the new Google update that promises to revolutionize SERP’s – WAU
Find out how BERT, Google’s new Artificial Intelligence system, will affect SERP’s and the results of your online strategy!
Google will make the biggest change in its search engine since the introduction of RankBrain – almost five years ago. The company announced that the action will impact 1 in 10 results pages, in order to substantially transform the results that rank for such searches.
The so-called BERT, a name that emerged from Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, was launched this week for English-language searches and will soon be available worldwide.
Do you want to know more about the novelty and how it will impact the search operation? So continue with us and check it out!
What is BERT and how does it work?
BERT is a neural network technology that aims to improve the processing of natural language, as it is commonly used by users in search engines. In other words, it helps computers to understand language more similarly to human understanding.
The program is used to apprehend the contextual nuances of the words entered in the search and find the most appropriate and relevant results.
Until last year, the program followed the open-source model and has a detailed description of how it works on the Google blog on Artificial Intelligence.
To exemplify how the solution works, in a search like “2019 London traveler to usa need a visa” (2019 London tourist to USA needs a visa) the word “to” (for) and its relationship with the other words of the research are important for understanding the meaning of the doubt.
Previously, Google would not have been able to understand the importance of this connection and would return with results about American citizens interested in traveling to London.
note: the examples used are intended to illustrate and may not correspond to the reality of real-time searches.
“With BERT, the system is able to capture this nuance and know that the word ‘to’, which is quite common, in fact, is essential in this context and, thus, it is possible to suggest much more relevant results”, According to the company.
In another example, in a search for “Can you get medicine for someone pharmacy” (you can get medicine for someone pharmacy) it is possible to observe much more accurate results and according to the user’s intention.
The program will also impact Featured Snippets – which will have their searches changed in all languages.
To exemplify this impact, we separate an example in which Google presents a much more relevant snippet to answer the question: “Parking on a hill with no curb”. In the past, such a search would cause real confusion in the search engine’s algorithm.
According to Google, “We usually put a lot of attention on the word“ curb ”(curb) and not on the word“ no ”(no), without understanding how critical this term was to enable an adequate response. So we returned with results about parking on a curb hill. ”
BERT versus RankBrain?
Despite the innovation of this system, it is important to note that RankBrain is not dead. Recalling: RankBrain was Google’s first Artificial Intelligence-based method for understanding searches.
It is based on the analysis of both searches and content present on web pages indexed by Google to better understand the true meaning of words within a given context.
Thus, BERT does not replace RankBrain, but acts as an additional method for understanding content and searches. When Google concludes that the question will be better answered with the help of BERT, it will be used.
In addition, it is important to remember that in a single search, it is possible to use more than one method, including BERT, for a better understanding of the user’s intention.
And how does it work? Google explained that there are countless ways to understand what the language present in the search means and how it relates to web content.
For example, if you misspell, error detection systems help you spell a word correctly so you can find what you need.
Likewise, if you use a synonym for the word you are looking for, it can find content that covers both terms.
Like this, BERT is just another signal that Google uses to understand the language. Depending on which search you perform, any of these systems, or their combination, can be used to provide the best result.
Is it possible to optimize for BERT?
The answer to that – so far – is only one: it is unlikely. Google said that SEO experts cannot actually optimize even for RankBrain.
But, in any case, this means that Google is becoming increasingly better at understanding natural language. So keep producing quality content for your audience, not the algorithm.
Why bother with this update?
It is important to keep an eye on this update not only because Google itself considered it “the biggest leap in progress in the last five years, and one of the biggest in the history of search engines”, but also because 10% of all searches were impacted by BERT.
With that in mind, we recommend that you keep an eye out for changes in traffic, as soon as the change takes effect for the London language as well, and share with us if any impact was noted on your pages.
In the meantime, take the time to improve the quality of your content and find out how to produce different materials!
This content is an adapted translation of the text of the Search Engine Land.