Recently, the BERT algorithm has caused a stir in the digital marketing industry. Many have been of the opinion that marketers can not optimize their content for BERT. I have personally had a series of back and forths with colleagues over the matter.
While I must admit that I am not an expert on BERT, I have had to make a lot of research and in this article, I will be helping you to understand BERT.
But before I jump right into it, No you do not optimize your content for BERT.
What is BERT?
Do you remember RankBrain? It was the AI that processed google search results. Well, BERT is the largest change to the Google search system since RankBrain and will affect 1 in 10 of Google search queries.
BERT stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. It is Google’s neural network technique for natural language processing (NLP) implying that it will help computers understand languages similarly to how humans do.
Why was BERT Introduced?
People type in search queries because they are seeking to find or learn something new, meaning they do not always have the correct spellings or know the proper terms to use for the search.
The search engine still has the task of figuring out what you are searching for and providing valuable results to you, but It is impossible for search engines to provide value if the search language is not properly understood. The user sometimes tries to use keyword-like searches to make sure they get the right results; using a series of words they believe the search engine will understand.
BERT is a major advancement of the google research team in language understanding and represents one of the biggest forward leaps in search. This technology makes sure search engines understand the context and nuances of queries and produce results based on context.
Google has given a number of examples to show how BERT affect search. I will like to reference one below.
It is important to note that you do not have to optimize your content for BERT. As a digital marketer, producing great and relevant content is always key to ranking on SERPs.
BERT is not the final solution to search problems, it is only an upgrade and a really important one. The good news is that you can do without some of your keyword-ese searches now.