If you enter the search terms “pizza” and “near me,” you’ll get results on Google for pizza places in your particular geographic area. This is an example of how learning entities can affect SEO and the results delivered to searchers on the hunt for something you happen to offer. Learning entities can affect Google’s top ranking factors, including content, links, and RankBrain. Here’s what you need to know, brought to you by Saba SEO, an industry-leading San Diego SEO and digital marketing firm.
What Are Learning Entities?
Google considers a learning entity to be “a thing or concept that’s singular, unique, well-defined, and distinguishable.” In other words, it can be a date, a color, or even an idea.
How Do Entities Relate to SEO?
With content, let’s say you search for “keyword strategies for SEO.” The terms “keyword,” “strategies,” and “SEO” would all be entities. Links create connections between webpages that reference certain entities. The role of RankBrain is to use available data to determine which entities are most relevant to searchers so appropriate results can be displayed.
How Does Google Use Learning Entities?
A clue about Google’s entity metrics can be found in a 2015 patent. Based on what’s included in the patent, the search engine giant considers the following four main factors related to learning entities.
Relatedness and Notability
The first factor is relatedness. For instance, the term “president” would be related to the current president and possibly a few past presidents frequently searched for. Google also looks at how notable certain entities are based on factors such as links, mentions, search activity, and similar details that indicate what matters most to searchers. Google further considers the value of the category or topic an entity is related to.
External Signals and the Prize Metric
External signals like reviews are used for figuring out contribution. For instance, a rave review from a single customer who absolutely loved his or her lasagna would be given less weight than a glowing review for the same dish at the same restaurant written by a noted local food critic. The prize metric is used to link search terms with notable achievements. For example, if you looked up “Oscar winners,” you’d likely see a list of the main winners from the most recent Oscar ceremony.
Based on another Google patent from 2016, the following facts about learning entities, SEO, and Google are also known:
- Google assigns unique identifiers to each entity
- The number of times entities appear in the top results is considered
- Google has an entity database
- A high-quality score is used to rank entities based on factors that may include freshness, searcher behavior, and links
- Google uses content clues to sort out multiple entities with similar names—a searcher using the term “where is” with “Chicago” is likely looking for information about the city, not the musical
- Google makes an effort to link entities with other search data it collects
Google also uses search data to gain knowledge about new entities
The particular learning entities you focus on for SEO purposes will depend on what goals you have for your content and online engagement. As for how you can apply what’s known about Google’s application of learning entities to SEO, a good thing to focus on is who you want to reach online. You would then use this information to do further research to find out what entities are most relevant to the audience you want to reach.
Websites that keep up with Google’s increasingly sophisticated practices are more likely to rank higher. If you want Google to recognize you as an expert on your product or service, Saba SEO can help. As a premier SEO company in San Diego, we have served clients for almost fifteen years. In addition to search engine optimization, our services include website development, social media marketing, and online reputation management. To boost your ranking and stay up to date on Google’s practices, reach out to one of our SEO specialists at 858-277-1717.