A Google patent granted this week describes how Google might try to understand main entities that appear on Web pages, and how that awareness might influence the search results that the search engine shows off in search results.
An entity is a specifically named person, place, or thing (including ideas and objects) that could be connected to other entities based upon relationships between them. Some pages may make certain Entities to be the main entities of a page, while others may include additional information about entities that are related in some manner to those first entities. When some entities appear on pages, they may be presented in an ambiguous manner that doesn’t make them the main topic for the page they appear upon.
Entities are said to exist in a graph that connects them to other entities based upon relationships between them. For instance, Google and Bing are both Search Engines, both internet domains, both employers of many search engineers, and have CEOs, Vice Presidents, Marketing staff, headquarters, data centers, Web indexes. There are a lot of related entities that might show up on Web pages about both.
This view of Entities being related to each other, and belonging to an “Entity Graph” is very similar to what the Microsoft Patent I wrote about recently in How Bing May Expand Queries Based upon Finding Entities Within them. A number of the ideas behind how that patent works and this one are similar in that some knowledge about an entity might cause a search engine to display information about related entities.
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