Google announced a new update called BERT a few months ago and according to Google, this update has affected 10% of all results. To put it in context, it has changed the results of approx. 22 million searches every hour.
There are many of people related to Digital Marketing Company thinking like what we need to do with this update and how it will affect our website, so just to give you an idea of how big this update is, it’s the biggest update made by Google in the last 5 years after Rank-brain.
So, there is a good chance that it will affect your website too and if it has not made it till yet, it will eventually make an effect as soon as the traffic grows on your website.
But, before we go into the update and now how it can harm our SEO, let’s know what this update is all about.
What is BERT?
BERT stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transfers. In simple language, this means Google has updated its algorithm to better understand natural language processing (NLP).
How it affects searches?
BERT, one of the bigger updates of Google didn’t come in a day, it took a long training period and is the first unassisted NLP system. The basic meaning of BERT is how to read our language by understanding content, it crawls pages after pages to understand how words are grouped together and then stores this information. BERT learned how to read on Wikipedia and other similar sites. The main thing to give attention to here is that Wikipedia page is not optimized for search, of course, it has titles and descriptions with keywords, but the content is not optimized or stuffed. this way, we can understand that it’s a ground basic training to understand the context.
Here are a few examples that Google used to highlight the effect of the BERT on search queries.
What can we learn from BERT?
BERT is not going to affect your queries that you are tracking, these are often 2- or 3-word phrases. It’s quite straight that Google understands the user’s intent. BERT is affecting only those long-tail keywords.
There are also many people telling you that there is no way to optimize for BERT and to a certain extent they are saying right. Trying to stuff more keywords to a page for this sort of artificial intelligence is futile and going to cause more damage than its worth. However, you will still need to include keywords in the article. Because, if your article does not mention the phrase somewhere, Google will not rank it.
Currently, we are heading to a more user-friendly and AI voice search word. With the popularity of Google Home and mini as well as the voice search available on the phone of everyone, it’s only a matter of time when people start to make voice search over traditional phrase search technique. And you still need to optimize your content for a human, but keep in mind that it’s still a robot that will deliver the result to you. So, you need to understand how to optimize your content and choose phrases accordingly.
BERT is not a massive update since Google has been continuously putting our updates that relate to a better search experience for the users. This recent update mainly focuses on creating useful, informative, authoritative, expertly curated and accurate information to the users.
If you lose traffic due to this update, you can either hire a SEO Services Company or look at the pages that dropped, the search queries for which you are not ranking anymore and go, adjust and optimize those content or create some new content that answers the questions people are looking for.