Who is Google Bert and How will it Affect your Content Marketing?
Google is constantly developing. That’s a given. It has spent a lot of time on it’s new AI that can help understand our search queries. You know when you type something into Google and you get a result back but it’s not quite what you wanted it to be?
Or those times when we input a few words and the search results try to autofinish the sentence but again it’s not quite what you wanted?
Well that’s all about to change.
Search will change because of Bert.
Who is this BERT I hear you ask?
Well BERT stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. I agree…BERT is so much easier to say!
It is Google’s new natural language processor that is built to answer the questions or enquiries that we are actually asking the search engine. To keep it simple, BERT can help computers get closer to understanding human language the way we humans understand each other.
There are many words that us, as humans, can understand in a nano-second. But machine reading don’t necessarily pick up on certain nuances that little words, such as prepositions, produce.
Google explained this on their blog when they said that “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.”
Here’s a before and after for a search term ‘2019 brazil traveller to usa need a visa’. When we read it, we understand it to be a Brazilian travelling to the US and enquiring if they need a visa. Right?
However, Google’s previous algorithms wouldn’t understand the importance of this connection, and would have returned results about U.S. citizens traveling to Brazil. They didn’t understand ‘to’. With BERT, Search is now able to grasp this nuance and know that the very common word “to” actually matters a lot here, and they can provide a much more relevant result for this query.
Image source: google
What does this really mean to you?
Let’s talk about you as a searcher first.
You will get information or answers to your queries much more effectively. While BERT only applies to 1 in 10 searches at present, no doubt it will evolve. Google has also open-sourced it which means this ‘technology enables anyone to train their own state-of-the-art question answering system’. So your searches in the future will become even better, giving you the answer you’re looking for.
What does it mean for you and your content strategy?
Well as I’ve said for years, you need to write for the reader (human) first and then the algorithms and machines. So this advice – fundamental advice – isn’t changing.
In fact, BERT will help with this. If you write for a human perspective first, then you have nothing really to optimise on your site. Google has said that “The fundamentals of us seeking to reward great content remain unchanged.”
That being said, the BERT update is mainly developed to understand longer, conversational queries. Many website owners have short keywords which is why now’s the time to optimize them with long tail keywords. Short keywords often drive more results and but less toward what the consumer is actually searching for.
By using long tail keywords (phrases or keywords with more than one word), you can lower your search volume, get lower competition and have higher conversion rates. Long tail keywords are more specific and easier to understand what the user is searching for.
When optimizing your websites again, be sure to brainstorm. Brainstorming and finding questions that are asked by your prospects in your niche can help you develop better ways to optimize with BERT. Answering those questions should be your next plan for creating video content, articles, or any form of media that can really solve the question for the user.
Conclusion – Focus on writing great, clear, compelling, content, with long-tail keywords, for real people.
And you will be rewarded by Google. We have been helping people to do exactly this for the past couple of years.
Reach out and contact me if you’d like to optimise and produce content for real people, where you convert your readers into leads and into clients.
To read more about BERT, click here. https://blog.google/products/search/search-language-understanding-bert