As business people, you always wish your websites to appear at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) to your users. For this, previously you would have concentrated more on SEO and Keywords. But from today, everything has changed. Did you know? There was again another big Google algorithm update since, after Rankbrain which was introduced on October 24, 2019, called the BERT algorithm. This has eventually bought a very big impact on marketing, advertising, and SEO of your business.
Initially, Google’s BERT algorithm update was only live for English search queries in the U.S. but on December 9, Google started rolling it out to more than 70 languages globally.
The major reason Google uses this technique in its search algorithm – is to better understand the search queries of the users and deliver them the most relevant search results.
What is Google’s Bert Algorithm?
BERT stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers — is a neural network-based technique for natural language processing (NLP) pre-training approach that was open-sourced last year and helps the computers (machines) to understand the human language.
I think it sounds complicated for you to understand – but it’s actually pretty easier to understand if you break it down into simpler terms.
Bidirectional simply means it can simultaneously process the words both before and after a specific term in a sentence (left-to-right or right-to-left), thus enabling a much more accurate interpretation of the context and meaning of that term.
The other Real Power Behind Google BERT functioning lies in a Transformer, an attention mechanism that recognizes the contextual relation between words in a text. It also consists of an encoder and decoder, where the encoder is fed with text input, and a decoder which projects an output for the particular task.
Hence, BERT uses the transformer’s encoder since its only task is to create a language model. That is where the term “encoder representations” in Google’s new search algorithm update name comes from.
How Exactly do BERT and RankBrain Works:
Until now, you can understand what BERT is – all about understanding the intent behind the user’s search query.
Thus, by applying the BERT algorithm, Google can better understand the relationship between words in a query and deliver the closest matching result to the user.
For instance, before the BERT update (i.e at RankBrain algorithm), Google looked at the sequence of words in the search query unidirectionally (i.e either from left to right or right to left).
But, after the BERT update, Google has trained its systems to look bidirectionally (both left-to-right or right-to-left) at the user’s query.
You may also complicate yourself that the recent BERT update had completely rendered the Rankbrain Algorithm. But it doesn’t, the recent BERT update simply supplements the previous Rank brain algorithm which was rolled out in October 2015. RankBrain came into effect, because of the fact that about 15% of the queries that Google processes every day in 2015 became so new.
Hence after the introduction of the RankBrain Algorithm in 2015, Google started to look at the user’s keywords as concepts or intention and provides specific results for their concepts. This is what is called understanding the user’s concepts and results for concepts.
For example: When Google considers keywords as concepts; here the user’s google search varies in different concepts like “best restaurant in Chennai” or “top restaurant in Chennai” or “leading restaurant in Chennai” but the user’s intention in the Google search query is almost the same.
Thus, Rankbrain identifies it and resulted in the same search engine results page compared to before the update of Rankbrain. This is what is called a better understanding of the search queries of the users. But as the years go, Google analyzes that still RankBrain is also not processing all the queries of the user.
For More details on RankBrain algorithm and the ways to optimize your site according to Rankbrain algorithm: Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZK4dR–ES4s
Hence, Google’s algorithm decides which Algorithm technique is best suited to interpret a specific search query of the user and, based on this decision, Google applies one of them or even combines them. Below are the impacts that are caused by Google’s Bert update to the business in 2020.
Google’s BERT Algorithm update will Impact SEO:
Google says BERT a huge update and is applied to both ranking and featured snippets. Moreover, it will impact almost 1 out of 10 search queries. Hence, if your website is in English and you are targeting English-language queries, then BERT will certainly affect the organic presence of your website.
However, the SEO community didn’t see any significant fluctuations or spikes in rankings since the release of the BERT update.
But, to rank higher in the BERT- enabled search queries, the SEO content that is on your business website should be meaningful as well as relevant content to the user’s query rather than stuffing of keywords.
Google’s BERT Algorithm update will Affect Content Marketing:
Today Google is working harder to identify the intent of user search queries. Hence, content marketers must ensure that they deliver high-quality content that is more relevant for their target readers’ search queries.
Protip: Content writers must ensure to write for people and not for search engines. With the latest Google BERT algorithm update, your content should be more “human-based,” using the terms, tone, and language that closely correlates with your audience.
Thus, it’s time for the companies to get in line to recruit experienced content writers if they want to generate a positive return on investment (ROI) from their content marketing efforts.
BERT Google Algorithm Update Impact Your Website:
Did you notice your organic traffic slump, especially when it comes to voice search and Featured Snippets? This is because these are chances that BERT has hit you hard.
Without a doubt, voice search today became one of the most significant developments in SEO and digital marketing for the past few years. Also, when there is an increase in technological advances, it will become even more crucial.
So, with the release of the BERT update demonstrates that Google is becoming more serious about voice SEO and technology, as it is all about delivering better contextual search results to the users.
Protip: For this, you must look to improve the quality of your content that is more current, comprehensive, relevant, and actionable, some technical changes like page speed and design are unlikely to turn things around.
Moreover, you can also use Audience Mapping to ensure your content strategy always has the target audience in mind.
The relation between Google’s Rankbrain and BERT Algorithm update:
Both Google’s RankBrain and Bert artificial intelligence update capabilities might sound similar methods for understanding queries. But, the previous Rankbrain Algorithm typically provides results based on Artificial Intelligence, which means understanding the user’s queries as concepts and providing the information. From which we come to see the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) answers.
But when it comes to Bert algorithm, it aims to provide super-specific contents to their user’s query. Moreover for Google, this is a huge update in reaching their ultimate goal: understanding exactly what users want in each and every situation.
However, it is important to understand that BERT algorithm doesn’t change the way in which websites get ranked but simply improves Google’s understanding of natural language.
So want to be at the top of the search engine web page? Below are the ways by which you can optimize your content as per Bert and Rankbrain Algorithm and Flourish in your business as same as before.
For more details on Google’s New BERT Update Impacts- Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlAuUI7JT7Q
Ways to Optimize your Website for BERT and RankBrain Algorithm Update:
- Use natural language and human-based content. This is because updates like RankBrain and BERT, Google has gone one step further in understanding humans in the language that they are most comfortable with, not that machines are most comfortable with.
- Use a Mixture of Short tail and Long-tail keywords.
- Figure out search intent
- Improve comprehensiveness and relevancy
- Check Featured Snippets
- Continue improving your rankings.
- Inspect your niche
Thus, Google updates are getting much smarter every year with the development of technologies. As a result, in the age of AI, Machine learning, automation, and voice search optimization, as marketers, you also need to be responded by getting smarter in content creation.
Unlike any other Google algorithm update, BERT gives the search engine a better chance of understanding what people mean exactly and making the search much more human-based, even when humans use complex or confusing phrases in the search query.
Thus, this change is great news for users, and it throws the baton down for content marketers, SEO professionals, and PPC advertisers.
Finally let me end this article with the other recent Update (December 4, 2019). Here, With the recent update, Google started using neural matching for local search results in order to recognize users’ local search intent even if the user doesn’t use the exact words of business names or descriptions.
Considering all these rapid paces at which Google’s algorithm evolves, we are more excited to see what the future holds for Google Search!