It used to be true that content was king. Nowadays, it’s the entire kingdom. Many years ago, when the world wide web first emerged, traditional digital marketing SEOs filled their content with keywords and just about nothing else to market their content online. Keywords have long since been the backbone of SEO because search engine algorithms and crawlers needed clear, concise direction to deliver relevant results. And, in the early days of the world wide web, the only way to tell the algorithm that your content was about entities was to stuff the word ‘entity’ into every ‘entity-looking’ gap in the entity article.
SEO has evolved significantly over the years, and because of this, algorithms are smarter and faster than ever. Google has always maintained that quality content is preferred over other ranking factors, including keyword stuffing. Instead of stuffing your keyword into every open space in your text, Google and other search engines are now smart enough to know the synonyms of those keywords and what it looks like when combined with prefixes or adjectives.
If people use your keyword in a search engine query, end up on your website and read your content without going back to the search engine, Google knows that your content matches search intent and will most likely offer your page to similar queries. This sounds easy enough to do, but the digital market is flooded with content and keywords that all match the same query. So to understand where entities fit in, we need to understand what Google’s ultimate aim is.
Google launched its Knowledge Graph in 2012, stating that its mission is to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Every algorithm, report or update has reflected this and finally, we can include entities into this mission.
Having launched one of the UK’s first SEO companies in 1999, Dixon Jones is the marketing director of the SEO tool Majestic. Recently, however, his focus has moved to InLinks.net. The InLinks tool analyses your content, giving you the same topics to cover as the market leader.
What are digital marketing SEO entities?
We can think of SEO entities as large topic pools wherein more specific keywords live. Google defines an entity as anything specifically definable (a noun, place, thing), unique and distinguishable.
Entities vs keywords
Simply put, keywords are phrases used in searches. They are often focal points of queries that users search for. However, since algorithms have evolved significantly, most of the old SEO digital marketing tactics are no longer viable and are, at best, frowned upon. Keywords would be things like Harry Potter, Hogwarts, wizards.
Entities are singular, unique, defined and distinguishable. Entities can also relate to intangible word groups like ideas, dates, colours and places. They also include abstract ideas, people, products and companies. They should always be distinguishable between other entities and keywords. Entities would be a broader topic wherein keywords would find themselves. Like fantasy movies, fictional characters, fantasy novels or anything else that might have a dedicated Wikipedia page.
Factors involved in ranking entities:
- Relatedness – if two entities are referenced frequently enough together on the web, the authoritative properties yield a single result.
Both ‘president’ and ‘Obama’ show the result ‘president of the United States.’
- Notability – the more valuable an entity is, the lower the value of the category it’s competing in, the higher its notability.
If your website is one of the few out there that supplies quality content on ‘Obama’, the chances are that you’ll show up on the results page for the query; A big fish in a small pond is more notable than the same fish in the ocean.
- Contribution – this is determined by external signals like links and reviews and is a measure of an entity’s contribution to a topic.
Do you mention ‘Obama’ once or twice in your content, or do you supply enough information in various texts across your website that Google sees you as a valid and valuable contribution to this entity?
- Prize – a measure of the various relevant prizes an entity has received. The type of prize determines its weight, and the larger the prize, the higher the value attached to the entity.
A Nobel Prize, an Oscar, or a U.S. Search Award are all prizes that an entity might receive.
How have entities changed SEO?
Entity-based SEO is helpful for users but can make things a bit more complicated for content creators. Three ways that entities have made a difference in SEO digital marketing:
- Better mobile capabilities (mobile-first indexing)
- Translation improvements (entities can be found regardless of homonyms, synonyms or foreign language use)
- Rich snippets (rich snippets that include customer ratings and images can outperform even number one search results)
What does it mean to have a viable entity?
For an entity to be legitimate, it needs to be connected to Google’s Knowledge Graph. The Knowledge Graph, in turn, uses Wikipedia as a reference source. Therefore, anything with a specific Wikipedia page dedicated to it is most likely a viable entity.
How can entities and keywords work together?
You need to provide keywords with context to help define an entity. When you write compelling keyword-rich content and give those keywords some context, it will help define and connect those specific keywords to relevant entities. Contextualised keywords will help search engines link your website to relevant entities, improving your chances that your website will rank for a relevant search query. In short, it creates more concrete discoverability.
Ensuring that your business and brand are in themselves an entity will enable you to include several keywords that previously would not have been available for use on your site.
This is an example of keyword-rich content:
Here at Relevance digital marketing, we try our best to market your website digitally. We have SEO specialists trained in digital marketing strategies that will help you and your business rank higher in search engines. Digital marketing is not what it used to be, but with Relevance, you can be sure that your digital marketing goals and objectives will be met.
This, however, is an example of text that has relevant keywords that are contextualised.
Relevance’s team of SEO specialists help luxury brands rank for carefully selected keywords, utilising best practice SEO techniques, including flawlessly optimised content that expertly resonates with a brand’s target audience. Contact us to learn more about our digital marketing SEO services.