As the founder of a leading Los Angeles digital agency, I’m constantly being asked about the latest search engine optimization developments. Clients will sometimes call in a near state of panic, asking questions like, “Is it true that Page Rank no longer matters?” and “What is all this Hummingbird stuff I keep hearing about?” Lately, the topic du jour seems to revolve around entity search, also referred to as semantic search. A lot of people are understandably nervous about the subject, as it’s dramatically changing the ways in which we look at SEO. So I wanted to take a few moments and spell out, as simply as possible, what all the fuss is about.
Entity Search – The Future of SEO?
Entity search is the cornerstone of Google’s latest algorithm shift, commonly known as Hummingbird. The goal here is to take simple words and phrases and assign meaning to them, thereby allowing Web searchers to find more accurate results more quickly. This is a conundrum that Google has been grappling with for years, because how can an inanimate machine interpret meaning or intention from large blocks of raw data? Well it appears that Google is getting closer and closer, to the point where the company has actually developed complex formulas for interpreting not only the relevance of a given keyword, but also its intended meaning. This is huge, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that SEO will never be the same.
Here’s an example. Let’s say that your favorite football team is playing, but you’re away from home getting your car repaired. You want to know the score, so you pick up your smart phone, click the Voice Command button, and speak the words, “What’s the score for the Packers game?” Immediately, Google presents you with a header highlighting the current score of the game in progress (along with a list of search results).
Now, if this were 4 years ago, you would have clicked on your browser icon and simply typed “Green Bay Packers Score,” and Google would have looked for the closest and most relevant combination of those words, but now, more and more people are searching with voice commands, and they aren’t spelling out abbreviated keywords like they once did. So Google is plagued with the challenge of ascertaining intention in increasing convoluted requests. How do they do it? There are a number of techniques involved, but the most simple is known as semantic markup.
Semantic markup has been around for quite a while, but in light of Hummingbird, it’s becoming much more important to both Web development and SEO. To put it simply, semantic markup is the code that assigns meaning to information on Web pages. If you have used Google verified authorship, maybe you remember inserting your name along with the tag <rel=“author”>. This is a very simple example of semantic markup. Your name is just the raw data, but the author tag assigns meaning to it, informing Google that you are the author of a given article.
Now, semantic markup is being used to establish meaning to all sorts of phrases, from restaurants to sporting events to careers. As a result, Google is better able to interpret a wide range of search queries, even when they consist of clunky or convoluted phrases. This, my friends, is the basic function of entity search. Simple phrases are no longer the crux of SEO, because semantics are becoming the priority.
Hire a Los Angeles Digital Agency
Entity search is still a new and emerging aspect of SEO, but its importance is absolutely critical. The time to shift your SEO campaign is now. The longer you wait, the more money you’ll lose, and the more your competitors will take the lead. But you need a Los Angeles digital agency that understands not only the fundamentals of entity search, but how to harness it to the SEO advantage of your business. You need Coalition Technologies. Our clients always remain ahead of the game, because we always remain ahead of the game. Call us for a free quote at 1-888-800-9101, and we’ll share with you exactly how we can transform your online business or website into a semantic powerhouse that’s perfectly poised for the new search engine revolution.