What is Salience And How do You Use It



Hi, guys. And welcome to another edition of Zupo's SEO Talk & Tea.

Today's conversation is about what salient is, and what natural language processing is. These are two very important concepts of SEO and Google's organic search algorithm, so it's a very important concept to understand. It goes a little bit into advanced SEO. If you've been doing SEO in the last handful of years, you probably know about it. And if you haven't been doing SEO, it is kind of a more advanced topic that not a lot of people know about because it's not very much talked about in general SEO articles.

Again, we're going to go into that, but first it is SEO Talk & Tea. Today, we have a [good matcha 00:00:32], a green tea that is a tea that we've actually tasted for the first time on this channel. We had a live test on one of my other videos. I don't remember which one. But I liked it so much we've brought it back. It's like a brown, toasted rice kind of taste with green tea. It's pretty cool.

Well, anyway, let's jump on in. What is salience, and what is natural language processing? Let's start with the latter, natural language processing. To best understand natural language processing, we need to kind of take a jump into the history of Google and its algorithm. Back in the day of Google's early days, they couldn't really understand what pages were meant to be. They could read the words, but they didn't really understand what people were trying to say. It's because algorithms and robots still have a hard time understanding our communication, whether it be verbal or it be written. Back in the day, you could just use key words, use it over and over again, and Google would say, "Wow, they're using the keyword a lot. They probably want to talk about this topic, and so therefore they should rank for it."

A lot has changed since then. It's actually been a long time since then. And nowadays, Google has now developed a better technology from machine learning and their algorithms to what they call natural language processing, which is their ability to better understand what a page is trying to talk about. They use these AI machine learning technologies, and so when they read a page they can kind of construct based on the sentence structure words being used, punctuation, what the page is trying to talk about. And they've been starting to migrate to this, because they want to best be able to understand what the page is about, and then give the best search results to people.

In that case, if you're still trying to optimize based on sheer volume of keyword use, that is not really the best tactic now, of course. But upping your keyword count of a certain keyword, it does help, but it's not so simplistic anymore. You do need to understand how Google is reading your page and what they deem as the most important. Natural language processing is their attempt to try to better understand written language.

Now, the reason why salience comes into play is Google has a natural language processing API called Google NLP API that you can access for free online. Just Google it. Google NLP API. There's a tool that if you plug in content there, it will show you how they're reading that content, and what they deem to be the most important. How they deem and measure is a score called salience. That salience score is based on 0.00 to 1.00. It's essentially zero to one, but they have two decimal places for you to kind of be in the nitty gritty.

The closer you are to one, the more confident Google is that that is the subject of the page or content. And the closer to zero you are, the weaker it is. Salience is important, because instead of keyword optimizations and just using a keyword over and over again, you want to use salience to optimize so Google knows which subject you're talking about the best. They understand things through entity, and now they understand things through better natural language. When you're using salience and NLP, I would recommend you go to the tool, plug the content in you're playing with, and see what Google deems to be the most important.

I have worked with some sites where there's a great looking site, we plug the text in, and Google has no idea what we're talking about. Or what they think we're talking about is completely different. So, it helps you make sure that you're writing your content in a way that Google understands. Because though Google can understand sentences, it is not advanced enough to know the subtleties and the creativeness that some writers have. Good writing is creative, and they can have a hard time reading it.

That's what salience is and that's what Google natural language processing is. In terms of how to use it, I would suggest going on Google's NLP API tool, plugging your content in, and making sure that the salience ... the highest ranking or scoring salience score that I give for an entity or a term is matching what you're trying to rank for. If they're not there are some issues, and you need to rewrite your content or edit it so that it's more optimized for those keywords that you actually are trying to rank for.

So, that's salience and natural language processing. It's a quick overview. There is a lot of technical nitty gritty in there that you can go read online, but I wanted to give you a really high level top level overview so that when someone uses that term, you get what they mean. Hopefully you found that valuable. I'm going to have another cup of this good matcha green tea. In the meantime though, guys, if you enjoyed the video, please like and subscribe. I hope to see you guys again soon. Thanks.

About the Author

Jason is founder and CEO of Zupo, which is an Orange County based SEO consulting agency helping construct powerful long term SEO strategies for our clients. Jason also enjoys multiple cups of tea a day, hiding away on weekends catching up on reading and rewatching The Simpsons for the 20th time.

Follow me

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Are you ready to finally figure out

Search Engine Optimization?