All You Need to Know about Google’s BERT Update
Author : Admin
Change is always not flashy, sometimes it is unnoticed and you have to adjust according to it. Recently Google made such an invisible change by introducing a new update called BERT. However, a very few in the SEO community know on what it will target and how will it influence the content marketing and SEO landscape. Google claimed the change will impact 1 in 10 queries. Many of the SEOs and tracking tools couldn’t notice the massive changes in the search results, despite being one of the biggest changes that has happened in the last 5 years after RankBrain.
What is Google’s BERT Update?
BERT stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. With the objective of increasing relevance in SERPs, Google’s BERT update will help in natural language processing. It is a technique based on neutral-network, (pattern recognition) which help computers understand how humans communicate. Integrating neural-networks the search engine would return more relevant and useful page results for the users.
Initially in October, BERT was live for English search queries globally, but Google quickly expanded it to 70 languages worldwide.
How Google BERT Will Work?
Google’s BERT will understand the nuances and context of words and will come up with better and more relevant matches for the queries. The BERT update is concerned about longer and more conversational queries. Google stated that BERT algorithm is there to optimize the content in a way that normal humans communicate and not the way machines do. BERT can simultaneously process words placed before and after a specific term owing to its bi-directionality. This enables the accurate interpretation of context and the meaning of the term.
For instance, Searching for the query “2019 Canada traveler to USA needs a visa,” the word “to” and its relationship to the other words in query is important. Previously, Google ignored the importance of this connection and would return results on U.S. citizens traveling to Canada. Now, Google process these nuances of words and come up with more relevant results that users are looking for.
What Google has to say?
According to Google, BERT algorithm will help in better understanding of the context of sentences and complex search queries.
This is what Google has to say-
“These improvements are oriented around improving language understanding, particularly for more natural language/conversational queries, as BERT is able to help Search better understand the nuance and context of words in Searches and better match those queries with helpful results.”
Particularly for longer, more conversational queries, or searches where prepositions like “for” and “to” matter a lot to the meaning, Search will be able to understand the context of the words in your query. You can search in a way that feels natural for you.”
Even if we say that BERT is new, but the concept was made public in 2018. According to Google researchers in a paper published at Google Artificial Intelligence Language, “unlike recent language representation models, BERT is designed to pre-train deep bidirectional representations from unlabeled text by jointly conditioning on both left and right context in all layers. As a result, the pre-trained BERT model can be fine-tuned with just one additional output layer to create state-of-the-art models for a wide range of tasks, such as question answering and language inference, without substantial task-specific architecture modifications.”
This language algorithm update is aimed at natural language processing that includes sentence level tasks such as natural language inference and paraphrasing. It establishes the relationship between sentences and words placed after specific terms and named entity recognition and question answering. This whole system of BERT algorithm is aimed at producing fine grained output that best matches the search intent of the user.
How BERT will affect SEO?
Yes, BERT will surely affect SEO. SEO is a process to enhance your website’s ranking on search engines and therefore any update that search engines make will influence the SEO process.
What can be done to optimize for the BERT update?
According to the latest tweet by Danny Sullivan, Google’s public Search Liaison, we need to write content for the users. However, the need to write user centric content always has been highlighted. You need not to work on the relevance of content from today or this is not something that you certainly missed before the BERT update, it has always been in demand.
As Google SERP is trying to best fit the search intent and not searched keywords, you need to identify and optimize for the right user search intent. The specific search should revolve around the search intent and keyword intent. Try to understand what users are searching, why they are doing? Understand whether the users are trying to figure out an answer to a question or they are trying to reach a specific website?
Moreover, we need to optimize for featured snippets as well. Since Google’s BERT update is about natural language processing and understanding longer search queries, featured snippets respond exactly to the questions.
How BERT will affect content marketing?
Content marketing focuses on creating valuable and relevant content on a consistent basis to retain targeted audience. Google’s featured snippets endorse the relevance quotient that improves the understanding of search queries. As Google is focusing on long tail keywords and featured snippets, you need to serve your users with the content that seems more natural and humane.
To write the most relevant content that could best fit the user’s search query, you should start with SERP analysis along with competitor analysis. You will gain insights on what it takes to rank, what type of content ranks on Google, how popular is a particular keyword among the searchers, and how difficult is it to rank for that keyword. Once you are done with the SERP analysis, you should create optimized and relevant content that must be humane. Your content should revolve around the human needs, it will get your website on the first page.
Apart from this, you shouldn’t restrict yourself with targeted keywords and discover other keywords by recognizing the pattern of search queries. Users have numerous questions for a particular subject matter or product that gives you an opportunity to offer more relevant content.
What is EvenDigit’s take on Google’s BERT update?
As Google has come up with its new update BERT it has provided a great opportunity to increase the relevance of your content so as to better connect with the users. Previously, SEO community and content creators were less concerned about writing natural content. This new update offers an opportunity to write content for the users in a more natural way that can prove to be the best match for the user query. This update reminds us that we need to create content for the real people and not the machines.