Google BERT: A better understanding of natural language and complex queries.
Google just announced their biggest algorithm change in the last 5 years. As many of you know Google is constantly changing their algorithms to provide better search results and BERT is a really big step in that direction.
BERT is a natural language processor that helps Google understand language better and deliver more relevant search results. There is a ton of information out there about BERT and it can get in the weeds quickly. We want to give you a simple overview of BERT and also remind you of Google’s advice whenever they roll out an algorithm change. Keep producing high quality content that fits your users goals and make your site as friendly as possible to your users.
What exactly is BERT?
BERT stands for “Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers”. You can impress your kids with that little bit of knowledge! It’s a machine learning algorithm that should lead to better understanding of search queries, especially longer more natural language queries.
Here is an example. For humans, the query [2019 brazil traveler to usa need a visa] obviously is about answering if a traveler from Brazil needs to have a visa for the USA in 2019. Computers have a hard time with that. Previously, Google would omit the word ‘to’ from the query, turning the meaning around. BERT takes everything in the sentence into account and thus figures out the true meaning.
In their BERT launch page Google has a lot of examples of how long chain and natural language queries would improve. You can view them here.
Google loves their algorithm changes. Google announced that every year they roll out between 500 and 600 core algorithm updates, and 3 or 4 times a year Google will roll out broad core updates. They do this every year! This keeps professional Search Engine Optimizers busy to test exactly how all of these updates will affect search and what SEO’s need to do to keep their clients sites optimized for search.
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