place because you have the Knowledge Panel and the search results are already organized.

[00:20:36] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So from that perspective, we’re already in that situation and if you, for example, if you search for a person, if you search for my name, Jason Barnard, J A S O N B A R N A R D, you’ll see a huge Knowledge Panel with Knowledge Panel cards. It makes me look like a superstar, even though I’m not. But that’s me educating Google and building confidence in Google’s mind about its understanding of me. So it shows an  amazing result. I just saw your eyes open as you saw the result. 

The Evolution of Knowledge Panels as Early Forerunners of Search Generative Experience

[00:21:02] Cash Miller: Yeah, because I just did the search. Yes and you’re right. And the display on the result is significantly different than what you would normally get if you just searched for somebody. 

[00:21:15] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yes and that’s, if you look at the Knowledge Panel cards at the top of that search, that’s already Search Generative Experience but it’s been going for two years, so that was their first attempt at the idea of building those blocks. 

[00:21:29] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So if you search for that on Google, when you have access to the Search Generative Experience, it won’t show the Search Generative Experience. And if you click on the button to generate the Generative AI, it simply shows you the same result. It doesn’t show, it doesn’t create anything new, it just shows you those Knowledge Panel cards and the Knowledge Panel itself and the recommendations on the left hand side, so that could be a signal or a clue as to what’s going to happen in the future. 

The Challenge and Potential of Google’s Path to Streamlining SERPs

[00:21:57] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): As it builds out the knowledge graph, as it builds out its understanding, it will be able to present these incredibly rich factual representations without having to have this specific Search Generative Experience and they can then keep the recommendations on the left hand side, keep the ads, and keep the traffic flowing to websites, and if they can call that trick, they’re going to be okay. 

[00:22:22] Cash Miller: That’s going to take some work on their part certainly to do that.

[00:22:27] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I just realized something. I’ve just given advice to the biggest corporation in the world 

[00:22:32] Cash Miller: On where they need to go. Yeah. 

[00:22:34] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Are you listening Google? 

Personalized Search Results: Transforming User Experience Through Knowledge and Recommendations

[00:22:36] Cash Miller: Yes, right. Well, in doing that, you know, I did that search for your name and it’s significantly different in those results and you don’t see it that often when you search for brands and such. In fact, I would like to, you know, let’s see, I’m just curious what comes up. Yes, I searched for something like a brand like Pepsi and it doesn’t do the same  thing. And so, if they can kind of take it that way, it makes that search result way more personal for it. And I can see what you’re saying is you still leave room for the other pieces of the results page within, but they are personalizing the experience. 

[00:23:23] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And what’s super interesting is that at Kalicube, as I said, we focus on the right hand side knowledge, the left hand side recommendations and the Kalicube Process is all about that. And we’ve spent the last two years building up the Kalicube Process for Kalicube itself, Kalicube Pro, the platform and Jason Barnard, the CEO of Kalicube. 

Knowledge plus recommendations is where such generative experiences actually exist.

jason barnard (the brand serp guy)

[00:23:40] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And what happened with both Bing and with Google is right out of the box, the Search Generative Experience and the Bing Chat experience was absolutely perfect. And that, for me, indicates exactly what we’re saying here. Knowledge plus recommendations is where such generative experiences actually exist. And when they have knowledge and recommendations and it’s sufficiently strong, you’re already safe for the future. When I said it worked yesterday, works today, and it already works tomorrow, that’s what I meant.

[00:24:10] Cash Miller: Yeah, I think another thing too because what we talked about with Google, they have to be with all of this stuff, while the AI is great, they have to be extremely careful on how they incorporate any of this. Bing has a bit more freedom to play with it because Microsoft as a company has way more revenue streams and stuff as far as different sources.

Navigating the Fine Line: Google’s Challenge to Innovate Without Jeopardizing Its Dominance

[00:24:33] Cash Miller: So they have a lot more freedom that if they mess it up, they won’t hurt themselves as much whereas Google is still very heavy. Their predominant revenue stream is the search, ads and everything and so if you go messing the results up too much, so they got to be careful. I don’t know, the difference between the two because you’ve dealt with Bing quite extensively and such, with Google, I don’t know how far do you think they can actually go with their results? There’s a point where the two companies I think are going to actually diverge in their approach. It’s the Google has to do things different. So does it make where Bing has a chance to catch up a little bit from a search side and grab some of that market share back because they’re not hindered the same way. 

[00:25:22] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yes I think that is possible, maybe even probable. Somebody told me another number that just comes to mind that I remember saying but I can’t remember where. One percentage point in the search results in terms of dominance in the search market is worth a billion dollars a year.

[00:25:38] Cash Miller: Wow. 

Bing’s Opportunity: A Potential Game Changer in the Search Landscape

[00:25:39] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, Bing are at whatever, 6%. Yeah. They get to 7, that’s an extra billion dollars. They get to 8, that’s an extra billion dollars. So, from Bing’s perspective, it’s all winning because they’re already profitable. And as you said, it’s a small percentage of the overall revenue streams of Microsoft. They’re in a no lose situation here which explains why Fabrice Canel smiles so much.

[00:26:04] Cash Miller: Yes because this, for them, is a game changer. And for the lastI’d say, over a decade, they’ve been, always been seen as kind of behind the eight ball and since 2005 or something, I think is when it really began that Google was separating itself. And then, of course, as you know, Yahoo became irrelevant and such, it changed the landscape. So what we have is a chance that the landscape changes significantly again.

Bing’s Potential to Diversify the Search Ecosystem: Creating Opportunities for Advertisers and Marketers

[00:26:31] Cash Miller: I think from like I say, I’m a marketer and advertiser and such, I like the idea that Bing can catch up because Google is so dominant and there are so many businesses that are essentially built around what happens there that it’s kept everything where competition has gotten really tight. There’s so much of it because everybody’s having to work off of essentially the same platform and we don’t care as much about the other one. It’s an after thought and now if they can balance it out a little bit better, that for as an advertiser, that opens up more opportunity for clients and such, you know things to pursue. That’s good I think just for the marketplace in general.

[00:27:15] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yes, no, 100%. I like Bing. I don’t use it but I like it and the results are actually very different and they are really very good. But from the perspective of you mentioned a lot of businesses are built around that one particular platform, which is Google and they’re going to struggle. Whether Google wins the battle or doesn’t win the battle, it doesn’t matter. You’re always going to be struggling if you’ve based your business on Google traffic. And we’ve got clients coming to us now saying “We’re freaking out because we’ve lost our ranking because of E A T, because we don’t have a real brand and we need to build a real brand.” And that’s what Kalicube can help them with.

Balancing the Digital Ecosystem: Reducing Dependency on Google for Sustainable Business Growth

[00:27:57] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But building that brand  means building a marketing strategy that makes sense to your audience. And that’s what we focus on. So the business becomes much, much more solid, a real digital marketing strategy that drives a real business that doesn’t just rely on Google because you’ve got so many other sources of visibility, brand awareness, and traffic, and so many touch points on the way down the funnel. So from that perspective, I would advise anybody now looking at this focus on branding, marketing and SEO in that order .

[00:28:37] Cash Miller: Businesses for quite a long time now have actually had to build themselves around Google as far as when it’s lead generation or anything like that. And I say we haven’t paid as much attention to Bing for years now. And it is a bad thing that you have to do that because if Google makes a change, and we know how Google is, they can decide to change their algorithm. It could be that they want to mess with the maps, they want to mess with the ads, whenever they do anything, it affects so many companies, and some that were dominating and had built their businesses on and then suddenly they lose a ranking or something. It can really be impactful to the people that work for that business, the business itself, of course, and I think we need to, the landscape needs to be like leveled a little bit. 

Preparing for the Future: Stabilizing the Search Ecosystem with Generative AI

[00:29:28] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): No, no, I think it’s a really good point. You made me think of kind of something else along the line, which is I think with Search Generative Experience or Generative AI in search, things are going to stabilize more. There’s going to be less fluctuations because once Google and Bing build the experience on their search engine results pages on knowledge and recommendations brought together, bringing together large language models and the knowledge graphs that they have. They’re building it on understanding and credibility and offerings and their understanding of the offerings and the credibility of each individual entity, business or person, at which point things will stabilize, but it’s going to stabilize for the people who are ready in a couple of years when that happens. 

[00:30:18] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And I would say get ready now. Start creating the content that feeds the large language models, start creating the knowledge, getting in the knowledge graph of Google and Bing indeed, so that they understand who you are. So that when the large language models and the knowledge graphs come together, they will create stability. But you want to be part of that stability, you don’t want to be left behind because it’s going to be so difficult to become part of the party if you’ve missed the kickoff.

[00:30:47] Cash Miller: Yes that’s really important. Businesses need to be looking at that if you get in now, as far as what you’re doing to stabilize your presence, as they change the results, you’ll be protected to a certain degree and there will be less influence, and if you’re taking advantage of Microsoft of going to Bing too and starting to really build out your presence there because if they do grab market share or search share, that’s going to be a big difference too and you’ll already be in a position to take advantage of it versus later where you got to play catch up. That’s always the problem when businesses, they try to rank themselves now and such, they have companies that have been doing it for years and stuff. And so it’s very hard to make progress nowadays for it.

Balancing Personalization: The Cost Factor and Future Rollouts

[00:31:36] Cash Miller: Where do you think ,from the personalization standpoint, just as a consumer, where are the results like right now they’re in that testing phase of everything. How do you think in the short term things will shake out? I’m not sure I haven’t heard anything yet when Google is going to like release because I know they’re doing the barge stuff and the results is more of a beta thing. So they’re not showing it to most people but what does it look like for it to be ruled out more mainstream? 

[00:32:09] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Well, from a personalization perspective, I don’t expect them to do very much in the near future. There’s a problem of cost, is that if they personalize results for each of us, it increases their cost quite considerably and they’re a commercial enterprise, so they don’t want to increase costs if it doesn’t bring sufficient benefit.

[00:32:30] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And right now, I don’t think personalization would bring sufficient benefit to merit the additional cost, but that can certainly change over time as they evolve their technology. What we’ve seen is cost is a huge driver in how Google works, what it ranks, what it present to its users and if you bear in mind systematically how much does this cost Google, you can pretty much guess what it’s going to do, how it’s working. 

The Hidden Costs of Web Crawling: Impact on Google’s Decision-Making

[00:33:02] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): There’s a guy called Koray Gubur who’s a super duper genius who talks a lot about the cost to Google. I’ve been talking about it for years as well, is consider how much it costs Google to crawl. If you can make it cheaper for Google to crawl your website, rank your website. It’s going to do that as long as the results are relatively good enough. 

[00:33:23] Cash Miller: Yeah, I think that’s something. I know, we think of all the revenue they generate and everything, but we don’t think often what they actually spend to make these things happen. Consumers just see it happen. They see the changes and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the number of what it would cost to crawl essentially the whole internet which is a continuous thing.

The Astonishing Scale of Web Discovery: Bing’s Daily Challenge

[00:33:49] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I actually asked Fabrice Canal who creates Bing Bot and he’s been there since the very beginning so it’s his baby basically. And he wouldn’t tell me the numbers of that cost, but what he did say is Bing Bot discovers 70 billion pages that it has never seen before every single day. 

[00:34:10] Cash Miller: 17 billion per day? 

[00:34:13] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): 70 billion. 

[00:34:14] Cash Miller: 70? Oh my god. How could it discover that many on a per day basis that it hasn’t, you know.

Machine Learning at the Heart of Bing Bot: Filtering Out Spam and Junk Pages 

[00:34:22] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But that new page is never seen and that brings us to the next point that he makes, is that they’ve integrated machine learning incredibly deeply into Bing Bot because what they want to do is avoid following the links to junk and spam. So what the bot does is it looks at the link and it tries to guess what’s on the other side. And if it thinks it’s going to be spam or a waste of resources, it simply doesn’t go. So from that perspective, you suddenly realize that what they’re doing is they’re reducing costs by training the machine not to waste resources. 

[00:34:55] Cash Miller: Yeah. And so if you go put up pages that are useless or anything to the actual visitors and whatnot, they’re spammy pages of some sort that’s why they don’t get found at least by Bing. 70 billion that’s like 

[00:35:12] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It’s nuts, isn’t it? 

Managing Massive Daily Discoveries: Calendars and Faceted Filtering Challenges

[00:35:13] Cash Miller: Yes. It’s a hard to fathom number because it’s on a per day basis so it makes you wonder that if it could find that many and granted people are publishing every day. We put up a site, suddenly we have 20 new pages or something that we’ve put up on behalf of a client, and even if you’re just changing your site but you added something to have that kind of a number on a daily basis, like, I can’t even grasp how large the internet page wise has gotten. So you can find that many on a daily basis that are brand new.

[00:35:48] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Well, he actually pointed out to me that an awful lot of them are calendars that are badly configured. So you get every single option in the calendar that’s crawlable because somebody hasn’t configured it correctly. So what he says is the bot needs to learn not to crawl the entire calendar.

[00:36:09] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So it’s exactly that and the what’s it called the filtering, faceted filtering. Sites that set that up badly can have billions of combinations that potentially the bot would want to crawl so they have to stop it crawling those billions of combinations without losing the content or the combinations of content that makes sense for the user. Huge problem. 

Machine Learning’s Exponential Impact on Algorithm Performance

[00:36:33] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And he talks about machine learning and says people don’t truly understand what exponential means accelerating acceleration and that’s what machine learning is doing. It’s accelerating acceleration of performance of all of these algorithms. 

[00:36:51] Cash Miller: Everything that was already in place that was already being accelerated now it’s picked up the speed even more. 

[00:36:58] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And it’s that real hockey stick. 

[00:36:59] Cash Miller:  Yeah, exactly. Well, this has been a fascinating conversation. 

[00:37:06] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It’s been lovely. 

Connecting with Jason Barnard and Navigating Personal Branding Challenges

[00:37:06] Cash Miller: It’s just what’s going on like with AI and your insight is just. It’s amazing how much you’ve been able to bring to the conversation because I mean you are really on the inside of what’s going on and it’s just, it’s great. I am so glad you were able to join us today. How would people get a hold of you, Jason? 

[00:37:29] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Number one, you Google my name, Jason Barnard. 

[00:37:33] Cash Miller: Yeah, trust me, you’re going to find just this Jason Barnard. If there are any others in the world, guarantee you’re not going to see them. 

[00:37:40] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And that’s a whole new conversation we could have is personal branding and what do we do with ambiguous names. And there are 300 people called Jason Barnard and as you say, none of them get a look in. So that’s another conversation. But search my name Jason Barnard or my company Kalicube, K A L I C U B E.

The idea of Google is your business card is hugely powerful and it’s trying to represent me to my audience in a way that makes sense to them and gives them the choice of how to interact with me and it’s my job, my responsibility to make sure Google can do that effectively, efficiently and accurately.

jason barnard (the brand serp guy)

[00:37:57] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And one of the things about the brand SERP, the search engine results page for your brand, is that Google tries to give you the audience, my audience, the choice of how you want to engage with me, Twitter, LinkedIn, my own website, my company website, the articles I write. So the idea of Google is your business card is hugely powerful and it’s trying to represent me to my audience in a way that makes sense to them and gives them the choice of how to interact with me and it’s my job, my responsibility to make sure Google can do that effectively, efficiently and accurately.

[00:38:32] Cash Miller: Well, great. So my name is Cash Miller. I’m the CEO of Titan Digital, host of Marketing Masters. We’ve had another great show. And if you are really interested in how you can dominate, I really do suggest check out Kalicube. It is fascinating on the knowledge graph and what can be done and there’s going to be a lot of shakeup.

[00:38:56] Cash Miller: So with Google and Bing, these things are already happening, but [00:39:00] it looks like they’re going to try to pace themselves a little bit so they don’t overwhelm everyone. So that’s really important. Thank you for being here. 

[00:39:08] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Thank you so much. It was absolutely delightful.

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