25 Jan 2016

Explore Related Entities Using Google Suggest (Google Auto-Complete)

One of my favorite SEO developments for the past years was the switch from “strings” to “things” meaning that, instead of optimizing pages for the exact-match strings of keyword phrases, we now realize the benefits of optimizing the page for “entities” and concepts.

If you are willing to see the actual example of what I am talking about here, head straight to this awesome article by Bill Slawski and read through his thought process and results. It’s a story of one page which was struggling until it was turned into a resource mentioning the related entities and how it became a top-ranking page:

…rewrite the page, and ignore any concept of word counts….

Instead tell visitors about the famous people and places in Baltimore that showed its Black history…

…put the locations of these historical sites into the article so that people could visit them today. That was part of the goal of a Visitor’s Association website after all, to get people to visit…

At 3,300 words, this was one of the longer articles we had published on a client’s site….

Within a couple of months, this page on Black History that hadn’t been getting much traffic, was the 6th most visited page on the site. Even better, it was bringing actual visitors to the site.

The concept of related entities is quite easy when you deal with such clear topics as places, notable people, events, etc.

What if you are dealing with a more specific or, vice versa, more generic topics? How to identify those relevant entities without turning your article into a book?

One way is to use … Google

Google has been giving us a lot of cues as to what they consider related concepts lately (which also shows they are working in that direction) and it would be a shame not to use the data they are providing us with…

Use Google suggest to research entities and related concepts!Click To Tweet

Research Related Concepts

Here’s an interesting result I came across just recently. In this case, Google suggest isn’t completing my query, but instead it shows me  various neighboring and related topics right within the auto-complete drop-down:

google suggest results

Notice how Google is trying to expand your search by suggesting you:

  1. Synonyms
  2. Areas nearby

To see results like that you need to use a vague phrase and search it first. Then click in the search field to show Google you are somewhat at a loss. Google will show some very helpful suggestions!

Look into Entity Disambiguation

For some keywords that can describe different concepts, Google segments the phrase and explains each group right within Google Suggest:

They first started doing that with names:

Don’t forget to also read the following articles on Google Suggest: