So, you must have noticed changes to your websites, it’s due to the new update called BERT.
According to Google, Bert is Bidirectional Encoder Representations for Transformers. Simply put, the update is geared towards a better understanding of natural language.
Let’s know how BERT Works;
BERT reads sentences in a way impossible for other existing algorithms. With the Bidirectionality involved, each word can be compared with every other word to understand the context and usage.
Google has pre-trained BERT by exposing it to 2.5 Billion words on Wikipedia and 800 Million words from Bookcorpus. Google is seeking for perfection through BERT.
Know this, BERT is a massive leap in the history of search. It is expected that the new update will affect not less than 10% of all search queries. But, the effect on that on search rankings has yet to be known.
To any SEO enthusiasts, this figure is quite tremendous. It may not really affect the current SEO landscape as it covers the conversational and longer search queries.
To make this simpler, BERT is interested in long-tail keywords searches. What this means is that BERT will impact the SEO world and your website.
BERT Update and The SEO of Your Website
Now how will BERT affect the SEO set-up of your website?
In the words of Google’s Public Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan; at the core of the BERT update is creating content for the users. This means that if you have been focusing more on the needs of the users before now, you indeed have zero worries as it concerns BERT.
However, there’s going to be a lot of problems for you and your website if you cannot boldly say you have created valuable content for users.
Remember Panda 4? That’s the period Google has shifted its focus on content and it definitely affected a lot of websites. With BERT, it’s bound to happen again and even on a larger scale.
Let’s itemize how BERT will either harm or help your website;
1. Emphasis on Longtail Queries and Keywords
BERT is all about providing answers to search queries beyond just words, but the string of words based on context. For every search made using long-tail queries, users can get what they actually want.
This means you stand to have a reduction in bounce rate from visitors who are not supposed to be on your website.
2. Google Will Understand Content Better Than Humans
Whether you’re a copywriter or a digital marketer working for a content marketing agency, you’re going to want to prioritize content over other mediums.
This is actually the goal of the BERT update, being able to differentiate between “Sam loves to eat date all the time”, and “Sam loves to eat on a date all the time.”
More than before, Google will be able to understand the context in which “date was used. This means that you cannot just throw in broad keywords and expected visitors.
3. There’s Going To Be a Lot of Changes
As a form of closing, BERT can be described as a toddler learning to walk and talk. For now, BERT is yet to understand different languages based on location, when it does, you should expect a lot of changes.
The BERT update will open up a lot of opportunities in the future for SEO. Your content marketing strategy should include keeping up-to-date on search engine algorithms so that you don’t get left behind.