Disambiguation in SEO

Disambiguation started off as a way of Google trying to zero in on what the its users really want. Named Entity Disambiguation as it is known sought to provide clarity as stop what the user is truly searching for.  Disambiguation may just be the best beginners guide to SEO. In this article we will look at what Disambiguation is, how search engines use it and how YOU can benefit from it.

Disambiguation Definition- What is Disambiguation?

The clue to how disambiguation applies to SEO is in its definition. The simple disambiguation meaning is clarity or the removal of uncertainty or vagueness. refers to the removal of ambiguity by making something clear. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary to disambiguate is “to establish a single semantic or grammatical interpretation for [a term, word, phrase, query]”. So, disambiguation narrows down and clarifies the meaning of words.

Disambiguation in SEO

How do Google and other Search Engines use Disambiguation

Google and other search engines like Bing and Yahoo amongst others, aim to understand what exactly the user is searching for. What the user’s intent is when they type in a particular search term. Certain phrases or search terms may have more than one meaning or may refer to something completely different based on how it is used. For example – Long island without disambiguation may in relation to an island in New York, a tv show about a medium, a drink, generic islands that are “long”.

So how does Google use disambiguation? Well, Google has a knowledge base or library of sorts for search queries. So, for each search query it filters through that library to give you the most relevant results using disambiguation

An example of disambiguation on Google – using a search using the word “Milk”

“Milk” for that search query you can have any of a range of results popping up

How to Use Disambiguation in SEO to Create Better Content

Since Google’s disambiguation algorithm is focusing on giving contextually relevant answers, our content needs to be in line with what the users are searching

The definition of disambiguation should guide us. Clarity, Clarity, Clarity! Create clear content, that uses data that is relevant to the subject and audience you are targeting.

How do we get our content to be relevant to users? Well you can use Google’s disambiguated search queries. How do those help? Going back to our example of the milk search. If you are writing about Milk the makeup brand clicks on the relevant search query. After that, look at the other search queries that pop up. Using those related searches, as data in your content will make it more relevant. However, you should not just stuff the query in there, it has to make sense semantically. Remember Google et al is aiming at giving its users smart, clear and relevant answers.

In Conclusion:

  • Disambiguation = clarity.
  • Your content needs to clearly articulate what you are talking about.
  • Your intro needs to articulate clearly what your page is about.
  • Rule of thumb – do not repeat yourself or waffle.
  • Don’t include multiple ideas in one sentence, which you could explain better in two or more clearer, concise sentences.

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