On 25th October 2019, Google released an update to improve its search results.
The whole SEO world and digital marketers were awed to see the beautiful changes Google suggested to improve their search results.
‘BERT’ which means Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers in a technical term, is an algorithm Google decided to include in their search engine platform.
Google BERT will enhance the way people receive results and SEO in 2020.
So what is Google’s BERT?
BERT is a neural network-based technology to process the flow of natural language people use to search for something.
Until now Google used specific terms and terminologies to suggest the relevant search results, with this update, Google will understand how people use language to search for something and then will roll out the best suitable results matching their ‘natural’ terms.
Let’s understand with an example. In the terms, ‘nine to five’ and ‘a quarter to five’ both the ‘tos’ have different meanings. We, humans, do understand it quickly but it is hard for search engine to differentiate the meanings of both. Google developed BERT to help it distinguish between the meanings of such ‘tos’ when users type in some query.
BERT is an open-source natural language processing technique which anyone can use to train their own language processing systems to answer the questions and other tasks.
What do they mean by Neural Network?
Google BERT is based on the algorithms called ‘Neural Network’ which are designed to recognize the patterns. The common usage of Neural Networks is identifying graphical content, handwriting and trends in the financial markets.
So is it kind of Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial Intelligence has a major role to play in the development of Google BERT. It uses Natural Language Processing i.e. NLP to deal with linguistics. NLP helps computers to understand how humans communicate in a natural language and tone.
The real-life examples of NLP are chatbots, social listening tools, and suggestions you get on your phone while typing and using voice search.
Google has been using this for a longer time; we are getting its highlights due to the release of Google BERT update!
So, how BERT works?
The BERT was discovered due to its power to train language models based on the whole set of words people use as a query or sentence, be them in any order. The traditional way used an ordered sequence of words right-to-left or left-to-right. BERT trains the language model to understand the context based on words rather than the word following it or vice-versa.
Google mentioned BERT as ‘Deeply bidirectional’ as contextual word representation starts from the root of the deep neural network.
So what is the context of the word? Let’s take the word ‘Bank’. There is a Bank that deals with our finances and there is a Riverbank. BERT will now help Google find the differences between the meanings of these Banks.
So does Google BERT applies to all the Search Queries?
Nope. Google clarified that BERT update will enhance the meaning of one in 10 searches in English in the USA.
Now let’s understand the impact of Google BERT on SEO 2020.
Google BERT will majorly impact on your content marketing efforts in 2020 and hence, you need to understand how to be BERT Friendly in 2020.
You need to work on the New Year SEO strategies.
Here are some of the SEO strategies you can implement on your websites with reference to Google BERT update in 2020
Optimizing your Content for Humans
As a common user, you will love what Google BERT is proposing.
Google said you cannot optimize your websites for BERT.
But, as Google is now using NLP, it’s a big step for it to understand the natural language used by us, the humans. We use certain terms which Google recognize as the keywords and Google BERT update has shown some progress in this area.
So if you are creating good quality emotional content with information which can be helpful for users, getting organic results is set for you.
Google is taking the help of BERT to understand the content curated and created by you so helping us to achieve our goal.
Warning: If you are creating content stuffed with keywords with no real meaning or intent, it will be harmful to SEO efforts.
Some websites are already facing this issue of dropped traffic due to this reason.
Once you create content for your USERS, neatly format and index it in order to get results without being affected from the Google BERT update!
Optimizing your Keywords
Optimizing your keywords with search intent is not a thing of the present. It was useful since the time SEO was booming. But now with Google BERT update, you will understand the necessity of it very much effectively.
SEO guys now need to focus more on the queries and optimize the content with these queries rather than the keywords curated at the start of the SEO strategy. Understand what terms your users are using to search for the particular topic, product or service and use them in your content.
As Google BERT is in favour of common users, it will be useful for you if you create content around ‘How-to’s titles and more detailed content ideas around a single topic which your users are continuously trying to learn or understand.
There is no limit on how much content you can produce on any platform hence you can use keywords and terms which your users are using to find it. Keep creating content and keep using the terms in natural language.
Write for your users
Keeping your users at the top of your content will be the best thing you can do for your users and yourself. Avoid using excessive keywords in your content and chuck the low-quality content. Blogs with no real meaning will be ignored by the users automatically because BERT won’t show them to the users.
So, guys, this is the BERT update and how it will react to your SEO efforts if you are in a ride to get more views and readers.
Getting ready for Google BERT in 2020 is important because even if it is similar to RankBrain, it is more advanced, powerful and most importantly, made for users.
Check out our other posts which can help you get the best in class results with new updates rolling out.