Implemented at the end of 2019, the BERT algorithm update is one of the most important yet. When it comes to SEO, it’s important to understand it and how it will affect results.
What is BERT?
BERT, or Bidirectional Encode Representations from Transformers, is Google’s NLP algorithm. It works by encoding sentences in a different way to understand the meaning of words in context, thereby making it more human in its capabilities and understanding. Instead of focusing only on keywords, it will be able to detect the searcher’s intention.
Analyzing Queries To Fine-Tune To Intention
Right now, BERT primarily analyzes queries, not websites generally. But it’s presumed that this will make a future impact on ranks for keywords and phrases, making the results more specific and fine-tuned for relevancy. This enables the searcher to get results that are more closely related to the intention behind the search and make for a better user experience.
Low Quality Content Will Suffer
This means a website with lower quality content will become eliminated. Websites that are optimized only for keywords without content focus will suffer. The more vague and unfocused the website information is, the less likely it will appear on the first page of Google results.
According to Google’s team, there is no way to manipulate for BERT. The best way to optimize is by improving the quality of the website as a whole. There are three ways you can do this.
Don’t Try to Trick iIt
What has been used in the past to manipulate algorithms has typically done more harm than good. If you look back at old ways that SEO tried to manipulate rankings with link buying, keyword stuffing, invisible text and other tactics, we know that Google just recognized them and then updated around them while also penalizing the website. These practices just became recognized as unethical and the website owner usually paid for it.
Provide Relevant and Unique Content
Relevant and informative content has always been a hallmark of Google’s desire for the best possible user experience. It will be even more so with the BERT update.
Web pages should now be specific, answering questions and providing topic explanations for users. With BERT, Google will place more value on a website that gives the user good relevant information. Vague or unfocused content will find itself no longer ranking well, despite the use of plenty of keywords.
Provide Richer Context
Optimizing for long-tail keywords is a given. But context will be more important than ever to get the right users to a website. As searches become more accurate by understanding the intention of the user, using focused keyword phrases means the right audience gets to a website that has taken the time to understand their users and their needs.
Every Search Is An Opportunity
Every search is another opportunity for a sale or lead. That is why marketers need to make the BERT update an important consideration in their SEO strategy in today’s landscape. Watch this site for the latest in SEO information.