Where Do Branded Searches on Google Come From?
Why do people search for brands on Google? Join us to explore the questions that drive us to make those searches, and what we expect to find. We’ll put search intent under a microscope and unravel the tangled threads of the customer journey as we examine the “why” behind branded searches.
Consumers bounce between online and offline channels as they ride the customer journey roller coaster. And they search company names for many different reasons at various points in the journey. For example, we search brands in Google when:
Narrowing down products from a brand
Navigating to a website
Looking for directions to a store
Researching a CEO or company for investing
Reading product reviews
Looking for customer service information
Reading breaking news about a brand crisis
Looking for a job
Researching social or environmental impact of a company
Join Jonas Sickler and Jason Barnard for this week’s episode of Kalicube Tuesdays!
Scheduled for 18 October 2022 at 17 H CET (Paris)
The event is 100% free:
Organised by Kalicube in partnership with Wordlift.
Part of the Kalicube Tuesdays series.
Additional Materials of Jonas Sickler:
Welcoming the Guest, Jonas Sickler, for This Kalicube Tuesdays Episode About Branded Searches
[00:00:00] Jason Barnard: We were having a silly discussion just before we went live. And as always, it goes live when I’m saying something idiotic. Welcome, Jonas. Lovely to have you here.
[00:00:09] Jonas Sickler: Pleasure to be here. I have been excited about this ever since we first talked and decided to have this conversation. It’s going to be great.
[00:00:17] Jason Barnard: Brilliant. Yeah, no, absolutely. And I love the idea you’re going to tell me where branded searches come from. And what I liked is that you sent me the list, and I’m supposed to be The Brand SERP Guy. And I didn’t immediately think of some of the ones that are on the list. So, I’m going to learn something new today as well on my favourite topic. Before we start, I always start off with a song and then your Brand SERP. So, we’ll start off with a song. A quick hello and we’re good to go. Welcome to the show, Jonas Sickler.
[00:00:49] Jonas Sickler: I love it. You might get me to do one in the end. I don’t know.
Jonas Sickler as a Children’s Book Illustrator and Writer
[00:00:53] Jason Barnard: Ooh. Well, you write children’s books, so you might be able to sing a children’s song. And that was pretty much equivalent to a children’s song, simple words, simple melody, easy to sing, easy to remember. You wrote children’s books. I looked up your name on Google. Your Brand SERP very clearly shows all of your books, if we can show that. Children’s books from the late 2000s. I see ones from 2010, 2011. How many did you write?
[00:01:22] Jonas Sickler: There were six altogether, and they all came out in a big lump all at once. And it was part of my previous business as an illustrator. I did magazine work and children’s book work. I didn’t do the actual writing in the books, because these were based on pre-existing nursery rhymes, but I did write stories to go with each of them that are secret and can be found. I’ve done some video recordings of me telling the stories that are on a Facebook page, if someone can find it, if they’re crafty enough.
Jonas Sickler Gets His Inspiration on Doing Different Versions of His Book From Listening to Different Soundtracks
[00:01:56] Jason Barnard: Brilliant. And so, you are an illustrator. And as you were illustrating, you couldn’t resist rewriting the story in your head.
[00:02:03] Jonas Sickler: No. And honestly, they told me to take it in any direction I wanted, as long as it could fit into the rhyme somehow. And I listened to a lot of music while I was working on them for soundtrack. So, I know you’re a big music guy as well. And I couldn’t get inspiration without hearing a soundtrack. So, I was listening to African beats while I was doing the the African version. And I was listening to jazz while I was doing the New Orleans version. I just had to use that to get into it.
Looking Through the Knowledge Panel of Jason Sickler and the Google Business Profile of the Company He Works For, Terakeet
[00:02:30] Jason Barnard: Brilliant. I love that. We should have a conversation about that another day. But for today, if we can put that screen back up, I did underline the word accomplished. What I love is that Google has highlighted in this factual About, it’s supposed to be factual, the fact that you’re accomplished. So, that’s a new trick I’m going to try and play is get Google to laud my achievements and my client’s achievements by putting in adjectives like that.
[00:02:55] And the next one is Terakeet. I was really intrigued by this. Because if you Google Terakeet, we see the Google My Business, the Google Business Profile with one piece of information, the owner, MacLaren Cummings, which comes from Google’s, let’s say, knowledge. It doesn’t come from Google My Business. And then I looked up Terakeet LLC, and I found a Knowledge Panel for the company, Terakeet LLC. And this indicates that Terakeet, a big company, an important company with very high revenues, I checked the revenues as well on Google, will come up as a Google Business Profile in America.
[00:03:31] Jonas Sickler: Yes.
An Important Company, Like Terakeet, Deserves Its Own Knowledge Panel Instead of a Google Business Profile
[00:03:32] Jason Barnard: Even though it’s an important company that deserves its own Knowledge Panel, which needs to be nurtured and grown. Sorry, I’m telling you your job, Jonas.
[00:03:40] Jonas Sickler: No, I love it. You’re right. And Google is smart enough at this point to know that most of our entire customer base is in the US.
[00:03:48] Jason Barnard: Right. Yeah. And it is surprising that Google is still showing a Google Business Profile in the US for a company in Switzerland. And the fact that it doesn’t understand that Google Business Profile makes you look like a small company or maybe it does understand. And it can’t get the confidence or the knowledge to show a better Knowledge Panel, but that’s a huge problem for a lot of companies. And I think a lot of companies don’t think about it. And it’s a problem for branded search, which is exactly what we’re talking about today.
A Bit of Advertising for Kalicube Tuesdays’ Sponsors and an Announcement About the Kalicube Pro SaaS for Agencies
[00:04:17] Jason Barnard: Before that, let’s have the sponsors. As always, WordLift, the partners, the production partners in this show, and we’ve got the video for that coming up. Join me every week with a groovy guest, this week’s groovy guest is Jonas, every week on Kalicube Tuesdays. And it’s produced in partnership with WordLift, who are absolutely amazing. I was with them in Rome the other day. They have an artificial intelligence tool that helps you to grow your traffic.
[00:04:45] And today, I’m announcing Kalicube Pro SaaS for agencies, where you can manage SERPs and Knowledge Panels for your clients as an agency. And a super surprise included in the agency model for the Kalicube Pro SaaS platform is the Kalicube Academy triggering and managing Knowledge Panels, which I’ve just finished recording five hours of videos everything I know about Knowledge Panels, so that you guys can help your clients with their Knowledge Panel. I’m really excited to be releasing that in a couple of weeks. And it’s part of the agency package on Kalicube Pro SaaS. A bit of advertising there. Sorry for that, Jonas, back to the topic, which is branded searches.
[00:05:23] Jonas Sickler: Yes.
How Did Jason Barnard Get Into the Whole Brand SERP Business?
[00:05:24] Jason Barnard: No, you ask me the first question, then I’ll ask you the second one.
[00:05:27] Jonas Sickler: Oh, geez. I’m going to have to ask a question. All right.
[00:05:30] Jason Barnard: You said you like surprises.
[00:05:32] Jonas Sickler: Yeah. And so, throw me one right now. How did you get into the whole Brand SERP business of promoting it and talking about it? Why are you doing this?
[00:05:49] Jason Barnard: Because of the blue dog. So, it’s a similar reason to why you maybe should have got into it as well is that the children’s TV series came up front and centre when you search my name. And basically, what my potential clients in digital marketing would say is, I don’t want to give my digital marketing strategy to a blue dog. Because if you search Jason Barnard, it said literally at the top, Jason Barnard is Boowa the cartoon blue dog.
[00:06:16] So, I thought, what I realised then is that was my past life, and I had to educate Google about my current life. So that when people did search my name, especially in the work environment, they would be convinced that I could help them with their digital marketing and that I wasn’t just a cartoon blue dog with a silly voice and songs for children.
The Issues With Having Similar Names and With Assigning Social Media Profiles on One’s Knowledge Panel
[00:06:35] Jason Barnard: And so, from your perspective, I knew you as a digital marketer and then I saw, oh, but he’s a children’s author. And just like Google, I would be saying, well, actually it might be a different Jonas Sickler.
[00:06:48] Jonas Sickler: Yeah. Exactly. I’ve seen it’s a unique enough name that you wouldn’t think that there are probably any others out there, but Google has to make that assumption, because how does Google know that there aren’t many of us out there? And honestly, I see a lot of issues with even CEOs of really big Fortune 1,000 companies that have a Knowledge Panel, but they have social media profiles assigned to them from somebody else. And sometimes they’re not the best ones to be assigned to them. So, it happens a lot, yeah. And it’s not an easy thing to correct, as you know.
The Case of Jason Hennessey, Who Had Three Knowledge Panels Under Himself
[00:07:25] Jason Barnard: Yeah, no, it’s hugely difficult. And we actually just helped Jason Hennessey, who’s an SEO, who does law firm SEO. He had three Knowledge Panels for him himself. Google thought he was three different people. And what we then did is merged the three together. And what that meant is all of the social media profiles suddenly appeared, because Google couldn’t figure out which social media profile belonged to which Jason Hennessey.
[00:07:48] And once we explained to Google that it’s the same one, all of them belonged to him, and his Knowledge Panel has blossomed in the space of two months. Because Google had this idea it was three different people. And that’s really easy for it to do with a commoner name than Jonas Sickler.
In the Perspective of People, Why Does Someone Search Somebody’s Name on Google?
[00:08:04] Jason Barnard: Now, the question is why would somebody google my name? Let’s start with people. Why do you search somebody’s name? And then we’ll move on to companies.
[00:08:13] Jonas Sickler: For people, gosh, there’s so many different reasons. You could imagine that if you’re in the business world, somebody might be searching your name because they’re thinking of investing in the company. They want to know what kind of a leader are you, do you have good press, what are your accomplishments. Because a lot of the company, if you’re the CEO, you’re leading the entire business. And the direction that you plan to take it is incredibly important.
[00:08:43] If you are otherwise, you’re meeting people for the first time, you’re trying to build connections. You want to find out who they are, where are they, what do their social media profiles look like, what are they doing, what kind of press is there about them? So, it’s very research based, I think, and connection based when you’re at the human level, just trying to understand who are these people, and sometimes maybe just trying to dig up some dirt in other scenarios that maybe are less kind.
Throughout the Entire Searching on Google Journey, Branded Search Happens
[00:09:19] Jason Barnard: No. And I really like that. It’s a piece of luck starting with people because it is very much research based, and then we move on to companies. And I tend to say either the person googling your name is a client who wants to go to your website, it’s navigational, or they’re a prospect and they’re researching you, in which case it’s semi-navigational, semi-informational. And you came up with a list of about 20 different reasons somebody might google your brand name. And I started off with client and prospect. And you’re now going to expand that or you can expand on that and then expand beyond that. Off you go.
[00:09:52] Jonas Sickler: Yeah. I’m really big on the user journey, on the search journey, search intent, and what do people want, what is their desire that they’re really trying to accomplish. And then the words that they use when they’re searching in Google is a map to how they think. And then I find it really interesting that Google has to take those words and translate them into a psychology of what this person wants, what are their desires. And then they have to map, Google has to map that desire back to content that’s in its own index and try to understand what is somebody trying to accomplish at any given point in the journey.
[00:10:32] And branded search happens. It doesn’t just happen at the end or the beginning. There are many points throughout the entire journey that it does happen. You go from maybe there’s a point where you’re comparing types of solutions, and that doesn’t include brands at that point. You’re still trying to narrow down what’s the best thing to help me do what I need to do.
Each Piece You’re Searching For Narrows the Funnel Down Little by Little, But It’s All Still Part of the Branded Journey
[00:10:53] Jonas Sickler: And then once you’ve realised the type of solution that you’re looking for, that’s when all of a sudden best companies that do this thing starts to reveal a list of brands and companies that offer a service. And at that point, you start taking that list and saying, well, this brand versus that brand. And then once you’ve narrowed down maybe your choices of brands and you say, well, that’s the one that I think I really want to work with, then you take it a step deeper and you start doing product. What are the best products that this singular brand offers?
[00:11:23] And then from there, it becomes, okay, now I know what product I want, now I’m searching brand at the review level. Is this company trustworthy? Is this product trustworthy and dependable? And so, each piece narrows the funnel down little by little, but it’s all still part of the branded journey.
How Important Is Google’s Stamp of Approval With the Brand SERP?
[00:11:41] Jason Barnard: Right. Yeah. A couple of really important points there for me. If we wound back up a couple of steps, somebody thinks I’ve heard of this brand, I think they might be good. I google their brand name. How important is Google’s stamp of approval with that brilliant Brand SERP do you think?
[00:11:57] Jonas Sickler: It becomes incredibly important, and it probably varies, I would say. If you’re looking at a USB drive or a commodity, not so important. If you’re looking for a B2B marketing partner, incredibly important. And the reviews that pop up, then it becomes much more. Is this a trustworthy company? Because I’m investing so much in it. It’s so much more than just I need a blue shirt.
The Brand SERP Will Narrow Down to the Leadership of the Company, the Brand Itself, and the History of Decisions
[00:12:24] Jason Barnard: Right. So in that case, that’s just made me think. I tend to focus on this incredibly important Google business card, because I tend to focus on B2B. But B2C, if it’s a USB drive, which are relatively cheap, you don’t really worry about it, you don’t really care about the brand, at what point might the brand search be interesting? You mentioned investors at one point. So, that company doesn’t need to focus on the people who are actually buying from them. They need to focus on a different set of people.
[00:12:52] Jonas Sickler: Right. Yeah. And in that case, the Brand SERP narrows down to the leadership of the company, the brand itself as well, the history of decisions, everything that comes together. Because when you’re doing research for an investing strategy, obviously you’re going to be looking at things like ESG, environmental, social, governance, things that are really important to consumers, but might not be immediately something that you think of when you’re looking up investing relations material, if any of those.
The Importance of Reviews With Products or Services That People Invest a Lot of Money on and Use All the Time
[00:13:29] Jason Barnard: You’ve just expanded my vision of how this can possibly work, in the sense that depending on the type of brand, the type of company, the audience is different. Even if the buyers of this USB drive manufacturer, there are a hundred thousand of them. The actual important people on the Brand SERP are going to be the investors and people they do business with, the partners, and potentially leaving reviews. And you talk about that in your description. Are reviews incredibly important? People leave reviews, and people find them at the same time.
[00:14:01] Jonas Sickler: Yes. Yeah. It’s exactly like in most people, you find that they don’t leave reviews unless they’ve had a bad experience. So, that means the good ones are even more important to surface. But when you’re searching for something that is more of an investment from yourself as a customer, whether it’s because it’s something that you’re going to hold onto for a long time or because it costs a lot of money, that’s when the reviews become incredibly important.
[00:14:30] If it’s something that you think you’re just going to be replacing, more of a commodity that just gets regularly replaced, it’s not quite as important, because most people aren’t really searching for reviews on napkins and that sort of thing. But if you’re going to have to spend some money and this is something that you’re going to keep for a while or is going to influence how you interact with a world like a cell phone, then obviously it becomes incredibly important. The more you use it, the more you depend on it.
Sometimes the Reviews Are Product Focused and Sometimes Its Brand or Relationship Focused
[00:14:58] Jason Barnard: Right. Yeah. I tend to make sweeping judgements and think reviews are incredibly important full stop. But napkins is a great example where reviews are really not going to make very much difference.
[00:15:10] Jonas Sickler: Right. And it’s interesting because sometimes the reviews are product focused, and in some cases, if you’re talking B2B SaaS, it’s almost more brand or relationship focused. Is this company dependable rather than is their product worthy? Because those are two different questions. One of them is if I have an issue, can I trust this company to fix it, are they reliable and a trustworthy partner versus is the product good? So, there are two different pieces of the review puzzle that I think people are going to be looking at, depending upon what business they’re in. Are they in B2C? Are they in B2B? What are they trying to accomplish?
When People Are Comparing Companies, Do They Search One Then the Other or Do They Put the Names Together With Versus?
[00:15:47] Jason Barnard: Right. And when people are comparing companies, do you think they tend to focus on searching one company, then searching another, or do you think they just put the two names together with versus?
[00:16:01] Jonas Sickler: I think it happens both ways. As you’re approaching from the top of the funnel downwards, it becomes more of a best solutions, and then, oh, here’s a list of the companies, and then it’s this company versus that company. As you narrow it down, you’re thinking this one versus that one. But then once you get, and maybe somewhere in there, you’re also searching reviews for company A and reviews for company B.
[00:16:30] You tend not to do that in a list of 10 or so companies. But when you narrowed it down to I really think it’s going to be one of these two, that’s when it hits the reviews and the testimonials and those things that you’re starting to look for to see what the other experiences are for that brand.
With the New Card Layout of the SERP, Will Google Apply This to Companies and Products to Keep People on the SERP?
[00:16:47] Jason Barnard: Right. And to what extent do you think Google is now trying to keep people on the SERP? If Anton can put that up, it’s now got cards in the Knowledge Panel, which basically take up the top third of the SERP. And when you look at these cards, for people listening on audio, it’s a Brand SERP when you search my name with photos in a card and then my site in a card and my TV show in a card and my Twitter in a card right at the top of the SERP. And my website has been pushed down, maybe a quarter of the way down.
[00:17:18] This is Google basically showing a complete overview of who I am and where you can interact with me. Do you think that’s going to move over to companies and products and Google’s going to be informing people on the SERP?
[00:17:32] Jonas Sickler: I think so. I’ve seen that with cities as well. If you’re searching a location, here’s everything you need to know from the weather to travel conditions to places to stay, if you search Madrid or something. And I definitely see that becoming more prominent with companies, especially if they have a digital presence. It still amazes me how many companies do not.
The Importance for Companies to Invest in Their Digital Presence and the Way Google Take Users’ Prior Search Activity to Suggest Related Content
[00:17:54] Jonas Sickler: And they either think they don’t need it or they’ve tiptoed in, but they haven’t really invested in defining their brand, their digital brand versus their real world brand, if they are more brick and mortar mindset. And they were like, well, we’ve got 500 stores, everybody knows us. Why would we need to? Of course, they know us online. Why would we need to invest in that? But yeah, I definitely see brands needing to invest in that and tell Google everything they need to know.
[00:18:22] Because when someone does a brand search, if it’s just the brand’s name, there’s no indication other than their prior search activity as to exactly what they’re looking for. So if Google can take the prior search activity and say, well, you’ve been searching these things and now you search this brand, so you probably want to see this particular section of the brands online presence. But if it’s just an initial search, they want to give you an overview of everything, because then you can pick and choose where you want to go.
Google Provides and Suggests Enough Information for Users Not to Leave the SERP
[00:18:50] Jason Barnard: Right. Yeah, no, a hundred percent. And when it’s just the brand name, they’re trying to give all the options. And I did an experiment earlier on where I searched for Jason Barnard, The Barking Dogs. The Barking Dogs is my punk folk group in the 90s. And it just changes the cards at the top to contain the group. And so, basically, we’ve given it an extra clue, and it can create that whole card layout around The Barking Dogs.
[00:19:12] I’m obsessed by the idea that although this is people, and it would be totally logical for a film star or a film, you can research the entire film or the film stars career just on Google. It’s going to happen to companies. It’s a question of when.
Businesses Having a Common Name Is a Big Problem in Branded Search
[00:19:27] Jonas Sickler: Yeah. And I love that when you do start to search a company’s name, if it’s a big enough brand, Google will suggest do you mean, in a little dropdown, do you mean Nike the company? And if you click that, then it reconfigures the SERP to be focused on the business. Whereas, if you start searching Apple, it might say do you mean Apple the company or the fruit? That way we can just, before you even click show me the results, it knows which set of results to give you, so it is more accurate. Because there are a lot of businesses that have a common name, and that’s a big problem in the branded search.
A Case Study With Backpacker Job Board, Which Dominated and Became Representative for That Generic Term
[00:20:05] Jason Barnard: Oh, it is. It’s a huge problem. We did a case study with Backpacker Job Board. And Backpacker Job Board is just the name of the product, and that was traditional SEO, let’s rank for Backpacker Job Board. And he’s managed to, Matthew Heyes has managed to turn it all around on its head. And he’s got such dominance that he becomes representative of the generic term Backpacker Job Board. So if you can turn on its head, those generic names can be absolutely very powerful. Really difficult to do, incredible job he did.
Big Corporations Have Many Different Entities Involved and Interlinked in Their Company
[00:20:33] Jason Barnard: And another thing that I was thinking about as you were talking is with these big corporations, they don’t realise how many different entities are involved in their company. You get the parent company, then all the subsidiaries. And you talk to them, and they just talk about the main one. And you’re saying, but you’ve got a hundred other subsidiaries. And they’re all interlinked, and they all affect each other.
[00:20:55] Jonas Sickler: They absolutely are. And then the leaders, the CEOs, the CMOs, whoever’s mentioned by them. Sometimes you’ve got a board. And the board members are members of boards on other companies. And they’re not related as far as companies go, but they’re related through the entities of the board members, right? And sometimes they have a page. Here’s our board members, and then here’s all the other places that they’re also board members for.
[00:21:22] And Google just tries to create these nets of relationships and topics to understand what’s connected to what, who is connected to who, is that Bill Smith the same Bill Smith that’s on this board over here as well.
[00:21:36] Jason Barnard: Yeah, no, a hundred percent and exactly. You’ve got this. Google’s trying to create these relationships in its head, and we think it’s really obvious. And everyone’s saying, oh, look, it’s incredibly obvious it’s written on this page. But Google can’t just rely on one page. And even that one page isn’t necessarily structured in a way it can understand. And when Google is presenting fact in a Knowledge Panel and the advice in the Brand SERP on my left hand side, it needs to be pretty sure of what it’s doing, if it’s going to present especially the facts. And that’s a big struggle.
Every Company Has a Digital Presence; It’s Just a Matter of a Controllable Digital Presence
[00:22:04] Jason Barnard: I wanted to come back to something you said earlier on as well about companies who don’t have a digital presence. I would argue that every company has a digital presence, whether they like it or not.
[00:22:14] Jonas Sickler: That’s absolutely right. They do. Because Google, if anything has been published anywhere, Google pulls it in. It’s a matter of a controllable digital presence. And that’s the problem. So many of them don’t realise that they have the ability to take control of it if they want to. It’s just something that they’ve assumed happens naturally.
[00:22:35] Jason Barnard: That’s a really, really good point. People think Google will just understand that it’s natural and think, I can’t affect this. But then if you think as an SEO I can affect where my web page ranks, then by extension, you can necessarily influence what Google understands and how Google represents the company.
Google Continues to Evolve and Understand User Search Intent and Trust Becomes Important in the SERP
[00:22:56] Jonas Sickler: I didn’t include this type of search intent in the original list of topics, but it’s something that I’ve been paying attention to. And I think it’s important as Google continues to evolve and understand why users are searching for certain things, and also the fact that trust is becoming incredibly important in the SERP as well. And that is when users search for a topic, but they include the brand name as part of the keyword search.
[00:23:21] So for example, if they were to search Ahrefs being an SEO tool, if they were to search how to get more traffic, Ahrefs, because they want specifically results from Ahrefs, or if they were to do site:Ahrefs, how to get more traffic, just some means of connecting a specific entity with a topic.
[00:23:44] And I think what happens with that is you’ve got Google probably recognising that if it happens repeatedly that people are searching this particular company for a set of topics, that brand must be relevant for those topics and also that they must be trusted for those topics. And I’m not going to go as far as to say that influences search results or how much, but I do think that it’s an important thing that Google pays attention to, as far as what sources are people really paying attention.
Kalicube’s Digital Ecosystem Is So Clear That It Understands the Topics They Are Dealing With
[00:24:13] Jason Barnard: Yeah. We’ve just got Anton, who’s put up Ahrefs SEO tool on screen. And all we can see are ads from SISTRIX and Semrush and Moz, which is delightful. Yeah. And one thing I would say about that is looking at the related searches at the bottom of the Brand SERP, what I’ve noticed for Kalicube is these days it’s putting Entity Home, Google Knowledge Graph, Kalicube Tuesdays. And it’s relating us to entities, topical entities, or idea entities more and more and more. And related searches seems to be focusing increasingly on that, which I find really, really interesting.
[00:24:51] And it would appear that our digital ecosystem is so clear that it understands now the topics we’re dealing with. And as you say, I’d love to say we’re ranking higher because it understands our Topical Authority, but we’re still at the beginning stages of what is Topical Authority and how do you build it. But I definitely think that’s something we need to look into the future, and Brand SERPs will be a great way to see that.
[00:25:13] Jonas Sickler: Yeah.
Do People Looking for Jobs Google the Brand Name of the Company They Might Potentially Be Working For?
[00:25:14] Jason Barnard: Which wasn’t a question. Sorry, I should be asking questions. What about people looking for jobs? I sometimes cite that. Do people looking for jobs google the brand name of the company they might potentially be working for?
[00:25:27] Jonas Sickler: Yeah. And that’s where it gets really interesting. Because if you’re talking about a brand, like Nike or something that sells shoes, and you’re searching for Nike reviews, how does Google know if you’re looking for the shoe reviews or you want to work for the company? And you’re looking for reviews of the brand to work there. And so, is Google going to show you Glass Door reviews?
[00:25:52] And again, it’s probably looking at your search history. Were you looking for jobs? Were you looking for marketing jobs for shoe companies? And then, oh, now you’re searching Nike reviews. Maybe Google will shift that SERP a little bit and show you the actual employee reviews. But yeah, I think looking for jobs and career opportunities is a huge brand of play. If you’re a big company, you definitely want people searching your brand and wanting to work for you.
You Can Turn On and Off Your Customised Search Settings So That Google Will Not Affect Your Search Results
[00:26:24] Jason Barnard: Right. Yeah. We’ve got Nike reviews up there, and it’s all about the customer reviews. Some people on Trustpilot don’t like Nike very much. The search history, I found that as I search a brand and then I move through multiple searches around it and then I come back, the search result completely changes. But if I close the browser and reopen it, it goes back. It’s a reset. I don’t know if that’s scientifically proven or if it’s just my experience, but that seems to be the case.
[00:26:54] Jonas Sickler: Yeah. I know that there’s a way that you can turn on and off your customised search settings so that Google will not do that. I don’t know if it’s default opted in or not, but sometimes people want to have that layer of customisation. And other times, if you’re an SEO person, that’s the worst thing in the world for you. You don’t want to have any of those customised results, because we search 50 different topics an hour.
How Do You Deal With Google Surfacing News Around a Brand?
[00:27:20] Jason Barnard: And to end, can we have a kind of Halloween scare story about brand crises? Because what happens when there’s a crisis and lots of bad news around a brand is there’s an enormous peak in brand searches. And that’s people researching the news, and Google’s going to surface that news. How do you deal with that?
[00:27:40] Jonas Sickler: Yeah. I think a lot of it depends on how secure and controllable that digital footprint is. Because a lot of the big brands that face crisis, they know they’re going to face them. And the first thing that they do is they turn to a PR firm, and they book television interviews, and they get interviews and papers and things. And they’re not thinking about the stickiness or the longevity of those articles landing in the SERP.
[00:28:06] And then what happens is when there is a very newsworthy crisis, it’s like everybody piles on all the news media agencies, write about it relentlessly for a week, and then the story goes away in the real world. But when you have a New York Times or a really trusted publication that writes about a story, and then thousands of other publications write about it, and they link back to that New York Times article to cite it, then suddenly it becomes a part of that.
The Articles Tend to Fade If the Brand Has Taken Control of Their SERP and Has Pushed Their Social Profiles and Related Websites Up
[00:28:35] Jonas Sickler: And then even if as the other articles tend to start fading away, you might have some that stick on the first page. And then you also have the suggested searches that appear, and they stuck on that crisis event, reminding people to keep looking for it because it’s been trending for a while. And a piece of it is the trending component.
[00:28:56] And eventually, if a brand has taken control of their SERP and push their social profiles up, push their related websites and other online entities that they have and optimise them to keep them on page one, then those articles tend to fade much more quickly. It’s impossible to always keep them out at all times, but they become less relevant because really it’s all about how much content is in Google’s index about one topic. And the more Google knows about that in the index that’s related to that brand, the less relevant those other things are, if they become seen as trending and not core to the brand itself.
If You’ve Got Control of Your Brand SERP, the Firestorm Won’t Completely Dominate
[00:29:34] Jason Barnard: Right. That’s a brilliant point. I really like the way you said all of that. And the other thing of course is if you’ve already got control of your Brand SERP and there are multiple stable results in there, the firestorm won’t completely dominate your Brand SERP. It will take up a part of it. Google will give a more balanced view. We’ve managed to do that with one client who had 10 bad articles. And all we did was promote the other stuff from below, push it up. Obviously, we can’t get rid of it, but we can certainly make it less prevalent.
Passing the Baton to the Next Guest for Kalicube Tuesdays
[00:30:07] Jason Barnard: Anyway, thank you, Jonas. That was absolutely wonderful and delightful. Anton tells me always to keep it to 30 minutes, and we’ve just over overstepped by 15 seconds. So, we’re going to pass the baton for next week. It’s passing the baton to Daniel Alfon, who’s going to be talking about being found on LinkedIn and looking at LinkedIn as an SEO or a search engine results page, which I’m super excited about. Could you please pass the baton?
[00:30:33] Jonas Sickler: Daniel, the baton is yours. And I look forward to learning all about how to be visible and present on LinkedIn in the SERP and also on LinkedIn itself.
[00:30:45] Jason Barnard: Brilliant. Wonderful. Thank you so much, Jonas. Thank you everyone for watching. Thank you, Anton, in the background. A quick goodbye to end the show. Thank you, Jonas. And now you have to sing.
[00:30:57] Jonas Sickler: And thank you so much for having me, Jason.
[00:31:03] Jason Barnard: I put you on the spot, and you took the spotlight. Thank you so much. See you later, everybody. Thank you. Kalicube. It’s all about your Brand SERP.