Google's latest algorithm update is changing the SEO game.
BERT (which stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) was unveiled in late October. Since its unveiling, many businesses, content marketers, and SEO strategists are trying to grasp what it is and how it's impacting their digital content, including pay per click (PPC)advertising and PPC management.
There's a lot to deconstruct with Google's latest update. However, to make things a little easier, here are the three big takeaways you need to know about BERT and how it's changing search engine optimization.
BERT Aims To Better Understand Natural Language In Search
According to a blog postby Google executive Pandu Nayak, BERT aims to better understand natural language, and how it applies to search.
Before BERT, search queries were essentially processed word-by-word, from left to right, and looking at keywords with little regard as to why it's being searched in that particular way. Now, rather than solely looking at keywords typed into a search engine, BERT allows Google to look at the surrounding words and consider the context in which a word is being used.
BERT Has A Big Impact On Longer Search Queries
Now that Google can better understand the meaning behind search queries, it can help more people find exactly what they're looking for online.
This is especially true for longer search queries that have prepositions in them. Google will now look at those prepositions (to, for, in, etc.) and deconstruct what exactly it means in that specific search, and how it relates to the other words in that query.
This is a big step in the age of SEO. The keyword has always been king, but now, SEO strategists and digital marketers must look beyond keywords when crafting content. They now must look at how people are going to search, and how they can formulate their content to rank for that search. Intent is bigger than it's ever been before.
Relevant Content Will Rank
This isn't a new SEO concept, but it's one that needs to be stressed: the way to get your content to rank is to make it relevant to people who are searching.
More than 93% of online experiences start with a search engine. Search engines exist to provide answers for users. If you have relevant content that answers questions, then your content will rank online, no matter what SEO update comes around.
BERT is one of the biggest updates in search engine optimization to date, but it certainly won't be the last. Digital marketers and SEO strategists will always look for ways to capitalize on these updates, but at the end of the day the answer is pretty simple: have relevant content that provides value to users.