There’s huge buzz out there regarding Google’s latest search algorithm. The search engine giant was recorded claiming this change is likely to affect 1 in 10 queries in relation to changing the results that rank for those queries. In short, BERT will assist Search better understand one in ten searches in the U.S. in English and will bring this to more languages and locales over a period of time.
BERT will also have an impact on featured snippets.
Featured Snippets- Featured snippets are basically selected search results that are highlighted on top of Google’s organic results below the ads in a box. Featured snippets answer the user’s query straight away (also known as answer boxes). Being featured implies attaining additional brand exposure in search results.
Here’s an example of a featured snippet: (https://www.seroundtable.com/google-bert-update-28427.html)
What is BERT search algorithm all about?
BERT is Google’s an open-sourced neural network-based technique for natural language processing pre-training. Might sound confusing? But the concept is quite easy. Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers abbreviated as BERT will enable computers to understand the language as humans.
Besides, BERT is a part of Google’s elite club of Machine Learning Algorithms that learn as they contact new information.
When BERT comes into play & Is BERT useful?
BERT aids sound understanding of nuances and word contexts in searches and go hand-in-hand with those queries with more pertinent results. For instance, search for “2019 brazil traveler to the USA require a visa,” the word “to” and its connection with other words in query are necessary for understanding the meaning. Earlier, Google didn’t realize the potential of this connection and would return results about U.S. citizens traveling to Brazil. BERT made it real-easy to seize this nuance and realize that the word “to” holds prime importance.
While applying BERT models to both rankings and featured snippets in Search, we will accomplish something better by helping you discover useful information. In reality, when ranking results are considered, BERT will enable Search better understand 1 in 10 searches in the U.S. in English, and we’ll yield this to more languages and locales over a period of time. (https://www.blog.google/products/search/search-language-understanding-bert/) (we can use screenshot used by google blog)
Is there a need to optimize for BERT or How do we optimize for BERT?
Questionably Google stated that SEOs cannot optimize for RankBrain. In fact, Google meant that it’s going to get better at understanding natural language. Simply write content for users, as you have been doing. Now it’s Google’s inputs on how it understands the search query and provides pertinent results.
Neil Patel takes an in-depth view that you can enhance your likelihood of benefitting from this update by revising your SEO strategy to concentrate on creating long-tail content in terms of informational searches- or those at the top end of the funnel. In short, he meant creat content for readers in the initial stages of their buying voyage, and have low intent. (https://www.pi-datametrics.com/bert-algorithm-update-shed/)
BERT VS SEO
It’s essential to realize that BERT scrutinizes search queries, rather than a page’s content. So, there’s nothing much you can do to optimize for BERT personally, but it does imply you should double your efforts to generate relevant and quality content.
Here marketers can attain an upper hand by including stalwart FAQ section, not just aimed at keyword density rather the quality answers. When featured snippets are concerned, marking up pages with FAQ, Q&A schema, or How-to is suggested for boosting your page’s likelihood of being chosen by BERT.
Note: Featured snippets are chosen very often in voice search results.
Why do we need to be concerned?
We have to be concerned. As Google clearly mentioned that this change is “representing the largest hop forward in the last five years, and one of the largest hops forward in Search chronicle.”
Almost 10 percent of queries have been affected by this update. It’s a massive change. It’s recommended to check any changes in your search traffic lately and also to measure how much your site was affected due to this change. And if yes, dig deeper as in which landing pages were affected and for which particular queries. It’s clearly visible that those pages did not convert and the search traffic Google forwarded those pages wasn’t useful.
Opportunities with BERT Update
Let’s conclude with an illustration of the same:
With this illustration, we hereby understand that “for someone’ matters the most in terms of a query, while previously we misunderstood the meaning, with general results about filling prescriptions.
Primarily, BERT update dictates that your content is not restricted to reach the word target anymore, rather focuses on offering valid information that’s worth a great deal to your readers. Here, relevancy holds prime importance.
If ranking is your focus for informational keywords, then answer particular queries using your content more precisely against your competitors. You can use videos, slides, flow charts, infographics, and audios, do whatever it takes but answer user queries.
Favor long-tail keywords rather than long-form content that might be interfered with by Google and appear in the SERP.
Hence, the BERT google algorithm update is the re-awakening of voice search. (https://www.blog.google/products/search/search-language-understanding-bert/)