September 15

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Google BERT Update What it is and How it Will Impact Search Results

The Google BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) update is certainly a very significant update of the algorithm of the most famous of search engines, probably the most important in recent years after Hummingbird (2013) and Rank Brain (2015).

BERT is the son of all that part of science that in Google deals with Artificial Intelligence and understanding of Natural Language, which will have more and more importance from now on and in the near future. In particular, BERT should allow the algorithm to better understand user queries thanks to a technology that analyzes the language in a bi-directional way, and giving greater relevance to the context words close to each other.

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It is really very complex to try to explain what is “behind the scenes” of BERT; here it is enough to know that this update will allow Google to understand much better the meaning of many queries, and especially those of vocal origin , which are constantly growing.

This is in fact what Google says about BERT:

“These changes are geared towards improving language understanding, especially for more linguistic / conversational queries, as BERT is able to help Search better understand the nuance and context of words in searches and to better match those queries with useful results. Especially for longer, more conversational queries or searches where prepositions like “for” and “how” matter a lot for the meaning, BERT will be able to understand the context of the words in the query. All this makes research more natural”.

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Google BERT update: how it will impact search engines

BERT analyzes and better understands the queries made by users (it will impact about 10% of SERPs) and therefore, at least directly – as Google’s Danny Sullivan himself states – there are no SEO news that we can implement to “enter in thanks “of the new update.

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The things to do are the same as always, those on which the SEO community has been hitting the button for some years: quality content, vertical, possibly written by recognized experts and which satisfy the real needs of users; on a technical level, loading speed and correct implementation of structured data are certainly required.

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It is true, however, as we have just said, that vocal searches will increasingly dominate, and what we pronounce with the voice is not the same as what we type; therefore, a certain optimization of the copy to try to better intercept and satisfy vocal queries can certainly be done.

Therefore, texts written in a much more natural and discursive way , in the style of precise answers to frequently asked questions and probably more related to daily and factual life ( “how to do …” , “where to find …” , etc.).

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We end this article dedicated to the Google BERT update with a “before and after” example of a different (and now better!) Result with which Google answers the same question; as you can see from the screenshot, the search engine now perfectly interprets the meaning of the question and answers much more precisely, offering the user what he was actually looking for.

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