Beetlejuice’s Guide To Entities And The Future of SEO

16 September 2019

Posted in: BSEO

What are entities? And how exactly do they relate to the future of search? In his BrightonSEO talk, Greg Gifford used his love of film to illustrate how they are going to shape the future of search in a highly entertaining and thought-provoking way. Read on to find out more.


Speaker’s name: Greg Gifford
The company the speaker is representing: Vice president of search at Wikimotive
Link to Twitter profile: @GregGifford
Link to LinkedIn profile:
Link to the slides:

What was the talk about?

An entity is described as entity as a ‘thing with distinct and independent existence’. Most people think that an entity has to be a person, thing or place. In his talk, Greg argued that an entity can also be an idea, and, as such, the interconnected relationship between these ideas is the basis of SEO.

Google used to focus on keyword-to-keyword matching to provide results. It just looked at patterns, and did not understand context. However with the release of the Knowledge Graph, Google switched to using real-world entities and their relationships to build its algorithm. As a result, ranking in SERPs has become less about links, keywords and on-page factors, and more about real-world signals.

Favourite quote

“Google’s Knowledge Graph is really Google’s Entity Graph”

Potential impact on the industry

According to Greg, machine learning has made it possible for Google to figure out how all entities on the internet are connected. In the future, if you want to rank for a certain keyword, Google now understands how keywords related to every entity and the intent of searchers.

For this reason,  SEOs need to stop trying to play ‘tricks’ and pay more attention to how businesses connect with other important entities. As a vital source of entity information about your business, Google My Business and local search will therefore become crucial.

For this reason:

  • Links from local businesses will matter more
  • Customer reviews will help show show information about your entity from users
  • Uploading high-quality images will create trust signals
  • Google Questions and Answers will help provide even more data about your entity

Key takeaways

Real world actions related to business entities will help be a huge ranking factor moving. For this reason SEOs should:

  1. Stop concentrating on keyword matching
  2. Stop worrying about optimising single pages and individual elements
  3. Write content that answers questions in a unique way
  4. Take control of your Google My Business
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