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How the Google BERT Algorithm Update will Affect SEO

How the Google BERT Algorithm Update will Affect SEO

Google is going more in depth in understanding the context of our search queries. This comes as Google’s newest algorithmic update spawn feelings of both dread and excitement among SEO and digital marketing specialists. 

With the rise of machine learning and the popularity of voice search, Google is giving a nod towards the direction of conversational search or how we form casual queries whenever we do a search binge. This is no minor update or an algorithm update you can simply choose to ignore. 

It tries to anticipate and comprehend how we structure the language of our queries, so instead of considering just the search order of the word during a query, Google goes up-top and does a relational approach. Like how do these words in our sentences relate to each other? How often are they used in this way?

Google aims to understand natural language better through the BERT update, particularly how a language is used at certain locales, and the nuances of certain synonyms, prepositions, prefixes and suffixes when thrown into the mix as well. Interesting, right?

Now everyone is at a frenzy trying to figure out how the BERT update works, and if you’ve noticed the arrival of BERT, it also explains the uptick of Bert and Ernie memes on social media. Why? Because this is Google’s major update the last 5 years, and people are piqued.

Google Got Busy

Rounding out Google’s milestones for the year which includes the landmark quantum computer it developed called the Sycamore, giving machine learning a leg up by achieving quantum supremacy. In a single flex, it can make complex and impossibly fast calculations. And now, we have BERT, a new milestone for search, and more advancement in our way that we can possibly handle in one go for 2020.

The Google BERT update is the biggest improvement in search in the last half of this decade and web experts are scrambling at ways on how they can use the BERT update to their advantage.

What exactly is the Google BERT update?


Google BERT, or the acronym “Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers” is the latest and the largest update Google has made in their search algorithm. It has nothing to do with the Transformers movie, it simply refers to the transformers framework that works as a natural language processing model. This is a pre-trained model that came from deep bidirectional representations from any text by conditioning it to handle more tasks in answering queries, translations, and other modifications.

How does Google BERT affect SEO?

People want to know how seriously this impacts our SEO, and how it queues the relevant results using this algorithm. But one thing is obvious, the BERT update offers more contexts to our searches, instead of a sterile exact match, you’ll get results closer to what you’re looking for.

However, the word from Danny Sullivan, the public search officer of Google, he assures users that they don’t have to do anything new with the arrival of the behemoth BERT. In fact, he encourages everyone to just continue with what we were all doing before the BERT update and that is to write quality and interesting content for all site visitors.

Ironically, web experts are now at a consensus, that to be on the SEO safe side, content writers must now strive even harder to write content that is more organic and “human” than before.

Google BERT has shown a lot of performance improvements, although it is only currently available in English, Google still continues to test BERT in other major languages and countries around the world.

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