I’m lucky to have clients that trust me.

Sure, I have to explain to them my theories, explain the costs and expectations, and of course have a track record of showing results, but there are times when they simply trust me. My hunches don’t always materialize, but I think I’ve developed a pretty decent track record.

My theories on Entity creation seem to have legs. Let me explain.

Back in December 2018 (about 10 months ago) I embarked on a theory and plan with one of my clients, Boston Rare Maps, to build out “entities” within their database as part of a holistic semantic search strategy. Their content is almost entirely their inventory listings, but these listings are full of rich bibliographical details. My idea, which I documented in my blog post “Using Tags in WordPress for SEO Entity Optimization“, was to capitalize on tags within WordPress, which were already being used, as a way of creating bibliographical entities that do three things:

  1. it would tie the content together, both old listings and new listings, for enhanced search ranking of new items
  2. it would create content spheres where the overall site itself would develop semantic relevancy for these topical entities and raise the rank of all of the related inventory items
  3. and that if we were lucky, these tag pages would begin to rank independently of the listings
Ambitious goals, but that was the idea.

Numbers 1 and 2 have worked out as far as we can tell, with overall inbound search engine traffic (impressions and clicks) continually rising in the year since, and that alone is exciting considering our not-yet-complete implementation of the strategy (definitions have only been completed for a small sample of the entities).
But Number 3 is the real surprise: not only are our tag pages ranking for their primary query, but they’re often ranking immediately after Wikipedia or the Library of Congress in the #2 or #3 SERP position.
For example, in the image shown, the incognito query is for “Atlantic Neptune“, a collection of maps from the 18th century. Wikipedia is position one, the Library of Congress is position two, but our tag page is position three and is enhanced with a carousel of thumbnails consisting of the current inventory items for that tag.
How cool is that?!
And if we were to scroll to position 4 in the image, it’s the most recent listing tagged with “Atlantic Neptune”.
This isn’t an isolated occurrence either; for the vast majority of tags we’ve employed where a full description has been provided, the tag pages have been showing up in the top five positions of the SERP with a leading inventory item also being shown on page one in addition.

Without any exceptions, these tag pages are all a result of internal linking. There are zero external websites linking to these pages to give them any sort of boost (beyond this article). All pagerank conveyed to them as been through internal linking using WordPress tags (which also generate a sitemap of these tags), as well as contextual links within relevant inventory items. This is a strategy that can be implemented entirely internally as part of a documented content strategy.

I’m excited to see how far we can push this content to the top of the SERP.