Google Centerpiece Annotation

When deciding to read a book, you first need to understand what it is about and decide if you want to read it. Similarly, with conversations, you want to understand what the person speaking conveys to better engage in the discussion. Google Search is no different; it wants to understand and classify web pages before grading them, which Google refers to as Centerpiece Annotation. This article will discuss Centerpiece Annotation and how it can help you improve your Search Engine Optimization processes.

Google Centerpiece Annotation

What is Google Centerpiece Annotation?

Centerpiece Annotation is the terminology used by Google to describe the topic summary (focal point) of the main content of a web page. 

Google reads HTML (or rendered Javascript) using Natural Language Processing (NLP), processes the page elements into different sections, and weighs those parts separately. 

Elements outside of the centerpiece annotation are treated and weighted differently.

What is the purpose of a Google Centerpiece Annotation?

Google needs to understand your content to classify and grade it; scientific topics would be graded differently than pop culture websites. With every Google algorithm update, Google attempts to refine and improve its understanding of web pages.

This is similar to a professor grading a paper; they need to consider the student’s grade level, subject, and applied knowledge to provide an accurate grade.

How is Google Centerpiece Annotation related to SEO?

The easier it is for Google to understand your content, the faster it will index it in Search Engine Result Pages. 

You can optimize your SEO efforts by creating semantic content.

How to optimize your content for Google Centerpiece Annotation

  1. Before writing an article, determine the focal topic. You can do this by ascertaining the Root Keyword for the article.
  2. Decide where this article will fit within your current or planned content structure.
  3. Have people review your content, ensuring it doesn’t wander off-topic. 
  4. If possible, use schema markup to add SameAS schema to help with structured data discovery.

Related discussion on the Duda Webinar

You can learn more about Centerpiece Annotation from Martin Splitt on the Duda Webinar. These transcripts should help you understand how Google uses Centerpiece Annotations.

That’s just us analyzing the content and, I don’t know what we have publicly said about this, but I think I brought it up in one of the podcasts episodes.

So I can probably say that we have a thing called the Centerpiece Annotation, for instance, and there’s a few other annotations that we have where we look at the semantic content, as well as potentially the layout tree.

But fundamentally we can read that from the content structure in HTML already and figure out so “Oh! This looks like from all the natural language processing that we did on this entire text content here that we got, it looks like this is primarily about topic A, dog food.

Martin Splitt

Martin continues:

And then there’s this other thing here, which seems to be like links to related products but it’s not really part of the centerpiece. It’s not really main content here. This seems to be additional stuff.

And then there’s like a bunch of boilerplate or, “Hey, we figured out that the menu looks pretty much the same on all these pages and lists. This looks pretty much like that menu that we have on all the other pages of this domain,” for instance, or we’ve seen this before. We don’t even actually go by domain or like, “Oh, this looks like a menu.”

We figure out what looks like boilerplate and then, that gets weighted differently as well.

Martin Splitt

Martin continues:

So if you happen to have content on a page that is not related to the main topic of the rest of the content, we might not give it as much of a consideration as you think.

We still use that information for the link discovery and figuring out your site structure and all of that.

But if a page has 10,000 words on dog food and then 3000 or 2000 or 1000 words on bikes, then probably this is not good content for bikes.

Martin Splitt


Watch Martin Splitt explain how Google analyzes a web page at the 28:42 minute mark:

Duda Webinar on Essential Rendering

Published on: 2021-10-22
Updated on: 2023-03-05

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Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands is the SEO Director at SEO North, a company that provides Search Engine Optimization services. As an SEO Professional, Isaac has considerable expertise in On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, and Technical SEO, which gives him a leg up against the competition.