Search engines like Google continue to focus on Semantic indexing and retrieval of content based on the concept of “entities” (“things”) rather than the concept of “words” (“strings”).
This method of storing the world’s information is much more efficient.
Occasionally, however, the results lose color and variety.
This guide will give you a solid introduction to the concept behind Semantic SEO or Entity-orientated search (Entity SEO).
What Is the Problem the Semantic Web Tries to Solve?
Semantic SEO helps to inform a Knowledge Graph by using a list of “things,” “topics,” or “entities,” not pages.
What Are Entities?
The concept of entities is similar to the concept of nouns.
An entity is a real-world object; it can be a person, place, product, company, etc., anything physical or abstract that can have a proper name.
Examples of entities could be Madonna, Toyota, or Paris.
Entities can be considered as entity instances; for example, Madonna is an instance of a singer-songwriter, Toyota is an instance of a car, and Paris is an instance of a city.
The question here is, why do entities matter so much? Why every SEO on Twitter talks about entities?
The answer is very simple.
Google uses entities to build its Knowledge Graph.
Entities are the building blocks for Google, just like proteins are the building blocks for your muscles.
What Is Entity SEO?
In one context, a semantic search involves using entities rather than web page URLs in an information retrieval system as the primary record structure.
Due to structured formats and relatively specific vocabulary, semantic search is efficient for machines.
As a result of Google’s large and sophisticated “Knowledge Graph,” it can now understand the relationships between concepts and how they relate to each other.
Now is the time for your online marketing strategy to figure out how to optimize an organization’s online presence so that its core competencies are expressed within the knowledge graph.
This is what we call “Semantic Search” or “Semantic SEO.”
How Does Semantic Search Impact SEO?
The days of keyword stuffing are gone.
Utilizing deep learning concepts is the key to semantic search.
Google has made significant changes to their well-known search algorithms – Hummingbird and RankBrain.They are part of more complex tools that have changed how we rank in SERPs.
How Does Semantic SEO Improve User Experience?
Semantic SEO improves user experience by introducing new concepts closely related to the original query.
Your content tends to rank higher in search results when Google’s algorithm learns that you provide a great user experience by answering the search intent.
Also, semantic SEO allows your content to appear in Google Discover, which generally increases discoverability.
What Is Google’s Knowledge Graph?
As we have already said, Semantic SEO helps to inform a Knowledge Graph by using a list of entities, things, or topics, not pages.
Therefore, it is imperative that one understands Google’s Knowledge Graph.
Google’s Knowledge Graph is a knowledge base that contains information acquired from various sources and their relationships for improving search results.
There are several ways in which the knowledge graph presents the information to users, most notably as an infobox or Knowledge Panel.
Knowledge Panels present a wide range of information about a subject or entity.
By offering a wide range of information on a concept, knowledge graphs significantly improve the user experience.
As a result, you no longer have to keep searching for a specific topic.
Thus, the time required to locate matching content is reduced, as well as the number of clicks it will take to find relevant information.
In order to build a knowledge base, different entities form relationships with each other.
An entity is a concept or thing that can be distinguished from something else, such as a color, an organization, a person, a location, or a feeling.
In order to provide the most relevant and useful information to searchers, the knowledge graphs employ machine learning algorithms and other algorithms.
By combining data from millions of sources and using machine learning concepts, knowledge graphs can produce a knowledge base with accurate and helpful information about entities.
By utilizing semantic search methods, the graphs return the most relevant feedback when searching the Web.
Knowledge graphs are designed to analyze the relationship between keywords and phrases to understand the user’s interests better.
It is the edges that connect the various entities and provide a description of the relationships between them.
In addition to providing relevant searchers with more information, the knowledge graph also increases traffic for search engine optimization.
Google’s knowledge graph helps enhance voice searches by identifying the entities in queries made using natural language.
A Google knowledge graph enhances voice searches by detecting entities in queries using natural language.
Knowledge graphs benefit businesses because they provide detailed information about them after a search.
- John Francis Bongiovi Jr. (is a member of) Bon Jovi, (which is a) rock band.
- It’s My Life (is a) song, written by Bon Jovi, (which is a) rock band.
- Bon Jovi (is an) album, written by Bon Jovi, (which is a) rock band.
The items in bold are all Entities. They all connect with a relationship, which is shown in brackets.
“Song,” “band,” and “album” are classifications of things. Or @types of things, rather than things in their own right.
Many people can be classified as a “person” entity. In this case, Bon Jovi is classified as a rock band but also as an album.
Note the importance of Wikipedia in much of Google’s Knowledge Panel.
When building the knowledge graph, Google uses the Wikimedia foundation’s data to train its own systems.
The IMDB database is also present in this example.
What Are Semantic Triplets?
In the context of semantic search, triplets are the relationship between two entities or entity @types. Triples make up the core of the knowledge graph.
- John Francis Bongiovi Jr. (is a member of) Bon Jovi
- Bon Jovi (is a) rock band
- Therefore we can determine the third triple that: John Francis Bongiovi Jr. (is in a) Rock band
The Shift from Directories to Semantic Search: Why?
During the days when we still used real-world libraries, how did librarians look up a book’s location?
Well, simple. Librarians had a cataloging system.
A card-based system represented by letters and numbers.
Herry Yang and David Filo believed that websites needed to be organized the same way as the Internet did, so they founded Yahoo.
A hierarchical list of websites was compiled based on a brief summary of each site’s purpose.
This idea of cataloging websites was challenged by the concept of “full-text search,” which was led by AltaVista but eventually won by Google, Baidu, and Yandex.
The curation of websites was slow and manual.
Alternatively, full-text search requires no manual intervention, and each page can be indexed separately.
As a result, the overall index was much larger.
To a certain extent, knowledge bases represent a return to old ways of creating the index.
In full-text search, search engines needed to transform text strings into numerical and mathematical concepts to provide quality results for users.
Then, this can be ranked and scored, ready for the moment when users need answers to their search queries.
Let’s take a look at the initial process.
Full-Text Search Phases in 3 Steps (The initial process)
- Phase 1: Collection – Crawling and discovering more pages
- Phase 2: Indexing – The process of turning text into mathematical concepts
- Phase 3: Retrieval – The process of matching user queries to the SERPs
For many years, crawling at scale was relatively efficient.
The web crawler could simply grab the HTML of the page and process the text later.
It is one thing for a web crawler to read every web page on the internet.
In this case, crawling would no longer scale due to the slow pace.
As a result, Google added a fourth step to the indexing process.
Full-Text Search Phases in 4 Steps (The new way)
Phase 1: Collection – Crawling and discovering more pages
Phase 3: Indexing – The process of turning text into mathematical concepts
Phase 4: Retrieval – The process of matching user queries to the SERPs
Earlier, we discussed how full-text search surpassed human-driven directories such as Yahoo Directory and Open Directory Project.
The move to semantic search, however, combines the two concepts.
Google’s Knowledge-based search relies on the extrapolation of ideas from web pages.
The initial data set is trained by using “trusted seed sets.”
Among them is the Wikipedia foundation, which is the most visible.
Almost everything listed on Wikipedia is listed within Google’s Knowledge Graph as an entity.
Entity-based search relies entirely on the integrity and authenticity of the volunteers curating Wikipedia content.
The next step is to figure out what Google considers to be an entity and what it does not.
Knowing this is essential when it comes to “optimizing” for semantic search.
How to Become an Entity or Expert on an Entity?
The first strategic decision you need to make is if you want to try to become a fully defined entity.
Recently, keyword optimization has become less important, and brands are instead trying to stand out from the crowd.
You can control your brand in some way, which is one reason why this works.
Once you add an entity to Google’s knowledge graph, that Entity will be automatically updated in the knowledge graph.
The Strategies You Can Use to Become an Entity
- Earn a Wikipedia listing
- Become connected to an Entity (become an entity by association)
- Start with a unique word to brand your Entity
- Being the Entity (if you are a business or organization, then you are an entity)
- Use Google My Business
- Write a book
- Act in a movie/be a director
- Stand for something different online
- Go to music festivals if you are a band
- Create digital assets related to your name or business and connect them (website, social media, videos, etc.)
How to Improve Your Entities on Your Website?
- Add structured mark-up to your content
- Build internal links for SEO
Concluding Words: Entity-First SEO Is the Present and the Future
Organic search used to be easy.
Google can understand context, user intent, purpose, and value based on the Knowledge Graph and its database of entities.
They know what your target audience wants.
It has become Google’s priority to identify quality web pages rather than popular ones.
Google prioritizes both the intent of the user and the experience of the user. And Google expects us to do the same.
Taking advantage of Semantic SEO is the present and the future state of SEO.