BERT Google Search Algorithm: What You Should Know

Are you curious what the new Google search algorithm, a.k.a. BERT, means for your business?

Wondering if BERT is going to help or harm your rankings in search results?

Here’s the lowdown on Google’s latest algorithm update to get you up to speed.

What is BERT?

BERT, which stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, is the newest algorithm being used in Google search results. It helps computers understand natural language, so that Google can deliver more accurate results for search queries.

To do this, it looks at a word in relation to all the other words around it, not just one word on its own. This helps Google better understand the context of the search, as well as the intent of the user, to serve more meaningful answers.

For example, here is what a search for “2019 brazil traveler to usa need a visa” looked like before BERT, and what it looks like now:

Before BERT, Google didn’t take the word “to” into account when showing search results. This significantly changed the type of answers Google served to users, which – in this case – was an incorrect one. It was showing information for a U.S. traveler going to Brazil, when it needed to display results for a Brazilian traveling to the U.S.

With the new Google algorithm in place, the search engine is delivering a more accurate result for the search query.

What does BERT mean for your business?

According to Google, BERT is “one of the biggest leaps forward in the history of Search.”

So, if you’re noticing some fluctuation in your search rankings, this could be why.

It’s important to note, however, that optimizing for BERT isn’t an option. The best advice for businesses is to continue writing content for the end user, rather than search engines, in order to have the best chances for ranking in results and Featured Snippets.

Next Steps

Now that the new Google search algorithm is here, users will be able to search for answers more naturally – in a way they would ask someone else a question. Consider this as you write content in the future, and as you examine older content on your website. Perhaps there are adjustments you can make to better answer search queries.

If you are noticing big changes in your search rankings, and you want to dig deeper for information, reach out to RSO Consulting for help. We specialize in data analysis and interpretation to inform your SEO and marketing strategies.

Reach out with any questions you might have regarding how RSO can help you with your digital marketing.

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