The BERT Update and Google Natural Language Processing
Say hello to BERT! We’re talking about Google BERT, that is — the Google update that just rolled out in October 2019.
Google themselves told us that 1 in 10 searches will be affected by the update! It might not seem like much, but 10% certainly isn’t a statistic to sneeze at. Website owners and SEO strategists can’t afford to ignore BERT. It’s the latest Google natural language processing update.
Maybe you’re wondering: what is natural language processing? How will BERT affect my site’s SEO?
We’ve got the details you need to know right here. Keep reading to get to know a bit more about BERT!
What Is the Google BERT Update?
BERT stands for “Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers.” That’s fancy talk for describing how this algorithm hones in on NLP (natural language processing). This Google update is all about getting a deeper understanding of how language works in context.
It means that the Google search engine is learning how to pay attention to things like the order in which words are typed into the search bar or the prepositions and smaller connecting words that are used in search queries.
For example, take a search query like “us visa for asian travelers.” Without an understanding of word order, you might end up with results informing U.S. citizens about visa requirements in Asian countries. With the BERT update, the search engine is getting better at understanding the language that is being used here — and in turn delivering results that are more directly targeted to the searcher’s intent.
How Will the Google Natural Language Processing Update Affect My SEO and Content Strategy?
With any SEO strategy, it’s always best to ask yourself “how can I write to a human audience?” — NOT “how can I write to a search engine algorithm?” The BERT update is proof that the search engine algorithms are centered on serving humans, and your content should be too!
An understanding of natural language processing basics can help you to understand how the machine learning algorithms work. However, your content strategy should continue to focus on providing valuable informations to the real people who are searching for the information that you have to offer them.
One change that you might need to make to your SEO strategy is to begin focusing on more specific content. The importance of long-form content has been long been touted by SEO specialists. However, long, wordy blog posts won’t do much for your SEO strategy if they aren’t delivering high-quality, highly specific content to your readers.
BERT is now able to hone in on the more specific inquiries of searchers. Your site should also be honing in on the specific questions that your potential readers will be seeking answers on.
The Bottom Line on BERT
Whether it’s the Google natural language processing update or the next update coming down the line from Google, there will always be changes and upgrades to search engine algorithms. If you allow yourself to get tangled up in always chasing the latest algorithm, you’ll find yourself fighting a losing battle.
Instead, focus on creating content for the people who are searching the web for the information that you have to offer them. By putting your readers first, you’ll continue providing high-quality content, no matter what happens with the latest algorithm.
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