Entity and SEO: how to optimize and exploit entities according to Google

Put us to the test
Put us to the test!
Analyze your site
Select the database

Things, not strings. It was 2012 when Google’s then senior vice president Amit Singhal used this expression to introduce the Knowledge Graph and its innovative approach, which would shortly be applied to Search and SEO in general. In a little more than a decade, the landscape has evolved further, and today Semantic Web, graphs, and especially entities are essential components of Search and modern SEO, working on multiple factors to provide useful answers, such as context, user intent, and relationships between words. Underlying this is precisely the concept of entities, which is perhaps the most complex to understand, and is the core of the semantic web and the key by which search algorithms are able to identify topics and relate them to each other.Entities for Google are precisely the nodes that allow us to understand the connections between various terms, the needs expressed by users, and the context in which these entities exist and intertwine. For this reason, working on entity optimization in our content is one of the fronts toward which to direct SEO activity, moving beyond the old concepts of keywords.

What is an entity according to Google

The definition of entity comes directly out of a Google’s patent, already registered in 2012 and constantly updated throughout the years in order to adapt it to new technologies and the algorithm’s evolution, immediately used to build the Knowledge Graph but than also extended to the Research as a whole. The document reads that, to the meaning we are interested in, an entity is

a thing or concept that is peculiar, unique, well defined e discernible“.

More specifically, an entity can be a person, a place, an object, an idea, an abstract concept, a practical element or any combination of these – Google’s team explains – and, generally speaking, entities include things or concepts linguistically represented by nouns.

Understanding entities: examples and explanations

Therefore, entities are not simply names or physical objects, given the fact that Google succeeded in a step further: an entity could be an idea or theory (such as the theorem of Pythagoras), an adjective (like a colour), an abstract concept (a unicorn), a globally interesting topic (global warming), a relevant date and so on, so that everything can be gathered in a unique way without any chance of confusion.

In addition, another difference from classical keywords, which are tied to language-specific terms, an entity carries meaning and is independent of the language and similar keywords that designate it, and can be found with a number of different search terms. This also reduces ambiguity in translations of words, which have sometimes