This review originally appeared in the August 22, 2019 issue with the email subject line "Entity optimization + my tech stack," an outline of my software stack in August 2019, and an explanation of entity optimization.

Clearscope enables SEO-focused content creators to understand the exact words and phrases that Google uses to build its entities. As an SEO/content nerd who sometimes feels like she’s seen it all… Clearscope is impressive.

At a glance: Clearscope

Visual review of Clearscope features: strategic; cutting edge; uses AI/machine learning; at the monthly price of a new computer. This tool is finely tuned, single-user and has a significant learning curve.

Using two major natural language processing (NLP) algorithms — Google’s NLP and IBM Watson — Clearscope scans the top 30 search results for any search term and isolates the phases unique to an entity that are most likely to rank. So, for example, to rank for the entity “best bathroom mirror,” Clearscope identified words and phrases like “frameless” and “round mirror” or “bathroom vanity.”

More simply: Clearscope identifies the specific words and phrases that map to an entity in Google search and helps you optimize the content for those terms.

Clearscope results for "Best bathroom mirror"
In addition to entity optimization, Clearscope identifies Google Autosuggest terms… and pairs them with their search volume and trend data so that you can see at a glance the Autosuggest terms that might be worth your time to optimize.

For a content-focused SEO pro like me, a tool like Clearscope is a big deal. With his super detailed demo, co-founder Bernard Huang brought me closer to understanding how the Google algorithm actually processes content. Clearscope takes the guesswork out of competitive content analysis. Its core function may eliminate the need for a brief once creators understand how to optimize for entity search (which may take several months… after years, I struggle with the concept of entity).

Clearscope’s UI is function-first, but fully linkable/sharable reports and a nifty Google Docs plugin incorporate smoothly into existing cloud-based workflows.

That said, it’s most useful for SEO and content wonks. Since it’s not the cheapest tool in the world (NLP is costly), I would recommend it for marketing teams with at least one expert in SEO to shepherd understanding of why Clearscope’s data is important. It’s a tool for the wonky innovators among us, those who give a tf–idf about how machines process the technology of language.