What is an entity Explaining the importance of SEO and search

jhon haltor

julio 13, 2024
What is an entity

What is an entity Those who have mastered the basics of SEO and have gained some work experience have likely come across the word and concept of «entity» at least once. Unlike «keywords,» «content,» and «search ranking,» it is an invisible, abstract concept and may be difficult to grasp. However, if you can incorporate the concept of entities into content creation, you will be able to improve search rankings and provide users with meaningful information. We hope you will take this opportunity to deepen your understanding of the concept of entities.

What is an entity?

Google understands entities to make queries more human-like

Entity literally means «substance, existence, substance» in English, and has the nuance of a unique object that is clearly distinguished from others. In the context of SEO, it is the same, referring to a word or phrase that points to a unique meaning or object. For example, when you hear the word «Margot Robbins,» everyone thinks of the great baseball player who is very active in the world.

On the other hand, when you hear «digital marketing,» it doesn’t refer to a specific person or thing. An entity is something like a «proper noun.» Google is trying to understand these entities, rather than just a string of characters, in order to better understand the intent behind a search query.

There are several ways that Google can understand entities:

  1. Knowledge Graph : Google may display information related to a search query on the right side of the screen. This is called the «Knowledge Graph.» For example, if you search for «Ebisu Station,» it will show that it is the name of a station in Tokyo, and information such as its location, opening date, number of passengers per day, and congestion by time of day will also be displayed. This shows that Google considers Ebisu Station to be a single «entity.»
  1. Google Trends : When you search for the keyword «Margot Robbins» using Google Trends, it will be displayed as «baseball player» along with a photo of his face. From this, we can see that Google interprets «Margot Robbins» not just as a string of characters, but as a baseball player (proper noun) representing Japan.

The difference between keywords and entities

At this point, if you have experience in SEO, you may be wondering, «How is this different from a ‘keyword’?» Keywords and entities are indeed similar concepts, but they have different meanings and nuances.

A «keyword» is literally the string of characters that a user types when searching. In the context of SEO, it is also called a «search query.» To a search engine, it is just a string of characters.

In contrast, an «entity» is a concept that is linked to a concrete, unique substance or object. If there is an entity, various associated information is linked to it.

For example, the search keyword «Tokyo Skytree» is itself a string of two kanji characters and six katakana characters, but the search engine associates it with the actual entity «a landmark in Sumida Ward, Tokyo.» This allows Google to understand «Tokyo Skytree» as an entity and display related information.

What is an entity

The relationship between entities and SEO

So far, we have explained the concept of entities with concrete examples. So how can you actually use entities in your SEO strategies?

There are not many concrete and reproducible methodologies that can easily make an entity recognized. This is because there are many factors that you cannot control alone, such as having other reliable sites mention your entity in order for Google to recognize it. For example, if there are many mentions of your company’s services, website, or a person on major information media or Wikipedia, the entity will eventually be recognized, but this takes a lot of time and it is difficult to specify the content of the mentions.

In particular, you should pay attention to entities related to people from now on. For example, even if content covers a similar topic, content created by experts or people who are well versed in that topic is expected to be more useful to users. In other words, if you can understand entities related to people, search accuracy will improve.

Entities are concepts related to «knowledge graphs» and «EEATs,» which are important in SEO, and once you have a better understanding of them, you can also use them in developing your SEO strategy.

It is a concept that is easily confused with search keywords, and with only limited information available, some people may find it difficult to understand, but as the official Google blog mentioned in the article states, search engines will continue to evolve to become «more human-like,» which is likely an irreversible change. By incorporating entity awareness into your site design from now on, you can build a site that is SEO-friendly in the medium to long term.

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