Google BERT: What the update means for you

  • 10 December 2019
  • SEO
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It’s that time of year again – Google is up to its old tricks and introducing shiny, new updates to its algorithms just in time for the Christmas rush. We can almost hear the stress of thousands of eCommerce companies and online businesses as they try to get their websites in-line with the latest updates and requirements. But fear not – while for some less-up-to-date companies Google BERT may spell disaster, for many other legitimate companies it reflects a new way to get on top. And an even more accurate method of helping potential customers find your business.

Read on to find out a little more about Google, their updates, and exactly what the Google BERT algo update might mean for your business:

What do Google’s algorithm updates mean?

As a search engine platform, Google wants to make its service ever more accurate, relevant and useful to its customer base – which happens to be the majority of internet users the world over. Algorithm updates and tweaks are ways that Google manages its search output to achieve those legitimate results for their customers. If a user types ‘shoe shop in Bristol’, for example, it’s no good if the top search results are all for shoe stores in Manchester. Algorithms make Google smarter and ensure that if you’re doing your SEO correctly – with no cheap tricks – that all the right people will see your business.

what is google bert

What is the Google BERT update?

Even if you’ve got a good understanding of Google and their algorithm changes, you’re probably still wondering ‘what is Google BERT?’. You’re not alone – BERT is one of the most exciting and impactful updates of Google to date, and it’s been suggested that it can update as much as 10% of search queries. Considering the amount of Google searches a day, that’s a considerable number. BERT takes Google’s capabilities to the next level, using what the company defines as deep learning concerning the processing of natural language.

So what does this all mean? BERT stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, but for the average business, that sentence doesn’t mean much of anything. What BERT actually does is helps Google to understand what people are searching for in far more extensive bodies of text, understanding sentences, and paragraphs based on context rather than content. It’s all quite clever, and it is set to make a big difference in how Google throws up results based on the meaning of what is being searched.

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What the algorithm update affects

Google BERT is still in its infancy in terms of its digital functionality, but that doesn’t mean it won’t have a significant impact. Currently, the direct impact it will have will likely be on platforms where the content is weak or irrelevant, or that attempts to bypass current algorithms by stuffing keywords in ways that don’t provide context. Context also means locations, so for local businesses that have specific dialect for a particular item or object – think cobs to baps to rolls to barms – BERT can provide far more accurate results based on local language choices, factoring this into its contextual results.

While SEO is another thing entirely, there’s certainly evidence that, if not now, BERT will evolve to affect websites that don’t have quality content directly. In the early stages, this algorithm change is mainly affecting search queries. However, there are plans to improve how BERT views internal linking, page content and structure in the future.

How the algorithm can help your business

If you’ve already committed to creating relevant, useful and valuable content on your website, then you’re already in BERT’s good books. But if you’re still on your way to having a website that is high-quality and industry-friendly, then now might be an excellent time to upgrade and investing in new SEO, especially when it comes to newer companies that want to get ahead of the curve. Google’s ever-changing algorithms can often seem like a bad thing for businesses, but with proper handling and swift management, it can be a fantastic way to get out on top.

In terms of context, Google getting smarter is excellent when it comes to more specialized fields, where terms may be used that aren’t readily known outside your niche. This added layer of learning can help your business become easier to find without the exact keywords, which is a great place to be for any company. Again, ensuring good SEO is in place can make a world of difference, and ensure your business is up there and on-point. If you’re wondering how to increase your website visitors, Google BERT might be exactly the chance you’ve been looking for.

google bert update

What to do if Google BERT might harm your website

For some businesses, SEO can seem like a one-and-done thing. But with Google constantly changing the standard for what websites need to provide, you might find your website soon falling off the deep end and leaving that coveted first page of search results. Great SEO can do wonders for a website, but it still has an expiry date with Google introducing more sophisticated measures and requirements. If you don’t think your website matches up with the latest in-depth learning algorithm update, then your best bet is investing in some great digital marketing strategies to ensure you aren’t left behind.

Working with a professional SEO service or digital marketing agency can provide you with the tools you need to put you on the right side of BERT, as well as all other future updates to come out of Google. Specialized, industry-specific, valuable content creation, as well as link-building and strategic keyword use, can make a huge difference, especially when you work with a company that specializes in getting you that must-have top spot.

If that’s the kind of agency that sounds like the right fit for you, or you want a more in-depth answer into what is Google BERT update and what it means for you, contact Atastic today. We’re the experts you want on your side when it comes to riding out those algorithms and staying on top. Contact us today to find out more.

Arnjen is the founder of Atastic and created the company when he noticed that there was a need for further development in the digital marketing industry. Arnjen started the agency to help website and digital product owners grow their business.

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