The “BERT” Update

What is the “BERT” update? It is Google launching a new update for search engines. It is going to allow search engines to understand queries a lot better. “Bert” has been around since November 2018 but it has now become far more important.

What is the meaning of “BERT”? “BERT” is a natural language processing pre-training approach that can be used on a large body of text. It handles tasks such as entity recognition, part of speech tagging, and question-answering among other natural language processes. Bert helps Google understand natural language text from the Web and “BERT” stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers and refers to an algorithm model that is based on neural networks. With the help of Natural Language Processing (NLP), machine systems attempt to interpret the complexity of human language.

What does this mean for SEO? This is a new platform that will allow Google to learn languages a lot better. This has been a major hurdle for Google. This tool is now being used as the primary tool to better understand languages.

The current language learning/understanding tool comes from context and content. This is a new form of AI. Previous AI and platforms had major gaps and difficulties but by using bi-directional methods “BERT” will resolve many of the issues Google and search engines a like struggle with. This enables full context of a word by looking at all the words before and after in a sentence.

The “BERT” tool has been fed data for over a solid year to ensure the tool understands exactly what context is. The pre-training for “BERT” has involved over 2.8 million words from Wikipedia and another 800 million words from plain text. That is a lot of training! That is why it took over a full year for a full release.

It has proven that “BERT” scored 93.7% of context  vs a human from Stanford university whom scored 92.1% and beating other language tools by 1-2% as well. It does not sound like a lot but that 1-2% is a game changer.

“BERT” will impact search results. It will directly impact conversational queries and long tailed keywords. This way you can search what feels natural to you and Google will have a better understanding and provide more accurate results for you. Ultimately providing Google users a better user experience. This is why a company needs to have SEO done properly. If your SEO is not in line with “BERT” you will see a decrease in rankings. You will need to monitor rankings and snippet results as they will change over time. Currently “BERT” is only in the USA and is 1 in 10 searches. This is expected to be rolled out internationally over the next year.

Google is doing this to ensure they are providing users with the best result possible. This is why local companies in competitive markets need a solid team that know SEO. We have over a decade of experience in this arena in our management team alone. If you want to understand or learn more about the “BERT” update we would be happy to help. Drop me a line at andrew@semg.ca or give our office a call at 289-273-8573. One of seasoned team members would be happy to help.

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