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Meet BERT – Google’s Largest Update to Date

By: Alex Fuss    November 26, 2019

From Search Engine Journal

Google recently announced what they are considering the most important algorithm update in five years. Meet BERT, an update that is said to affect complicated search queries that depend on context.

Google mentions that this improvement to the algorithm is centered around language understanding. The goal is to have more accuracy with natural language and conversational queries. BERT, as they refer to it, can help the search engine better understand the nuance and context of words in searches and better match those queries with helpful results.

It is important as marketers to understand exactly what BERT is. This algorithm update called Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) is a deep learning algorithm related to natural language processing. It helps a machine, in this case Google’s search engine, understand what words in a sentence mean with all the nuances of context.

When asked how publishers should go about optimizing in the future with BERT now in play, Google’s search liaison Danny Sullivan said, “There’s nothing to optimize for with BERT, nor anything for anyone to be rethinking.” Google has repeatedly said that best practice should be creating content meant for users, not the search engine.

Publishers and marketers alike need to use a robust and strategic approach when it comes to content creation now more than ever. Knowing that BERT is at the forefront of the ranking algorithm tells us that content meant to inform users about a specific topic will hold a higher value than generic pieces of information. Semantic related searches are slowly becoming a thing of the past. Accuracy and relevancy are now the primary drivers of ranking and content must be created with both in mind.