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Google BERT Update: What You Need to Know About Google’s Latest Search Algorithm

google bert

Did you know that in 2018 the value of the global SEO business was approaching $80 billion? Every business with a website is vying for a higher position in Google rankings.

This means that when Google makes changes, large or small, to its search algorithms everyone sits up and listens. Google Bert has been described as a substantial change to the Google search algorithm.

What does this mean for you and your business? Do you need to make immediate changes to your site content? Find out this and more in our in-depth article below.

How Big a Change is BERT?

Over the course of the last 15 years, Google has been continually tinkering with its search algorithms. However, by announcing that BERT is the biggest change in the last 5 years it has turned heads.

BERT is not just a change in the algorithm. It is an adjustment in approach to how it reads and understands search terms entered by the user. It is a landmark in the evolution of search technologies.

It achieves this by applying the latest in machine learning technology. What does this mean?

What is Google BERT?

BERT stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. That is a lot of information in one acronym.

Essentially, Google is applying Artificial Intelligence and big learning to process and understand language that the users enter. It is able to do this thanks to its creation of a neural network that can handle the incredible amount of English language search queries entered each day.

Rather than looking for the value of the individual word in the query that the user enters, it uses the word in its proper meaning by understanding the context of the word around it. It is bi-directional in that it can understand the words before and afterward and its impact on your search terms.

How can it possible understand the context from a few search words typed quickly into Google? It has been trained using large amounts of human inputted data, including data sources such as Wikipedia.

How Does This Work in Practice?

Consider an example cited by Google. The query “2019 brazil traveler to USA need a visa” is understandable to humans. Pre-BERT Google could have removed the “to” and thus left it an ambiguous search term. However, BERT now looks at the value of “to” and each other word according to the context of the sentence or phrase.

Connecting words such as “to”, “from”, “and” etc. will be given value according to context. Google claims that this will improve its understanding of not only words but the intent of the user performing the search.

This means that the search results will be more like something that a human would give rather than a search algorithm. Understandably, the more information that BERT can extract from the query, hence the more complex it is, the more accurate the result.

Where is BERT Available Now?

Google has rolled out BERT initially only for USA English only. However, this is only the initial offering. In time the lessons learned from English language search queries will be applied to other languages and regional searches leading to a, no doubt, more mature search experience.

The longer timescale for a global rollout of this size is understandable. They want to ensure a successful global rollout. Google ran over 650,000 data search experiments in 2018 alone. This was with the goal of mapping the efficiency or the speed of searches. To ensure parity of success and speed of searches in multiple other languages will require time.

Google is claiming that after the initial rollout, BERT will immediately begin to affect one in every 10 search queries. However, over time as the AI Neural network adapts to and managees searches more efficiently, it will become more a part of our every day Google search experience.

What does BERT Mean for You?

As we all know, good SEO depends on the regular maintenance of your site and content especially as changes occur in search providers. In times past, Black Hat SEO experts may ave promised quick results through dubious methods. This could have included keyword stuffing, cloaking, and invisible links.

However, as we analyze recent updates we learn that Google is distancing itself more and more from these methods. They are not appealing to tricks and technical wizardry. Rather than enabling technical ability to raise the value of a site in its ranking, it has gone the opposite direction.

Google has once again emphasized that they want their search engine to understand language from a human perspective.

The latest changes once again encourage content that is well written and created for human consumption. There is no better goal for SEO professionals than simply maintaining a high standard of writing and content on their sites.

In short, excellent copy will bring a positive reaction from both Google and your readership. For this reason, it is important to employ a professional and trustworthy service to manage your content.

All You Need to know about Google Bert and Much More

If you are a business with a high level of traffic, a Google algorithm update, such as Google Bert, is a gamechanger. It may mean that you have to adjust your campaigns and content structure to get the same success you enjoyed before.

Fortunately, we are here to help. We write authoritative articles on relevant tech subjects to keep you up to date. If you would like to follow the latest trends, simply follow our blog.

This post was published by Donald Kim at Optimized Webmedia. Optimized Webmedia is a customer centric, 360° Digital Marketing agency, specializing in SEO, Google Ads PPC, Content Writing, Social Media Marketing, and Website Design. To learn how Optimized Webmedia can help optimize your website to attract more visitors, book a free consultation and ask for our free SEO Site Audit.

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