What Is an Entity?

Aaron Haynes
Aug 2, 2021

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Entities are a bit of an enigma. They’ve been around for a while and have had an impact on many aspects of search, but they’re rarely discussed. I suppose part of the reason is that there isn’t much solid information on entities, and Google patents, which are notoriously ambiguous, aren’t much help.

However, even if you understand entities, it is unclear whether they can be used for SEO.

Entity-based SEO is a new subject with many possibilities, but reliable techniques have yet to be established. This contains the philosophy, strategies, and tools for optimizing your site with entities.

Why do entities make it feasible to implement a long-term SEO strategy, and how can they be utilized to boost website performance?

In this article, we will look at what an entity is, why an entity is Important, examples of entities, and the difference between a keyword and an entity.

Ready? Let’s get started.

What Is an Entity?

In general, an entity(ˈɛn tɪ ti) / en·ti·ty refers to that which has a distinct existence as an individual unit. well-defined thing or concept which can be linked to a knowledge graph.

The word first appeared in the English language in the 1590s. It was derived from Late Latin (nominative: entitas), from ‘ens’ (genitive: entis), which meant ‘a thing.’

An entity, as opposed to a keyword, which is ultimately just a collection of letters specific to a language, carries meaning and is unaffected by the language or the synonym keywords that identify it.

An entity is defined as something that is:

  • Singular.
  • Unique.
  • Well-defined.
  • Distinguishable

In the SEO world, an entity is any subject that can be linked to search engine knowledge graphs, such as the Google Knowledge Graph. See the example below:

To optimize on-page SEO, we should concentrate on which underlying entities to use to assist a search engine in understanding the content’s underlying meaning.

We must grasp these ideas since they are critical now in the world of SEO and will continue to play a role in the future. It’s vital to understand that entities are not the same as keywords. Today, we market not just to humans, but also to machines.

Keywords are still essential, but they are not the same as entities. Entities are machine-readable in and of themselves. It is anything that is intended and constructed to be machine-readable, and it has connected to data associated with it so that the meaning of that entity is not ambiguous.

Why Is an Entity Important?

Entities are important for SEO because they are, at their core, the world.
Everything around us is understood by us in terms of entities and their relationships. We just don’t consider it that way.

One of the main reasons we’re only now starting to talk about this is that it requires machine learning to use the concept at the search level.

Google couldn’t understand the language well enough to interpret pages and entity relationships without machine learning.

Without machine learning, Google would not be able to learn how to prioritize signals accurately and on the fly, as well as adjust for and learn from unknowns.
So now we’re seeing the culmination of all of this, as well as a significant shift in how pages are ranked. Entities are accompanied by:

  • The ability to calculate with far greater accuracy the probability of meeting the user’s likely intent.
  • The ability to predict whether a result will be positive or negative based on language and tone.
  • A significant reduction in reliance on links.

I’m confident that links serve as a signal in the ongoing process of determining entity values, although they will be just one mechanism among many.

According to HubSpot, search inquiries account for 80% of all web traffic. To Google, the information that people are looking for is a type of data. Google can enhance its algorithm and more closely match search queries with user intent through a series of tests.

To optimize in this new world, we must change the way we think about our sites and how we market to the outside world.

If we want to rank for “blue widgets,” we must consider that Google can now or soon will understand all of the various entities associated with them, as well as the order in which the search intent will most likely be met.

And you must now consider which entities you require on your site and how they must be linked in order for Google to understand that you are more likely than your competitor to meet a wide range of possible intents.

Entity FAQ

What is an entity in Google?

Google defines an entity as “a thing or concept that is singular, unique, well-defined, and distinguishable.” It is critical to understand that the thing does not have to be a physical object or something that has a real existence; it can also be a color, a date, an idea, or something else.

What is an entity in search?

In the SEO world, an entity is any subject that can be linked to search engine knowledge graphs, such as the Google Knowledge Graph.

Entities in Google’s Knowledge Graph are semantic data objects (schema types) that each has its own unique identifier. They are a set of properties based on the characteristics of the real-world topics they represent, as well as links that represent topical relevance and its relationship to other entities.

What is a website entity?

An entity in the Semantic Web is the “thing” described in a document. An entity aids computers in comprehending everything you know about a person, organization, or location mentioned in a document. All of these facts are organized into statements known as triples, which are composed of a subject, a predicate, and an object.

What is an entity example?

A single person, a single product, or a single organization are all examples of entities.
A type of entity can be a person, organization, type of object, or concept about which data is kept. It describes the type of information being learned. In most cases, an entity type corresponds to one or more related tables in the database, stored in a database management system (DBMS).

An entity in business is an organizational structure with its own goals, processes, and records. A Limited Liability Company (LLC) which is a separate legal entity, sole proprietorship, limited liability partnership, general partnerships, or corporation are all examples of entities.

These legal entities all have names that may not be the same as the names of the business owners.

The entities have business structures that may own assets and incur obligations independently, though some entity structures (such as the sole proprietorship and some forms of partnership) may allow owners to be liable for the obligations of their business entities as well. An entity may also be required to file tax returns and pay taxes to the government for income earned.

Keyword vs entity: what is the difference?

Keywords are terms that are a focal point of content and are what users type into queries to find the answers or content that they seek. Keywords can be extracted from a question or a long-form query, or they can be used entirely on their own.

Entities, on the other hand, are concepts or ideas that have distinct characteristics and attributes that can be shared with others of their kind. They are linked together in a knowledge graph, such as the one provided by Google, and anyone can access them. While each entity is self-contained, it has direct and indirect relationships with other entities based on shared characteristics. They are also not required to speak a particular language.

Don’t forget: check out the other definitions (over 200) in our growing SEO glossary.

Make Use of Entities to Drive Search

Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of what an entity is.

Google is becoming increasingly adept at comprehending natural language. That is how we humans use and interpret language without even realizing it.
This is not true for search engines like Google, which can only understand language in a very limited way, word by word, meaning by meaning. Not until the use of entities for SEO began.
Human users, on the other hand, can process the meaning of each word or sentence fluidly based on our prior knowledge and the context presented.

But suppose you don’t have time to learn and implement entities in your website, yet you need to stay ahead of your competition while meeting your digital marketing objectives. Don’t sweat it. That is why, at Loganix, we are here to assist you.

Let’s have you started on your SEO goals today.

Hand off the toughest tasks in SEO, PPC, and content without compromising quality

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Written by Aaron Haynes on August 2, 2021

CEO and partner at Loganix, I believe in taking what you do best and sharing it with the world in the most transparent and powerful way possible. If I am not running the business, I am neck deep in client SEO.