Google BERT update: What you need to know

Google BERT update: What you need to know

Google’s algorithm, which determines how websites are ranked in search, are updated frequently. This helps Google to ensure that it is delivering information that is relevant to you and your interests. 

These updates happen thousands of times a year and the latest update, BERT, is affecting 1 in every 10 Google searches. Implemented in October of 2019, BERT has been enhancing the user experience.

If you use SEO to get your website to rank better in Google search, here’s what you need to know about making changes for better SEO results: 

Google’s BERT algorithm update lets website copy feel more natural 

According to Google, BERT is said to understand the context of words in natural language and sentences. What BERT is doing is taking everyday natural language and refining its crawl of websites by decoding and understanding more words against each other. 

For example, if you had searched the term “2019 brazil traveler to USA need a visa” before BERT, here’s what you would have seen: 

Before BERT, Google pulled up articles about US travelers visiting Brazil, but if you look carefully the search was about Brazil travelers needing a visa to enter the USA. After BERT, the algorithm results are much more accurate. 

And one more, “can you get medicine for someone pharmacy” …

It takes the context of a string of words and uses BERT to understand what the user is searching for more accurately. Google is placing importance and emphasis on all the words in the search keyword string, not just pulling random keywords and matching results. 

What does this mean for SEO? 

How is BERT affecting the way we write website copy? The new algorithm is pushing website owners to create content that is unique and specific and doesn’t necessarily require using exact keywords in headings and body text like in past years. 

Your content should be: 

 

  • Concise and informative 
  • Written more freely and naturally 
  • Have less emphasis on keywords 
  • More quality over quantity

This means that copywriters will have to be creating more concise, quality copy that is packed with info in short form. It means creating copy that is to the point and answers readers’ questions in an easily digestible way. That means using more natural language, without as much emphasis on keyword-loaded paragraphs and headings.
We see that Google is obsessed with the user experience and for good reason. They have implemented many algorithms to ensure that the end-user is getting quality content that is relevant to them, their locations and their interests. If you want to read more there is an awesome reference on Search Engine Journal here. 

Erin is the owner and founder of Legendary Social Media. She's trying, and failing, to be vegan. Directionally challenged. Cripplingly addicted to coffee and chocolate. Swears she'll travel the world (again) ... someday. Mommy to Zylo.

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