What is an entity An entity is a thing or concept that is unique, unique, clearly defined and distinguishable. Today’s internet is really a semantic web of linked data. It also makes it faster and easier for users to search for information. Entities are extremely important because they allow us to make sense of documents in a way that a machine can understand. Check out the video below to find out more!
The question we are asking ourselves today is what a unit is. This is a definition by Google itself. “An entity is a thing or a concept that is unique, unique, clearly defined and distinguishable.”
Entities are extremely important. And when we talk about the world of the Semantic Web, that is the world we live in today. While many people may not know or understand this, the web we use today is the Semantic Web and large companies have really started to take advantage of it because of what the Semantic Web has to offer them.
That’s data. When we look at the Semantic Web, we can think of it as a network of linked data. This enables us to give meaning to documents in such a way that a machine can understand them. When a machine views a website page, it may not infer the same understanding as a human. We can read the text, go through the document, and understand what that document is saying. It’s a little harder for a machine to do because it’s a machine. Thanks to the further development of structured data, the use of common data languages and vocabulary such as schema.org, our content has been able to be machine-readable.
Let’s look at this using an analogy. If we look at this text, my name is Ryan and I work at SMA Marketing. We have a couple of things going on here. We have two different entities, Ryan, I existed myself. I am unique and definable, right? And then we have SMA Marketing, another type of company, but that would be my organization. The English language, like many other languages, has rules and these rules are introduced so that we can formulate sentences and really share and communicate the meaning.
Since I understand the English language and the syntax of a sentence, I can conclude from the sentence that Ryan works at SMA Marketing. This Ryan is a person’s name. And that SMA marketing is a place that that person works. I just read this sentence and my brain knows this because it understands the English language and the rules that make that meaning clear.
Now structured data is also a set of rules. And it enables machines to do exactly what I just did with my own brain. How do entities play a role? As we just said, entities are things or concepts. They are unique, unique, clearly defined and indistinguishable. There are different types of entities that we can look at. An entity can be a person. It can be a place. It could be an organization. It can only be one thing, like a cup. And it can be many different elements. As long as it corresponds to this description above.
We need to understand these concepts, as I said earlier, because they are essential in the world of search engine optimization today and will continue to play a role in the future. It is important to note that entities are not the same as a keyword. Today we not only market to people, but also to machines.
Keywords still play an important role, but they are not the same as an entity. Entities are machine-readable in and of themselves. It is designed and built to be machine readable and it has been tied to data associated with it so that the meaning of this entity is no longer clear.
Keywords don’t have that. Keywords are terms and common terms that we may use in our lexicon as people who we also use in our text. Yes, search engines can understand the meaning and deduce from it, but here too, as marketers, we want to control messaging. We want to control the meaning of things. For this reason, it is important to use entities to set these expectations and drive messaging. This is really why entities are important. In our previous video, we discussed the context again. The context is the key.
And like I’ve also said SEOs and marketers, it’s our job to communicate the meaning of our messages, and entities help us with that. Let’s take a look at some of these examples directly in Google search. Some of the entities and why it is so important to define them and why it is really important to understand the meaning behind them so that our message is clear. Let’s say you do some of the George Washington content. And of course one of your key words would be Washington, his last name, right? But as you can see here, when we type the term Washington in the search engine, we see a couple of things.
First off, Google concludes that Washington state is probably the most likely what I’m looking for. It gives me a URL here for Washington state, but it’s not exactly sure what I’m looking for as I see the Washington Post, a Washington, DC-based newspaper, right below it. And below that we see the Wikipedia link for Washington state. And then we see information in the questions based on Washington State as well as Washington, DC. Google is unsure of the intent as this query is too broad.
If I wanted to talk about President Washington, I don’t even get information about it. Those search engines don’t have a clear understanding of plain text, but let’s say I wanted to talk about President George Washington. I would actually want to refer to this term as a person, not a state. Put in President Washington, we see he’s the first President of the United States, lots of other really good information here. We have other information attached like the portrait, drawings of him, his initiation cabinet and much more.
When creating content around the person of Washington, you are using the person markup and entity for a person so that the search engines actually know they are. no state and no city. As you can see, this helps differentiate the terms you are talking about and make it clear what you intend for both the search engine and the user. As you can see, this is where the knowledge diagram is accessed, a huge linked open database of meanings and connections between different entities based on their meaning and based on how they fit together.
If we look at another search query like marketing, we get a dictionary definition. We have a few other things that could be marketing related. Some other concepts. We have a link to Wikipedia. If we scroll down we also see digital marketing. Digital marketing is different from marketing. When we talk about marketing in the broadest sense, we want to highlight the topic of marketing. However, when we talk about digital marketing specifically, we’d like to highlight something more specific to digital marketing. The entity shifts because the intent and meaning behind the term we are using change.
Another based on the location. Let’s say you do local business. I live in a city called Melbourne. Melbourne is in Florida. Now if I type Melbourne in the search bar, I get Melbourne Australia. It’s on the other side of the world than what I’m aiming for. If we scroll down you see things here in Australia, but now you see Melbourne, Florida too. Google search knows, hey, these are two different cities. That person might be looking for a location in Florida, or they could be looking for a location in Australia.
We’d have to mark the place. This plays a huge role in local search and local business search. If I want to talk about Melbourne, Florida, I can highlight Melbourne, Florida company that is a city. And I can define this city and have the attributes of this city. Again I have clearly defined my content. Businesses play an extremely important role in today’s search as we turn more and more to leveraging the Semantic Web, and you don’t have to be one of those massive companies to understand and use it. There are tools that we talked about on this channel. There is a tool called WordLift that we use a lot to tag entities and put that kind of structured data into our site.
The most important thing you need to understand is that companies today are driving search, and not just search, but major social platforms and many other major business platforms as the web becomes more interconnected with the help of linked data. This is why we want to make sure that when we talk about concepts we have the meaning we want to attach to our website, so that we give the best possible visibility to the people we want to talk to.
If you found this helpful, please comment below and connect with us. And I would also like to offer you the opportunity to attend our course. We have a structured data based course that will help you tag your site and take advantage of structured data much more fully. If you are interested in it you can check it out. It’s simplifiedsearch.net. Make sure you use the code YouTube and get a generous discount on this course so that you can get more out of your digital marketing activities. Structured data play a big role. Companies are at the center of this, and we must use them more and more to improve our online visibility. If you have any other questions, please comment below. We would like to continue this conversation with you. And see you next time, Happy Marketing.
Author: Ryan Shelley
Ryan is pretty much an average guy, except for the average part. He is the owner and founder of Shelley Media Arts LLC. He is excited about helping companies connect more personally with their customers and prospects online. Ryan is active in influencing and promoting human SEO, personalized marketing and empathic … Show complete profile >