By Emilia Gjorgjevska, Andrea Volpini

7 months ago

Entity-oriented SEO is the future. Learn how to connect entities by aggregating the world’s information and making your content relevant to search.

Table of content

  1. Content Operations and Content Marketing of the Future
  2. The Brand Aspect of Your Content
  3. Understanding information extraction
  4. Named entity linking (NEL) and SEO – smart search performance optimization
  5. How applied entity linking can help online businesses in marketing content operations?
  6. The key for Successful Content Teams and Unified Marketing Communication
  7. Why designing for Content Clarity Matters
  8. How Does Entity Linking Help With Entity-oriented SEO and E-E-A-T?
  9. The present and the future of SEO are entity-oriented

Content Operations and Content Marketing of the Future

When I first delved into technical SEO, I decided to take the Web of Data course at the Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering in Skopje. Back then, I never could have envisioned myself becoming a part of the content marketing and content engineering landscape. As time went on, it became evident that content marketing and SEO held significant importance and became part of the computer science world, too. Even though we must differentiate between semantic SEO and entity SEO, both play crucial roles in today’s digital landscape.

Numerous articles address the subject of entity SEO and entity-based SEO. However, many of them overlook a fundamental aspect. They typically recommend the following practices:

  1. Repeatedly using the same keywords.
  2. Incorporating related phrases and synonyms related to the topic with significant entity salience.
  3. Covering interconnected topics, among others.

Yet, a critical aspect often remains unexplored: what do we do with these entities once we identify them in the text, and what follows in the process? How do we disambiguate them? How can we link them to existing definitions on the web and connect them to the vast knowledge bases available, ensuring clarity in our content? The synergy between technology and content has grown increasingly pronounced in recent years, particularly with the advent of new generative AI experiences. We must carefully consider how we structure our content operations and assemble editorial teams. How do we train people to have a holistic, semantic, yet entity-oriented approach to SEO that is human-first?

We must establish strategies, procedures, and skill enhancement programs to empower individuals to seamlessly bridge the backend of search, leveraging entity linking and knowledge disambiguation, with the front end. This connection should be showcased through knowledge panels and a SEO content strategy that prioritizes a human-centered approach. It might sound like a standard narrative, but I’ve had the experience of working at agencies twice and in-house twice. With over four years of consulting in technical SEO engineering, you’ll face challenges similar to what we encountered, especially if you don’t have a dependable digital partner in the mix.

The Brand Aspect of Your Content

Let’s be clear: if you communicate robotically, you won’t meet people’s expectations or provide the necessary information. Your brand will appear unattractive. That’s why achieving the right balance is crucial. You must learn to speak like a human but in a way that is also understandable to a machine.

Here’s an example to illustrate this point. I have a friend, an SEO expert named Sara Moccand Sayegh, whose aunt is a journalist. Sara says, “When my aunt speaks, I swear to God I only grasp about half of what she’s saying. She explains concepts in overly complex terms that most people can’t follow.” Just like Sara’s aunt, many businesses tend to communicate in a convoluted manner. This leaves me wondering: How can a machine understand your brand story if I, as a human, can’t comprehend what your business is trying to convey? If I’m having trouble grasping it, I seriously question whether a machine could understand it. The crux lies in striking the right balance, ensuring satisfaction on all fronts. The key is mixing your brand with the semantics and the machine logic, all of these three simultaneously.

Understanding Information Extraction

Search engines have become part of our daily lives. We use Google, Bing, Yandex, Baidu, DuckDuckGo, etc. as the main gateway to find information on the Web. We use Facebook or LinkedIn to search for people, associations, and events. We rely on Amazon or eBay for product information and comparisons, while when it comes to music we like to play stuff on YouTube or Spotify. We are decreasingly reliant on apps’ features to find connections, dispatches, notes, timetable entries, etc. We’ve grown habituated to anticipating a search box nearly near the top of the screen. We also increased our expectations to get fast responses back while we search for things.

This is how we and machines developed the use to connect information needs with information concepts and precisely how the fields of information retrieval and information emerged. Search queries are expressions of our information needs while the ranked lists of information objects are the answers provided back to the searcher.

In the past, while search engines were in the early development phase, it was easy to play with keywords and links and use shady techniques to easily rank on search engines. Now, with the development of advanced technologies and algorithms like Multitask Unified Model (MUM) and Locked Image Tuning (LiT) we need to embrace more intelligent solutions and carefully crafted content to answer user queries in the best possible way and provide a satisfactory user experience.

When dealing with natural language queries, we need to distinguish between named entities and concepts.

Named entities are real-world objects and they can include:

  • persons like Martin Splitt, John Mueller, Sundar Pichai;
  • locations like Mountain View, Silicon Valey;
  • organizations like Google, Pinterest;
  • products like Google Assistant, and Google Cloud;
  • events like Search UnConference, Knowledge Graph Conference, etc.

Concepts are the opposite of named entities and they represent abstract objects. Some examples include:

  • mathematical and philosophical concepts like distance, axiom, quantity;
  • physical concepts or natural phenomena like gravity, force, and wind;
  • psychological concepts like emotion, thought, and identity;
  • Social concepts like authority, human rights, and peace.

Named Entity Linking (NEL) And SEO – Smart Search Performance Optimization

In many information extraction applications, entity linking (EL) has emerged as a crucial task in understanding named entities through their linked descriptions obtained from a knowledge base like YAGO, Wikidata, DBPedia, and similar. This process is better to know as semantic mapping or semantic linking in the computer science world:

The first step of the entity linking process is entity extraction where we need to obtain the list of named entities in the text. A named entity compared to a casual entity is an entity that is already defined in a knowledge base or an NLP model;

The second step is candidate entity ranking where after analyzing the user query we obtain several entity candidates in a ranked order. E.g. depending on the context, the entity [apple] can refer to the fruit or Steve Jobs’s company;

Entity interpretation is the final step where we decide on the best candidate for a given query input from the user and use this candidate to retrieve more information from a knowledge base back.

Entity linking can boost your SEO performance by improving:

  1. Your mobile results: entities help improve mobile capabilities and mobile-first indexing which became dominant in search and it’s growing every year.
  2. Natural language and image understanding for rich snippets: things like photos, customer ratings, and product reviews belong in this group.
  3. Translation optimization: synonyms, homonyms, context clues and query facets, and entity disambiguation help in translation improvements.
  4. Increased traffic and conversions: entity linking and entity disambiguation help search algorithms understand your content better and distribute it to more targeted users so that you’ll have more visits back and increased chances to convert them into customers.

How Applied Entity Linking Can Help Online Businesses In Marketing Content Operations?

In the realm of marketing content operations, applied entity linking offers a myriad of advantages:

1. Enhanced Content Relevance: By seamlessly connecting entities in your marketing content to pertinent information in a knowledge base, you ensure content accuracy and currency. This, in turn, delivers valuable and pertinent information to your audience, fostering heightened engagement and trust.

2. Personalization and Targeting: Entity linking empowers you to grasp the context of your content more comprehensively. Armed with this knowledge, you can segment your audience with finesse, thereby delivering tailored content to distinct customer groups, augmenting the likelihood of conversions and customer satisfaction.

3. SEO Optimization: Search engines prioritize semantically rich and contextually relevant content. By employing entity linking to link relevant entities to their corresponding knowledge base entries, you can optimize content for search engines, bolstering search engine rankings, and amplifying organic traffic to your website.

4. Enhanced Content Recommendations: The act of linking entities in your content grants you valuable insights into the relationships between various topics and concepts. This knowledge is instrumental in providing users with more accurate and relevant content recommendations, thereby heightening engagement and prolonging their stay on your website.

5. Streamlined Content Curation: For online businesses grappling with copious amounts of content, entity linking comes to the rescue, streamlining content curation processes. Understanding the entities mentioned in different pieces of content enables more efficient organization and categorization, simplifying the user’s quest to find what they seek.

6. Real-time Updates: With each update to your knowledge base, entity linking ensures that your marketing content automatically reflects the latest information. This serves to maintain content accuracy and reduces the time spent on manual content updates.

7. Competitive Analysis: Entity linking can be harnessed for competitive analysis as well. By scrutinizing the entity mentions in your competitors’ content, you gain invaluable insights into their strategies, focus areas, and market positioning.

8. Sentiment Analysis and Brand Monitoring: Understanding the entities mentioned in the content, customer reviews, or social media posts facilitate sentiment analysis and brand monitoring. This insight enables you to gauge how customers perceive your brand or products, empowering you to take appropriate actions based on feedback.

9. Improved customer service: Entity linking can also be used to improve customer service. For example, if a customer contacts your company with a question about a product, you can use entity linking to quickly find the relevant information in your knowledge base. This can help you provide more accurate and helpful answers to customer questions.

10. Reduced costs: Entity linking can help you reduce costs in a number of ways. For example, it can help you save time by automating the process of linking entities to knowledge bases. It can also help you save money by reducing the need for manual research.

Overall, entity linking is a potent tool capable of enhancing various marketing content operations. If you seek ways to boost your SEO, craft more informative and captivating content, personalize content for individual users, boost brand awareness, elevate customer service, or trim costs, then incorporating entity linking into your strategy should be a thoughtful consideration.

Ready to turbocharge your SEO efforts and see your organic search performance soar?

The Key for Successful Content Teams and Unified Marketing Communication

We frequently engage in in-depth semantic and content SEO conversations with Sara Moccand Sayegh and Jason Barnard at Kalikube. I’m consistently impressed by the clarity of their insights. My interactions with them have been incredibly enlightening, offering me valuable lessons in content marketing. Through our friendship, I’ve honed my ability to pose the right questions, enhancing my writing clarity, my guidance in developing the next generation of superstar content strategists, and my overall refinement of the art of crafting content.

We unanimously concur that employing entity linking and context is essential for ensuring your message is conveyed clearly on the page. This approach serves to reaffirm and reinforce the content, enabling the machine to grasp it accurately and subsequently disseminate it effectively. We said it multiple times already, but I’ll repeat it: we need to design for clarity, and we do this to avoid uncertainty in our brand communication. 

Why Designing For Content Clarity Matters

I’m sure you’ve had the experience of searching for a brand or product on Google and being impressed by the wealth of information on the search engine results page (SERP). You’ve also harbored a desire to have a similar presence for your company. So, how can we secure these coveted knowledge panels and information-rich pages for brands? It all boils down to entity linking, which significantly aids understanding and disambiguating content. It’s as straightforward as that. No tricks, no secrets behind them. Intelligent content disambiguation is what does the magic.

Discover how to set up WordLift to trigger a knowledge panel, watch this video. 

How Does Entity Linking Help With Entity-oriented SEO and E-E-A-T?

I appreciate the visionary approach that WordLift and Kalikube embody because we need creative thinkers in the content industry, especially during this AI-first era. It’s imperative to prepare for the age of search-generative experiences, consolidate your content strategies, bolster your content understanding, and craft your content comprehensively.

Embark on a journey towards content excellence with a trusted partner by your side. Connect with one of our experts today!

Entity linking is a pivotal element in SEO, playing a substantial role in bolstering expertise, experience, authority, and trustworthiness, often abbreviated as E-E-A-T. These attributes are vital for achieving high rankings in search engines, especially when dealing with YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) content. Here’s how entity linking contributes to E-E-A-T:

1. Expertise:

  • Elevated Content Quality: Entity linking enriches content by weaving together pertinent entities and concepts, demonstrating a profound grasp of the subject matter.
  •  Authoritative Endorsement: Effective entity linking can underscore that the content is either authored by experts or substantiated by reputable sources, reinforcing its credibility.

2. Authority:

  • Citations and References: By incorporating entity links, a content piece can establish its authority by referencing trustworthy sources, experts, or citations within the text, thus enhancing the trustworthiness of the presented information.
  • Verification Through Corroboration: Linking entities to authoritative external sources allows for cross-verification, further solidifying the reliability of the content.

3. Experience:

  • User-Centric Design: Thoughtful entity linking ensures that content is structured and presented in a user-friendly manner, ultimately enhancing the overall user experience.
  • Enhanced Relevance: Entity linking forges connections between related topics and concepts, affording users a comprehensive and informative experience.

4. Trustworthiness:

  • Credible Attribution: Entity linking attributes information to reputable sources or experts, thus augmenting trust in the content.
  • Transparency and Clarity: By implementing proper entity linking, content transparency is bolstered as the sources of information are made explicit, further enhancing trustworthiness.

In summary, entity linking in SEO establishes expertise by crafting informative and authoritative content, contributes to authority by leveraging citations and cross-verification, elevates user experience and content relevance, and reinforces trustworthiness by attributing information and enhancing transparency. These elements are paramount when building E-E-A-T and improving search engine rankings, particularly for content centered around critical subjects like health, finance, and more.

Entity-Oriented SEO Is The Future Of The Search

Entity-oriented search and optimization give context to your website. That is why it’s important to work with entities because they help to connect the world’s information together and therefore get relevant results back when searching.

One effective way to do so is to use a specific type of schema markup that will contain all the entities in the ABOUT and MENTIONS schema attributes. Another, more advanced way is to create a knowledge graph out of your content and publish it as linked open data on the Linked Open Cloud. 

This is exactly what we do with WordLift. We make a shift from the typical link-building mindset and keyword-oriented search to entity-oriented search and a more advanced link-building approach that employs entity linking between the entities and their respective descriptions in popular knowledge bases. We are also a proud member of the DBpedia Association and actively contribute to the growth of Wikidata. Wordlift is publishing high-quality web-scale knowledge by following Tim Berners Lee’s 5-star principles from CMS and the e-commerce platform. This means also building links with other public graphs.

One thing is clear: user needs are constantly evolving and it is becoming harder to keep up. Do stuff that matters and make use of linked open data to stay relevant.

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