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Google BERT Update: How Will It Impact Search Engine Rankings?

Date: 02-Nov-2019

Google announced BERT update which is supposedly the biggest in search since Google rolled out RankBrain five years ago.

Google BERT Update: How Will It Impact Search Engine Rankings?

Google announced BERT update which is supposedly the biggest in search since Google rolled out RankBrain five years ago.

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Considering the number of updates that Google rolls out in a year, you might probably be thinking if it is worth it to invest in understanding the latest Google update. Well, to give you a hint, BERT will have an impact on every 1 in 10 search query. This being said, there is a high chance that BERT impacts your website.

Before we dive into 'how', let's first discuss what exactly is this new update.

So, what is BERT all about?

Technically, BERT is an acronym for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers.

Now, what does this full form mean?

To simply put it, Google has made changes to its algorithm for better understanding the natural language processing.

For example, earlier when someone used to search for a query "2019 Brazil traveler to USA need a visa", Google used to show the following results-

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After the BERT update, Google now shows more relevant resuts -

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Following the above example, it is clear that Google's BERT Update will further improve Google's ability to understand search queries. Earlier, Google's autocompleting feature and its ability to provide accurate search results to the queries improved user experience.

Now, with the latest BERT Update, Google has gone a step further to understand natural and conversational language. It helps a machine to comprehend what every word in a contextual sentence means. Because of the bidirectional nature of BERT, the issues with breaking down what a pronoun means in a sentence have become easier to a certain extent and understanding the context has improved. This update will help Google in analyzing the search queries, instead of the web pages. This being said, on-page SEO plays a more important role than ever.

How does this update affect SEO?



BERT Update will put more emphasis on search queries, instead of web pages. Therefore, On-page SEO has become more important to optimize the website accurately using words. If your website has sloppy content, you might be at a huge disadvantage.

Because Google is getting a more search query-centric, your website might be at risk of losing its search engine rankings slowly or eventually. If this is the case, you should make changes to your SEO strategy.

Instead of writing content with a focus on search engine crawlers, you should consider writing content for humans - great, useful, compelling and unique. So when you hire the best SEO agency in India, you need to make sure that you clearly state that your SEO goal is to understand the search intent and create content that is in a more natural language.

For example, if you have a women's apparel website and your blog talks about "sustainable clothing", then the content should not focus on types of clothing or anything that goes off-topic. Make sure that whatever content you create is highly relevant and specific and avoids keyword density.

Think of it this way - Keep your audience in mind and think about the questions they might want to find answers to. Once you figure this out, provide as much value as you can to your audience's search queries as compared to the competition.

CONCLUSION:

Google's BERT update is here to stay. Truly, it is one of the biggest updates and can have a great impact on a website's search engine ranking. If you lose search rankings because of this update, consider it a good thing. This is because, even if your website gets clicked, but the visitor does not find the content relevant, he would go back to Google within seconds and it will increase your bounce rate.

Sure, your website might lose some search engine rankings because of this update, but the traffic would have ruined your user experience and increased your bounce rate.

A simple mantra towards surviving Google's BERT Update is to create highly specific content for the users, and not just for the crawlers.