Entities in Local Search Ranking: A New Approach to Local SEO

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Entity-based local SEO became a hot trend in 2021. This approach is relatively complex, but it could set a foundation for your search engine ranking. Let’s take a look at what entities are, how they relate to local SEO, and what this could mean for your digital marketing.

What Are Entities in Search Engine Marketing?

The term “entity” can cover just about anything. This blog post is technically an entity, but so are the individual words on the pages.

In the world of local SEO, entity typically refers to a business or brand. It may also refer to the business’s audience, online content, local citations, and more.

How Google Ranks Entities

According to Google’s patent for entity-based search ranking, there are four main ways that Google ranks entities. These ranking factors correlate with local SEO ranking factors, and they may provide a different perspective on how Google promotes your business.

Notability Ranking

Notability refers to how popular, significant or important an entity is within its niche. Each sector or category has its own notability ranking because the audiences, markets and search intents are completely different.

To better illustrate this, let’s look at the world of influencers. An eco-living influencer with 100,000 followers on Instagram may have the same notability as a fitness influencer with 1 million followers. This is because the fitness market is larger and more saturated than the eco-living category. An advertiser may pay more for the smaller creator with the niche audience than they would for the large creator with a more widespread audience. If the fitness influencer wrote a blog post about eco-living, Google may not rank it as well as the same blog post written by the eco influencer.

Contribution Ranking

Contribution only compares entities within the same niche. The entities are ranked based on how much they “contribute” to their sector. This is measured by external signals, which usually come in the form of reviews.

To make matters a little more complicated, different reviews have different weights. If you own a restaurant, a ranking from a well-known restaurant reviewer will mean more than a standard customer review. Both affect your contribution ranking, but one holds more weight than the other.

Relatedness Ranking

Relatedness refers to how concepts are interconnected – how two entities compare to and connect with one another. This could mean how you relate to your competition, how you relate to other businesses in your area, how you relate to your target audience, how well your online content fulfills search intent, and so much more. All of these connections determine where you as an entity land on the giant map of the internet.

Prize Ranking

This is the most straightforward entity-based ranking factor. It refers to actual prizes a business has won, such as Michelin stars, cinematic awards, and other recognitions. Small local prizes may count, but not as much as a widely known award.

How Entity-Based Local SEO Works

Local SEO focuses mostly on distance, relevance and prominence. How far are you from the searcher, how relevant is your business to their search, and how prominent is your business within your industry?

These factors correlate with entity-based SEO. Distance is beyond your control, but relatedness is the same as relevance. Contribution, notability and prize combine to form prominence. By optimizing your entity-based ranking factors, you simultaneously optimize your local SEO.

Detroit Internet Marketing can create a personalized local SEO plan for your business’s unique needs. We can help you build brand recognition and generate high-converting leads for your business. Our digital marketing company has been around since 2009, and most of our team members have well over a decade of specialized experience. We combine this experience with cutting-edge SEO strategies to deliver powerful results time and time again.

Reach out to (248) 234-4830 to schedule your local SEO consultation with Detroit Internet Marketing.