Andrew Allen

Co-founder, Hike

Andrew Allen

Google Natural Language API is a tool that has been released by Google to help in understanding the content. The usage of this tool will make it easier for SEO professionals as they are able to see how Google understands their content and its context, which can lead them into making better decisions on search engine optimization strategies.

Don’t forget, Google is just an algorithm

Google is an algorithm, so there are no people at Google looking through your webpages and assessing what the content means. The engine just looks for patterns in language to identify keywords which it can then use as identifiers of subject matter on a page. We try to diagnose how this process works by reverse engineering its understanding of words with more prominence than others and what context they’re used within those pages

How to get started

In order to use Google Natural Language API, you need to first go to this page. Once there, scroll down a little bit and find the “Try The API” heading where there is a field for text input. Then, copy and paste the content from your webpage into it and hit enter.

Google will then provide you with a list of all the entities that are extracted from that content, and it gives each one a score from 0 to 1. This is called a salience score, and it’s calculated based on the entities correlation against the document as a whole. The higher the score, the more that entity is correlated with the whole text.

Why entities are important for SEO

Now, you can immediately see why this would be important for SEO. If there’s a keyword that you want to rank well in then it helps if the salience score is high! Sometimes though, it doesn’t even matter how high your score will be – what matters most is just getting one at all.

Impact on local SEO

The last thing to remember with this is location. If you’re doing local SEO and want to rank in a location like London then make sure one of the entities it picks up is ‘London’. If not, then go back through the content and amend it until London is found as an entity. When it does, the entity score will often link to a Wikipedia page for that location. This is because content and locations are highly correlated; a great sign!

Why keyword placement matters

Also, play around with the placement of keywords within the text. By moving sentences from the bottom of the copy to the top of the copy can significantly increase the salience score for particular entities. Try and position the keywords as high as possible within the copy, and see what impact that has.

Put your competitors through, too. See how they’re performing. Are they ranking above you because potentially they’ve got a higher entity score or more related entities?

Use a software to help

If this sounds like too much work, then your other alternative is using software like Hike which pulls through this type of data for you into actionable insights.

We hope you found this helpful!

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