Google’s search engine is not only getting smarter – it’s also becoming more “human”. Google is constantly making improvements that help boost user experience, from putting mobile friendly sites first to prioritizing high quality content. Now, as of October 2019, they are rolling out one of the biggest and most important updates in years.
The new technology is called Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers— or BERT for short. BERT helps better understand the nuances and context of words in searches and better match those queries with more relevant results. Simply put, it is focused on natural language processing using words like “to” and “from” to display more relevant search results.
This update is important because the phrasing of search queries is becoming more like real human communication. So Google need to understand the semantic context of search term. On their blog, Google provided a few examples of search queries that BERT helps to understand better and for which the search engine is now provide more relevant results.
Here is what Google said:
“These improvements are oriented around improving language understanding, particularly for more natural language/conversational queries, as BERT is able to help Search better understand the nuance and context of words in Searches and better match those queries with helpful results. Particularly for longer, more conversational queries, or searches where prepositions like “for” and “to” matter a lot to the meaning, Search will be able to understand the context of the words in your query. You can search in a way that feels natural for you.”
So what does this mean for marketers? Continue to focus on creating high-quality content that speaks to an audience in a natural way. The best rule of thumb is to write for humans first and search engines second. As long as you are following the basics, you should not need to make any changes to your site with the BERT update.