Google BERT – What Does It Mean?

Last month, Google announced a new update which they call BERT. And you will be pleased to know this development – Google BERT – is the most significant leap so far (in the last five years) in search engines generally. 

Whether you’re working at a local SEO agency, or you’re DIY kind of person, keeping up-to-date with search engine algorithm updates will help you keep your rankings up.

Do you know that Google BERT was launched the same that as Kanye’s Jesus is King Album? That’s the minor gist though.

Now, the juiciest part of the matter is what Google claims BERT to be. Google calls BERT a quantum computer. And it has been demonstrated to solve what would have taken classic supercomputers thousands of years to address in a few days – cool.

Yes, the leap is excellent and all, but how does that affect us? Or make life easier and more beautiful? Such questions are what this article aims to enlighten you on.

What is Google BERT?

This algorithm update helps the learning machine understand what the words in a sentence denote, not only that but with all the perks/nuances of the context as well.

BERT itself stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representation from Transformers. And it is a deep learning algorithm related to natural language processing.

So, how does Google BERT work?

According to Google researchers, the last algorithm update is designed with the aim of pre-training deep bi-directional representations. It does that by conditioning the context from both directions (left and right) in all layers.

If you are quite familiar with language model pre-training, then BERT will be more relatable. BERT applies basic strategies as with other language pre-training construct to solve different sorts of language processing tasks. 

Some of the everyday tasks where Google BERT will come handy are paraphrasing, answering questions, making language inferences.

What is Google BERT’s target?

The target of Google BERT update is to affect 10% of all search queries, and that’s going by Google’s estimate. That indicates that users (like you and I) will find more useful information from their searches (1 in 10 times though).

Furthermore, for longer and more conversational queries, the search engine will be able to understand the context even better with the Google BERT update.

Additionally, users will now search their queries in a way that feels natural to them, and that is all thanks to Google BERT. However, there are some limitations to Google BERT.

When it comes to ranking results, BERT will only be useful for searches in US English. There are plans to adapt the development to more languages and locales soon.

What is the relationship between Google BERT and SEO?

This last update is critical to SEO. Fundamentally, SEO is about making your sites better for search engines. So think about it, BERT is an update search engines are making to their algorithm. So yes, it influences SEO processes.

What does BERT mean for content writers?

This question is perhaps essential because you might be thinking this new update spells badly for you. On the other hand, you needn’t fear a thing.

In the words of Danny Sullivan, Google’s public search liaison, “Google BERT is nothing new”. It doesn’t spell doom to you as a content writer. All you need to do is to write as you have always been doing.

On the whole, Google BERT is a good thing for all. How so? Life is more comfortable when we get things done as soon as possible. And that is BERT’s aim, understanding users’ search/keyword intent for better and fast search results. The most amazing part is that with Google BERT, there will come a time when even the exact searched keyword won’t come up in Google search results. And that would be cool.