Google rolled out a new feature this week, known as Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers – BERT – to help understand the context of words in searches for relevant results.
What does it mean?
BERT makes the algorithms taking into account the meaning behind the words itself. For instance, when a user searches for ‘what to pack in your trunk when traveling,’ it means what items to place on one’s CAR trunk when on a road trip.
The word ‘trunk’ can mean a lot of things such as torso, tree trunk, or a nose of an elephant. That’s when BERT enters and identifies the context of the meaning. BERT will, then, configure Google’s Search Algorithms and show relevant results on the results page.
Another example is when one searches for ‘sample letter of interview for article’ and the SERPs show results such as, ‘how to write interview article on magazine,’ ‘How to Write a Thank-You Letter After an Interview,’ and ‘How to Write a Successful Cover Letter for Job Interviews.’
When BERT comes to the picture, it can alter the algorithm to look like, ‘How to write a letter of interview for an article on a magazine,’ ‘How do you write a professional interview request?’ and ‘How do you ask for a person of interest interview?’
Do you see it now?
What it means for your website
Search engines often refine their algorithms to improve search results increasingly which makes it hard for digital marketers to catch up over the years. Digital Marketers often see the importance of SEO with a whopping 97 percent of advertisers trust in SEO’s value. So, it’s a total hype when Google changes its algorithm yet again.
With BERT rolling worldwide soon, digital marketers will scurry to change and enhance their SEO campaigns.
Major improvements for relevant searches
BERT would achieve better results for voice queries and especially those using artificial intelligence (AI) tools like Siri and Alexa. Gone are the results that will make your head blow due to irrelevant outcomes. Visual searches will also be enhanced very soon as search engines can guess the similarities of images within their readings.
Improved local SEO and content
One of the biggest leaps of BERT is how the natural language in SERPs has improved. It boosts search inquiry understanding, thus, making local content enhanced and visible to users. On-page SEO boosted because of the terms and words used in the content are precise according to the searches.
Improved long-tail searches of users
BERT will affect complicated searches or long-tail keywords inserted in query boxes. The feature enhanced AI comprehension and language understanding, especially with long, conversational queries, like long-tail keywords, to make searches better.
BERT will uncover the context of the query and pull up relevant results. What’s more, users will see more relevant listings on their page of businesses and websites closer to their homes. Proximity wins for local SEO!
Relevant, quality content gains more results
Websites that publish quality content reap the rewards of best results for search queries. Google knows which websites use keywords for traffic alone and those that write for the audience’s needs. BERT addresses original, quality content that engages users, thus, leading to organic traffic.
If you focus on generating content on value, relevance, and information to your target audience, BERT is of no problem. Although Google BERT introduces improvements to SEO, the best strategy is the same as it has always been: create valuable content for your users.
Positive competitor rankings in SERPs
Competition in search rankings is pretty rough. What every digital marketer’s problem is how unreasonably high some websites are ranking, especially when those websites don’t reflect the search query. With BERT, only relevant results show up on the page and drive up positive competitor rankings among businesses in search results.
Minimal website aspects that are affected by BERT
Once BERT has rolled out globally, it’ll affect 10 percent of searches. According to Google, there are 63,000 searches made per second and 3.8 million per minute. There are about 5.6 billion searches done per day as well. In a day, BERT will affect 560,000,000 searches.
Will it make an impact on your website?
There are some known things to have a major impact on your website, though.
Quality content triumphs over hurried fluffs. For articles, it is said that Google prefers word counts over 1,000+. While there’s some truth on the said research, sometimes, if the said quality content contains 300 words, so be it (works best with news articles). Sometimes, a 2,000-word article feels empty especially when it’s full of fluff and irrelevant context.
When BERT rolled out in October 2019, some websites experience a dip in website traffic, while others have soared their stats for unique visits. Search results depend on a lot of factors including proximity, relevance, and authority.
Can you optimize SEO for BERT?
One can’t optimize SEO for BERT. What’s more, BERT has a minimal direct impact on SEO performance. So, what can you do? The thing is: you don’t have to respond to BERT unless you’ve done a lot of Black SEO tricks to confuse search engines.
Provide your users with quality content that responds to the query of the searcher. An in-depth article explaining what the reader should do or know will provide meaning to their searches. Better content always trumps over fluff on your website.