According to the State of SEO in 2019, 97% of marketers believe in the value of SEO, up from 88% in 2018, so the new Google update has sparked a lot of debate.
That's why we've enlisted the help of industry experts to learn more about Google BERT and how it will impact SEO.
What is the BERT Algorithm?
BERT is a pre-training technique for natural language processing that can be applied to a wide body of text. Among other natural language methods, it handles entity recognition, part of speech marking, and question-answering. BERT assists Google in deciphering natural language text from the Internet.
The BERT algorithm (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) is a natural language processing deep learning algorithm. It helps a machine's understanding of what words in a sentence meanwhile taking into account all of the context's nuances.
For example, If you type in your flight number into Google, it will show you the flight status. When you type in a math equation, a calculator will appear. You can also get a stock chart by entering a stock symbol.
For a simpler example, when you start typing into Google, the auto complete function predicts what you're looking for before you've finished typing.
The BERT update improved the search experience for everyone who uses Google by making search results more relevant to searchers.
How to Optimize for BERT?
The only way to Optimize for the BERT update is to compose for the user, as Google has always advised. With Google's search advancements likely to continue in this direction, content developers should be thinking about how to optimize for the user rather than for Google.
Produce high-quality content that answers the user's queries, and BERT will work to your advantage. Poorly written or unfocused content is unlikely to be accepted. Continue to focus on long-tail keywords and aim for featured snippets.
Focus on long-tail keywords
Implementing a more strategic long-tail keyword approach that considers natural language. This is because people speak in several different ways when asking queries or searching for information, and it's important to catch those keywords as well.
Long-tail keywords are particularly useful because they reveal the user's purpose. You know exactly what the searcher wants, so you can create highly targeted content for your clients based on that intent.
How BERT Affects Featured Snippets
According to Google, the BERT update affects featured snippets as well as rankings, making them more important to the searcher's purpose. This means that when the update went live, many featured snippets from long-tail queries likely changed, which had to be a big win for some and a big loss for others.
“In general, each new Google update should be welcomed if you concentrate your content development on providing value and information to your target audience”.