Let's Meet BERT, Google's Newest Update

Still early to see the effects from this new update that rolled out this past October but let’s look at the details. BERT, Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, is all about voice search and helping to identify certain searches through longer tail queries. Aiming to be more conversational, even though our inquires are rarely not how we would ask a question in person. We basically use broken English, our commands are a string of keywords we think our device would understand. This update is focused on interpreting the intent of search queries better. So instead of looking at the user’s search query word by word, BERT allows Google to interpret the entire phrase better to give more accurate results.

In this example, Google previously identified the word “stand” and matched it with “stand-alone” which was the incorrect version of the word for this query.

Google provided examples from their blog.

Instead, the searcher is focused on the physical demands of the job, so with Google BERT, Google interprets the query more accurately.

By now you might be wondering how this will effect your business’s search marketing. Even though this new update is predicted to affect 10% of all searches it should only slow the traffic down for your site that isn’t meant for your target audience. No one will be penalized in this update like other algorithms, it’s sole purpose is for the user to receive even better search intent.

As with all marketers that you’ve heard over and over again, your focus should still be in your content to better reach your demographic. Well written, long-tailed keywords and phrases are even more important than ever.




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