Google’s BERT Algorithm Update

Google’s BERT Algorithm Update

google bert update

Google recently announced the change in its search system and it is huge! Wondering how this affects you and your business? Well, this new Google update is said to be one of the biggest changes after the introduction of RANK BRAIN 5 years ago. Moreover, it will affect 10% of Google queries. A big deal, right?

What exactly does Google BERT Mean?

Called Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, or BERT in short, this new technology is said to be setting the pace in the world of searches. It is only available for English language searches now but is set to expand to other languages over time. Don’t get confused with the name, it is simpler as it sounds and we will try to break down the meaning.

BERT algorithm is based on Natural Language Processing (NPL) and it entails understanding sentences in the whole context rather than individual words to bring out the best result. Bert is revolutionizing the world, working perfectly to understand words and its context just as humans do.

How does it work?

Google understands the struggle of searching for information and the need to make use of the right words. It strives to crack your queries, figure out what you intend to search and bring out the right information. Initially Google translates queries word for word and discovers that sometimes, their results are not accurate or don’t match with the users’ intent.

BERT update will figure out the words in relation to the context, crack the nuances to provide accurate and relevant information. Let’s take a look at some examples of how Google BERT update works.

Importance of prepositions

Google explained that they have come to realize that some prepositions like’ for’ and ‘to’ matters a lot in the understanding of the meaning of a sentence which was otherwise ignored before.

For example, “2019 Brazil traveler to the USA need a visa” this sentence actually means a Brazilian traveling to the US. Initially, the word ‘to’ will be ignored by Google and will understand it to mean someone in the U.S. traveling to Brazil. Thanks to BERT, prepositions in sentences will now be given more importance to understand better the meaning of searches.

Understanding the context

Here is another good example that shows BERT grasping the meaning of words the way humans do.

In the sentence “can you get medicine for someone pharmacy” Google explained that before, they would have missed out on the importance of ‘for someone’ in the sentence and proceed to bring results on prescriptions filling. With this new Google BERT update, each word counts and their context in sentences is given more priority.

Are there any other featured snippets?

Yes, a good example that Google makes is “Parking on a hill with no curb”. Previously, Google would have ascribed more importance to the word curb’ while ignoring ‘no’ and the result will end up to be ‘parking on a hill with a curb’. However, with the new update, Google will be able to bring out the right information to the queries.

How does Google BERT update affect SEO?

Well, there isn’t much to it that the SEO community has not been doing before. That is writing great SEO- friendly content. Google is improving by trying to understand queries intent, the aim is to match the best result with these queries. High quality, informative content is the best way to keep the ball rolling and to stay on the game.

BERT itself doesn’t affect ranking, businesses cannot optimize SEO with the use of this update. However, what should not be ignored are informational content and responsive site to match with content queries. If you are lacking behind when it comes to content, you might as well invest in good quality SEO- friendly content to keep you on track.

All About Google’s Knowledge Graph – A Complete Guide

How do I go about this BERT algorithm update?

Instead of focusing on optimizing BERT, why not focuses on optimizing the content. Jampacking your content with keywords and all might not always work, seek to write the ones that will match with searchers’ aims. Stuffing your articles with keywords might not even be that important anymore as Google now focuses more on the context rather than individual words.

One good way is to look out for the most searched questions or queries of Google users and write informational content accordingly. This will help greatly with Google ranking as Google will find it useful in providing the required information. Make use of videos, audios, graphs, infographics and anything you think will help your readers in understanding and answering their queries.

Final Thoughts

If this Google BERT update will influence 10 percent searches, then, it is really something to look into. If you are experiencing a decline in your traffic, it might be that your content is not informational enough. Focus more on quality and be more specific. Thanks to BERT, google users can dish out queries as natural as possible and Google will still bring out the best and more accurate results. A good opportunity for the SEO community to step up the game.

November 4th, 2019

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