Updates are not new to Google, and most times these updates have a direct impact on all Google users, especially business owners. Sometimes this impact is quite minimal. Other times it brings in penalties, so where does the BERT update stand? Is it scary stuff or not? Let’s find out.
On October 24, 2019, Google announced the BERT update. Google described this latest algorithm update as “one of the biggest leaps forward in the history of search.” They are correct.
BERT is an acronym for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. In scientific or more complex terms, BERT is a neural network-based technique used for natural language processing (NLP) pre-training.
In simple terms, it’s just a tool or technique for interpreting words better. Hence, Google has employed this update to help interpret search queries better. Yes, this means those unrelated search result you have encountered in the past that often seem like Google is just been difficult on purpose are now a thing of the past.
Your queries will get better interpretations and give more straightforward answers saving us all time, frustration, and the rigors of trying to simplify our queries.
Google has also referred to this update as the most important update in five years. Again, we agree. The BERT update will impact up to 10% of queries or 1 in every 10.
While this is thrilling on one part, it is mostly if you are looking at it from a user perspective. As an online business owner, it’s natural to wonder how this impacts your business SEO and overall digital health.
First, the good news is that this is a penalty-free update. It’s not one of those situations where you soon or suddenly end up penalized by an algorithm. It’s a good chance to get more intentional and upgrade your business to benefit from this update.
Experts will tell you that this update won’t help websites that have poorly written content.
This is the time for good quality update that answers your audience’s questions as clearly and directly as possible. Go for informational keywords that help you stand out to users now more than ever. Stick with writing in a natural way and offering value.
Aside from this small impact on SEO and search results, there’s pretty much nothing else to be worried about. In our opinion, this is no different from what experts have always advised – fill your website with valuable, natural, helpful content. Rather, it only enforces it.
Google is also trying to eliminate the common phenomenon of keyword-ese. Keyword-ese is the stressful situation where you have to be overly specific or twist the words in your search just to get the right answers from a search. In Google’s blog, it’s clearly stated, “No matter what you’re looking for, or what language you speak, we hope you’re able to let go of some of your keyword-ese and search in a way that feels natural for you.”