Google has just announced one of the largest changes to its search algorithm. These changes allow a more advanced analysis of a user’s query allowing Google to better understand them and their intentions. This will then make search results more relevant for the user.
The technology behind this new algorithm is called BERT and its effects are expected, by Google, to be quite significant. Obviously, after this announcement, many business owners and SEO experts were ranging from confused, nervous, or excited about this technology. So, we have answered a few common questions regarding BERT to help clear up any misconceptions.
What is BERT?
BERT, or Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, is an implementation of a new type of machine learning known as transformers (more on that soon). The technology is used to better understand the intentions behind search queries, potentially affecting 10% of all searches.
That is the bit that gets people worried. 10% of all searches on Google are a lot of searches.
BERT will soon be live in the U.S. in English, with more languages and locations to come, and works best on longer, more conversational search queries. This is in line with Google’s push for searches to become more conversational as voice search becomes more common. Through this update, searches by voice and long-tail keywords should bring more relevant results.
What are transformers in the algorithm?
Transformers are a name for a new development in machine learning that is designed for working with natural languages. They are designed for applications where the sequence of elements in a particular set of data is important. This makes them an excellent addition to Google’s algorithm for uncovering user intent in searches.
Theoretically, Google search should now be better at understanding exactly what you are intending to search for based on the language choices you make in your search queries. From that, it will then provide more relevant search results.
How will BERT affect my search rankings?
From an SEO standpoint, this is a continued push by Google to ensure that those who rank higher have relevant content to the keywords they rank for. This technology is designed to better match the keywords searched with content the algorithm knows is relevant based on page traffic, time on page, heading structure, and more.
What this simply means is that you need to make sure every page on your website you want to rank needs to be relevant to your users. You need to answer questions, be informative, and be engaging, all while continuing to sell your products or services. For those who live and breath SEO this is something we have been seeing come closer, and so, have been preparing for.
If you tailor your content to your users, answering their questions and providing relevant information, this update could be a blessing. You could find yourself ranking higher for long-tail keywords that your content directly addresses. However, it does mean that you will have to ensure that your content remains relevant, with further updates required.
At Link Pixel we are always looking ahead towards the next big changes coming to Google’s Algorithm. We prepare our clients’ websites, so they perform even better under the algorithm changes. If you feel overwhelmed trying to keep up with all the changes to SEO, hand it over to the experts. Come have a free consultation with us.