Clients, Meet BERT: BERT, Meet Humans
The latest in Google’s Algorithm Updates
By Sara Rossi, Digital Strategy Analyst
Recently, Google rolled out one of its biggest algorithm updates to date called BERT. This is the latest of many changes that Google has made in hopes of furthering machine understanding of natural language.
BERT stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. That’s a mouthful, right? BERT is a deep-learning, natural-language framework that takes machine learning to the next level. This algorithm helps Google understand a user’s intent in the context of their search query. By taking into consideration the order of the words and finding meaning in words based on their order or sequence, BERT is able to better analyze search queries based on the organization of words. This helps the search engine to better understand the meaning and provide the most suitable information.
The whole purpose of BERT is to improve the way machines process human language understanding. It allows Google to understand more around the content on pages rather than judge them just as either negatively or positively. Pages will show up higher in rank in terms of relevance to the search query based on Google’s understanding of the search terms. Pretty cool, huh?
This not only affects search, it will be HUGE for voice search. Since this algorithm allows Google to have a deeper understanding of the human language, this will make more accurate results appear when voice searches are conducted. Basically, how we actually talk and communicate. Even to robots.
BERT is only currently affecting only somewhere around 10% of search queries, but it is projected to affect a lot more in the coming months. So, the question remains, are you ready to optimize for BERT?
Since this update is meant to understand natural language, the trick is to keep your pages more natural. It is important to enhance a page with humans in mind and understand their search intent. Recognize who your audience is and enhance your page to best suit the needs of that audience. At Chemistry, we have human-centered designers and robust online listening tools.
As you might imagine, users are not searching for single keywords as often as they used to. They are much more likely to search for long-tailed keyword phrases or utilize voice search on a smart assistant.
Just hoping to pop up on a highly competitive keyword list and optimizing your page with keywords alone isn’t going to cut it anymore. Pages need to be optimized for user intent, for people, for folks like you and me.
User intent is the wave that is sweeping SEO and SEM practices, alike. Since Google is coming out with more advanced algorithms to identify best-matches for search queries, user intent is quickly becoming a necessity. And to understand searcher intent, you need to do research on what your audience wants to know.
Once you understand your audience’s intent, it’s time to build authority around that topic. And to do that, it’s important to weed out what content is working and what is missing.
We work with our interactive and development teams to conduct a content audit. It is the most effective way to identify any problems with your content’s performance. After we have identified any weak areas, we go to work on improving them and getting your website ready to perform at a high level.
Your goal, both as a brand and as a website, is to answer your audience’s questions and be ready to inform them about your product or service in a way that caters to their wants and needs.
If you do that, there is nothing stopping your pages from ranking at the top.