Jason Barnard
Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) is a digital marketer who specializes in Brand SERP optimization and knowledge panel management. Jason has also variously been a musician, a screenwriter, a songwriter and a cartoon blue dog.

He is the founder and CEO at Kalicube – a groundbreaking digital marketing agency that pioneered the concept of exact match Brand SERPs (what your audience sees when they google your brand name).

He’s a regular contributor to leading digital marketing publications such as Search Engine Journal and Search Engine Land and regularly guests on others such as Wordlift, SEranking, SEMrush, Search Engine Watch, Searchmetrics and Trustpilot.

Recent Shows with Jason Barnard
  • 639 | NEWS FLASH w/ Jason Barnard
    639 | NEWS FLASH w/ Jason Barnard639 | NEWS FLASH w/ Jason BarnardNews / podcastMajor Changes In Google’s Knowledge Graph We have a massive EDGE News Flash here for you folks, as we unpack major changes in the Google Knowledge Graph. Joining the flash is a great friend of the show, author and founder of Kalicube, Jason Barnard. Google’s Knowledge Vault has set a precedent by experiencing a remarkable 30% growth in just four days, specifically with ‘person’ entity types which have grown by threefold. Many alterations have been made to Google’s ways of comprehending writers, which raises some to question if this is a ploy to identify and combat AI-generated content. Google has taken the training wheels off, tune in as we evaluate all these key changes in the SEO realm on this special News Flash on The EDGE of The WEB! Key Segments: Introducing Jason Barnard Major Changes in the Google Knowledge Graph Knowledge Vault vs. Knowledge Panels Google’s New ‘Understanding’ Of People Change in Search Quality Raters Guidelines Is This a Tactic By Google To Identify AI Content? What’s The Next Major Update Going To Target? BrightonSEO Sweepstakes [...] November 1, 2023
  • 507 |  Optimization of the Brand SERP and Avoiding Mistakes
    507 |  Optimization of the Brand SERP and Avoiding Mistakes507 | Optimization of the Brand SERP and Avoiding MistakesInterview / podcastOwn the Real Estate of your Brand Jason Barnard returns for the second segment of his interview with EDGE of the Web to discuss Brand SERP optimization. Jason, The Brand SERP Guy, helps us understand how to optimize certain features in the Brand SERP.  Erin and Jason have a great time walking through the rich elements of the BrandSERP and discussing mistakes to avoid in the process of owning the real estate of your brand! We also have a giveaway from this interview!  Submit a Brand SERP oddity that you see in the wild to #BrandSERPoddities on Twitter, and you could win Jason’s book and an EDGE of the Web hat for contributing!  Show us the weirdness you’re seeing out there! Google is determined to keep you on the SERP Features of the BrandSERP Experimenting with Google If Google has Confidence, It Reacts Quickly: Meta Optimizing for Rich Site Links and Rich Elements How to Get Twitter Cards on your BrandSERP Videos on the BrandSERP: Tik Tok & YouTube People Also Asked Opportunites for BrandSERP Optimization How Do You Remove Elements from the BrandSERP? The Entity’s Identity Taking Shape Will There Be Blackhat BrandSERP Tactics? How Can Entity SEO be used in a Crisis Management Situation? [...] June 14, 2022
  • 505 | Are Brand SERPS an SEO Ranking Factor?
    505 | Are Brand SERPS an SEO Ranking Factor?505 | Are Brand SERPS an SEO Ranking Factor?Interview / podcast#BrandSERPoddities Jason Barnard has joined Erin on the EDGE again to discuss his new book, The Fundamentals of Brand SERP for Business. Jason, The Brand SERP Guy, is blazing the trail of Brand SERP education and we’re unpacking concepts around this on this podcast as well as the second segment.  But, Is Brand SERP SEO?  Are Brand SERPs a ranking factor for keyword ranking?  We’re covering these questions and so much more in this episode.   We also have a giveaway from this interview!  Submit a Brand SERP oddity that you see in the wild to #BrandSERPoddities on Twitter and you could win Jason’s book as well as an EDGE of the Web hat for contributing!  Show us the weirdness you’re seeing out there! Writing the Book was an Experiment to Adjust Google’s Understanding of Jason Google has Been Working with this Aim All Along But Needed the Technology to Do It Separating Entities: Disambiguation as a Strategy Humans Understand Through Association Teach Google That Triplet, Who You Are, What You Do, Who Your Audience Is Is Brand SERP Optimization (SEO) Search Engine Optimization or Something Parallel? Brand SERP is a Representation of Google’s Opinion of the World’s Opinion of You Is There a Correlation Between Brand SERP and Keyword Ranking? What Have Been the Challenges in Writing a Book to Reeducate SEOs Around the World? How Do You Map a Learning Brain? If You Haven’t Started to Master the Vertical Brand Serps in Two Years…. Our Special Giveaway: Jason’s Book & an EDGE of the Web Hat! #BrandSERPOddities [...] June 5, 2022
  • 483 | News from the EDGE | Week of 2.28.2022
    483 | News from the EDGE | Week of 2.28.2022483 | News from the EDGE | Week of 2.28.2022News / podcastWe’re discussing how to help Ukraine during an incredibly dangerous time. Erin Sparks, Mordy Oberstein, and Jason Barnard discuss digital news related to the crisis as well as individuals from Ukraine that are making a difference, showing what is happening to the rest of the world.  Articles from Social Media Today and Search Engine Journal. Let’s make sure to get the word out and share this information.   FB Bans announced by Russia Website Security important to review due to increases in Russian Cyber-Attacks Ukrainian Patriot: Tim Soulo from Ahrefs extending memberships to match donations Ukrainian Patriots: Wix evacuates nearly 1,000 Ukrainian staff and families Ukrainian Patriot: Anton Shulke: Head of Influencer Marketing at Duda Aleyda Solis: Showcasing Ukrainian SEOs Ukrainian Patriot: Ievgen Saveliev Information for supporting Ukraine: edgeofthewebradio.com/ukraine [...] March 2, 2022
  • 463 | EDGEFlash: November Google Core & Knowledge Graph Updates
    463 | EDGEFlash: November Google Core & Knowledge Graph Updates463 | EDGEFlash: November Google Core & Knowledge Graph UpdatesNews / podcastJason Barnard and Lily Ray join Erin Sparks on an EDGEFlash – a breaking digital marketing news episode.  When it happens, we will get it to you as soon as possible!  We uncovered a relationship of factors that lead us to believe that this is not just another core update!  Breaking news, here on the EDGE! The social media outcry regarding the November Google Core Algorithm updates Ray: This is a tricky update due to the holiday season Ray: How the Volatility Tools Work Barnard: Does Dictionary site visibility increase = new entity knowledge? Barnard: Completely new: core algorithm updates and knowledge graph update together Barnard: 8% rise in the number Rich Elements Increase in “People Also Search For” to 21% BREAKING NEWS:  People Also Search For + Dictionary ranking spikes + Knowledge Graph Entity growth….Google’s more confident, folks! Ray: Intense shifts can change because of current events Words of advice from Ray and Barnard [...] November 24, 2021
  • 395 | Optimizing Your Brand SERP Real Estate with Jason Barnard
    395 | Optimizing Your Brand SERP Real Estate with Jason Barnard395 | Optimizing Your Brand SERP Real Estate with Jason BarnardInterview / podcast  In episode 395 of the award-winning EDGE of the Web podcast the conversation between Jason Barnard, the Brand SERP Guy and the Founder/CEO of Kalicube and Host Erin Sparks went deeper into understanding how to go about optimizing your brand SERP. Here’s what we learned: Why the Brand SERP is Critically Important Jason says it’s useful to think of your brand SERP as your Google business card, because it’s what people are going to see when they search your brand name. It’s important for three main reasons: A Main Gateway to Your Brand: Everyone who is in your audience will at some point search your brand name on Google, and may do so with some regularity, and that brand SERP is what they’re going to see every time they search. And that audience includes existing clientele, prospects, journalists, potential hires, and so on. People vastly underestimate how often existing clients search your brand name because it’s often their quickest route to navigating to your site, so they’re seeing your brand SERP quite frequently, and if it’s in good shape then it gives them continuing confidence they’ve made the right choice. If your brand SERP is rubbish, they may jump ship at some point. Insight into Content Strategy: For example, if you have a video series but those videos aren’t appearing on your brand SERP in some way, it either means your videos are rubbish or that Google for some reason can’t see or understand that your audience is engaging with that content and finds it valuable.  A Window into Your Digital Ecosystem: Whatever appears on your brand SERP is what Google thinks the world thinks about your brand. This is important because you don’t have to go spend a boatload of money with a marketing agency to find out what people think about you because it’s going to be reflected right there on your brand SERP. Google’s already doing it for you and they’re doing it on a massive scale you could never hope to replicate. Google your brand name and examine the first 100 results and you’ll see what Google thinks the world thinks about you. But this doesn’t mean Google is right, but if Google isn’t right, then it’s up to you to explain to Google better so they do get it right.  Educating Google is How to Optimize Your Brand SERP The frame of mind you should have about optimizing your brand SERP is this: Treat Google like a child you need to educate. And if you want to educate a child it’s not about forcing things down the child’s throat, it’s about explaining things slowly, patiently, and clearly, along with multiple corroborative sources the child trusts, meaning it’s not just you saying it, but also the grandparents, and the child’s teachers are saying it, and the baker down the street who everyone likes, and so on. But if everyone’s contradicting each other, the child will never get a grip on the concept. You have to educate Google in the same way.  Optimizing Rich Site Links on Your Brand SERP One example of a piece of brand SERP real estate to optimize is rich site links. The main result on the brand SERP should be a link to your main website, but the home page is rarely a user’s final destination, which is why those six or so rich links to specific pages of your website are so important, and yet their importance almost always vastly underappreciated. They take up a significant portion of brand SERP real estate, so you want them to be right. The rich links are there because they represent what Google thinks are probably the most important areas that will be useful to its users. If there are no rich links, then Google doesn’t understand where its users might want to go on your site, which would indicate your site structure is rubbish. Schema markup is important here to identify important pages clearly to Google, like “About Us” and “Contact Us” and so forth.  One conundrum here for SaaS platform sites is that they often “no-index” the login page for security reasons, and yet that’s one of the pages Google users would absolutely want to see in rich sitelinks for their convenience. In another case, a company had a page that was about the concept of login pages, but Google was including it in rich site links even though it was not the functional login page for the site. This meant the site was not clear enough in explaining to Google which page was functional and which was conceptual. Other Elements of Brand SERP Real Estate When you’re looking at your brand SERP, Jason notes the three things you’re evaluating is if what’s there is 1) Accurate; 2) Positive, and 3) Convincing. The various elements besides those rich site links to pay attention to include the following: Twitter cards/boxes (if applicable). Google loves these because if you’re active on Twitter then there’s going to be a constant flow of new content to surface there.  Video cards/boxes (if applicable). Same thing. If Google can see a constant stream of fresh, engaging content, then you should have video cards/boxes on your brand SERP. Presence on other authority sites: In Jason’s examples, these are links to his author pages on sites like SEMRush, Search Engine Journal, WordLift, and so on. Obviously, you have to have that presence and have it spelled out clearly in your main information repository or “home” about your brand so Google understands the importance of it.  Knowledge Panel. What you don’t want to do if you have a personal brand, is to try to create or manage your own Wikipedia page, because that usually ends up being deleted. Wikipedia doesn’t trust people to truthfully manage their own page. It’s supposed to be other people writing about a notable person, not you writing about yourself. Of course, those other people might not be getting the facts right either, which is why some people push to have their Wikipedia page deleted so they can control the narrative, and by extension their knowledge panel. The lesson here is not to rely on Wikipedia or Wiki Data for your knowledge panel. Instead, convince Google that your main site is the right place to get information about your brand. Google needs to see a “home” it can rely on for information about your brand, and if you move that “home” you could see your whole knowledge panel disappear in an instant. So you build your site content to show Google this the “home” for information about you and then through the links and schema markup you assemble all the signposts to the corroborative sources to back it up and prove what you’re saying. That’s educating Google like a child! The two biggest mistakes people make when optimizing their brand SERP are 1) not having established that “home” of information about the brand that you control, and 2) doing a round of optimizing and then thinking you’re done. You have to work on it regularly because things change all the time. Your knowledge panel starts out as a tiny sprout but it won’t stick if you’re not constantly cultivating it and making sure the roots go deep. You have to keep working on it over time. In the end, it’s very simple SEO but very important. Use common sense and educate Google about your brand with credible sources! [...] February 19, 2021
  • 393 | Bringing Your Brand SERP into Focus with Jason Barnard
    393 | Bringing Your Brand SERP into Focus with Jason Barnard393 | Bringing Your Brand SERP into Focus with Jason BarnardInterview / podcast  Our special guest for episode 393 of the award-winning EDGE of the Web podcast was Jason Barnard, the Brand SERP Guy and the Founder/CEO of Kalicube. Host Erin Sparks spoke with Jason about the concept of the Brand SERP and how it affects digital visibility. Here’s what we learned:  00:02:40 Jason Barnard: His Background and Experience Jason is co-founder and CEO of Kalicube, a groundbreaking digital marketing agency that pioneered the concept of exact match Brand SERPs (what your audience sees when they search your brand name on Google). He has more than two decades of experience in digital marketing. Jason started promoting his first website in the year Google was incorporated and built it up to become one of the top 10,000 most visited sites in the world. Jason is a regular contributor to leading digital marketing publications such as Search Engine Journal and Search Engine Land as well as Wordlift, SEranking, SEMrush, Search Engine Watch, Searchmetrics, and Trustpilot. He speaks at major marketing conferences worldwide including BrightonSEO, PubCon, SMX series, ITB Berlin and YoastCon. He also does podcast hosting where the conversations are always intelligent, interesting, and fun with guests such as Rand Fishkin, Joost de Valk, Ted Rubin, Bill Slawski, John Mueller, and many others. His knowledge of brand SERP came about when he shifted into doing SEO consulting work and realized when people searched his name on Google, what came up was a very successful children’s game site called Boowa and Kwala he had been a part of (and which led to the popular animated television series of the same name). He basically had to figure out how to fix his own personal brand SERP, which was the learning journey that put him on the pathway of brand SERP expertise. 00:14:32 What is a Brand SERP? A Brand SERP is what appears on Google when someone searches your brand name. Users invariably search your brand name and personal name (more on that later), so it is very important to optimize your brand name for search in order to maximize every opportunity to control how you are seen on search.  Theoretically, you don’t have to jump through a bunch of SEO hoops to rank number one for your own company brand name, but that doesn’t mean your job is done, not by a long shot. And it’s critical to pay attention to all the complexity in a brand SERP because it goes right to the very core, the heart of your entire digital presence. The other pieces of brand SERP “real estate” you want to be optimizing include the following: Knowledge Panel Rich Site Links Reviews (if applicable) Managing anything negative Image and Video boxes Google’s Business Card You’ve got to manage your brand SERP as if “it’s your new home page.” That’s how important it is. For each of those elements listed above you have to figure out how you want to be represented and then how to achieve it through specific kinds of optimization techniques. All of this is made easier when you understand how Google approaches these things and what they’re trying to do for users. And the first thing to keep in mind is who you’re addressing here, which is Google users, and those users may not be your users in terms of your audience, customers, etc. In other words, you’re optimizing for both people who are already fans as well as Google users who are not yet under your umbrella. You want to look to see if what’s being surfaced on the brand SERP is making your brand look credible or not credible. Whatever is being surfaced there is what Google thinks is important to surface.  Google users are savvy about what they expect to see on a brand SERP, and not just that number-one position for the brand, but all those other pieces of real estate on the brand SERP. Even if you have the number-one position, if all those other elements are anemic, they’re going to notice it. You have to pay close attention to all those elements. If Google doesn’t understand who you are, what you do, and who your audience is, then it can’t even begin to surface the right content for your brand SERP. Take a look Jason Barnard’s brand SERP and you’ll see it done right. It’s got the knowledge panel on the right side, properly ranked links to his website, a carousel of his Twitter posts, a link to his author page on Search Engine Journal, the Kalicube Marketing Podcast, and so on right down the entire page-one SERP.  For your knowledge panel information to come out right, Google has to be able to find well-structured data about you or your brand from database sources it trusts, so if your information isn’t in the sources Google trusts, then the information drawn on is going to be more haphazard, not well-structured, contradictory, and so on. 00:27:25 More About Brand SERP The idea with Jason’s company Kalicube is that it’s a platform to help you optimize your brand SERP and bring it into focus by helping you identify what those trusted sources are from Google’s perspective for different industries based on actual knowledge panels. But you can also drill down into the country level, which is important because those Google-trusted sources change by country. In general, the knowledge panels are becoming increasingly industry-sensitive as well as geo-sensitive.  What Jason just realized recently is that the brand SERP for Kalicube itself has big holes in it because it’s so new that Google doesn’t have a good enough understanding of it yet, but with the data available, Jason is able to hone in on what’s lacking and where it’s lacking in order to address it.  If you put conscious effort into improving your brand SERP, then you’re necessarily improving Google’s understanding of your brand entity, its impression of your credibility, your own content strategy, and your entire digital ecosystem.  Stay tuned for episode 395 when we’ll dig deeper with Jason Barnard about how to go about optimizing your brand SERP! Connect with Jason Barnard, the Brand SERP Guy, and Kalicube Twitter: @jasonmbarnard (https://twitter.com/jasonmbarnard)  LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonmbarnard  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jason.barnard.330467  Website: https://kalicube.pro/about/jason-barnard Connect with Erin Sparks, Host of EDGE of the Web and CEO of Site Strategics Twitter: @ErinSparks (https://twitter.com/erinsparks) LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/erinsparks/ [...] February 10, 2021