As you are taking a look at the world of digital marketing, it is important to think carefully about how search engines are interpreting your content. Of course, you want visitors to like your content as well; however, it is just as important for you to take a look at what search engines think of your content. One of the recent updates that took place on Google is called BERT. BERT is a significant factor in Google today, so it is important for you to think carefully about how you can make your website more appealing to this update. What is this update, and what does it mean for the future of digital marketing? Take a look at a few important points below.
What Is BERT?
When we are talking about BERT, we are talking about Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. Yes, these are a lot of big words, but it is important to take a closer look at what they mean. Google adjusted its algorithms recently to better focus on natural language processing. Google also adjusted its algorithms to focus on natural language generation.
For example, if you were to enter a flight number into Google’s search engine box, Google should pull up the flight status for you. Or, if you type in a math question, Google should be able to pull up the answer for you, realizing that you are entering an equation that you need to be answered. Of course, if you are entering a stock ticker symbol, and you should be able to see a stock chart on the other side.
This type of processing change also impacts the autocomplete feature on Google. Google should be able to figure out what you are going to look for before you even finish your query. Of course, Google had already figured this out even before it entered the update. In essence, the update just made all of this better. What exactly was the update that made it better?
In the past, Google would not focus on small words. For example, the search engine box might overlook a lot of prepositions including “to” and “for.” Unfortunately, these words often directly go back to the intent of the user. If Google overlooks these prepositions, then it may not know exactly how people are using the words they are entering into the search box. Therefore, Google had to start taking these into account. Now, Google has done exactly that, improving the quality of the search engine results for the users.
BERT Also Impacted the Featured Snippets
In addition, many of the changes brought about by BERT also impacted the featured snippets. The featured snippets are a very important part of search engine results on Google. If you ever enter a query, you may be able to see a few results at the top of the page that appear to have an entire box dedicated to them. These are the featured snippets on Google, and they take up a lot of clicks. Therefore, if you want to drive traffic to your website, and you need to do everything you can to make sure that your website shows up in this area of Google. The updates to BERT change the way these Snippets were interpreted.
Essentially, Google changed the emphasis on the exact word in the query that impacted the featured snippets. As a result, the results became more relevant to the needs of the user. In the past, Google would overlook small words, such as “no.” Now, these words are a major driving factor regarding the results that are placed in this area of the results page.
What Does This Mean for You?
So, what does this update mean for you? The first thing you need to do is take a look and see if the update impacted the rankings of your website. You can do this relatively easily if you head to Google Search Console. There, you need to take a look at the relative rankings of your website. Click back in time to 2019. Then, see if your rankings drop during October of that year. That was when the rollout went live. If your rankings dropped, this is a sign that the update impacted your overall rankings. If that is the case, then you need to think about how you can improve your overall ranking.
The first thing you should do is take a look at some of your competitors. Figure out who is ranking ahead of you. Then, try to figure out what they are doing differently. If you can figure out what they are doing differently from you, then you should be able to update your website accordingly and restore your rankings. You can do this by producing content that is more relevant to the needs of your users. Alternatively, if you are working with a digital marketing agency specializing in SEO services, you should work with them to ensure that they are producing accurate and easy to navigate content for your customers.
In general, you need to think about producing content that is informational, navigational, or transactional. Informational websites are designed to provide information to your users. Navigational websites are designed to make it easier for users to find what they are looking for. Transactional websites are designed to help people buy and sell services online. If you can produce content that is relevant to one of these three categories, you should be able to improve your rankings.