What is BERT? The latest Google algorithm?

Today we will introduce you to another GoogleUpdate that comes to support the search engine in its eternal work to understand us better, and that is that the human being is a creature that asks himself about anything all the time: How to make slime? What movies to watch? What is celebrated today? Is it going to rain tomorrow? Where am I?.. In fact, 15% of all daily questions have never been asked before, so we force google to become more sophisticated, but the important thing here is: How does the BERT update affect my site?

I am Letícia Bariviera, a crew member of the Mix With Marketing ship and I will be responsible for transmitting this update to you: BERT, understanding the questions better than before.

And as we are always known for sharing the best SEO tips based on our experience, here is the first one along with a language challenge: complement this content with our monthly webinar: Artificial Intelligence and SEO for E-commerce in collaboration with SmartHint, it is unmissable!

Now yes, explorer!: the transmission begins…

Google Bert? What is? Where does it come from?

Let’s start at the beginning, what does Google BERT mean? They are the acronym for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers which, translated into good Latin English, means: “Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers”.

Seems complex right? The sentence is long, but let’s go into parts. Where did it come from?

Well, BERT, was born in 2018 within ” Google AI Research ” as an update to optimize and make the search system more assertive, based on the engine idea, already raised in the ’60s by the British linguist John Rupert Firth, when he said that: “The full meaning of a word is always contextual…”

BERT algorithm is based on Artificial Intelligence to refine (even more) the search results and offer (even more) the best possible answers to its users. This is how Google itself has let us know in its blog: “Our job is to find out what you are looking for and show you useful information from the web, regardless of how you spell or combine the words in your query.”

And it is that the big G knows that learning never stops, that modesty allows him to continue improving: Although we have continued to improve our ability to understand language over the years, sometimes we do not get it completely right, especially with complex or conversational queries”.

And when we talk about learning, we are referring to what comes with artificial intelligence. BERT has been studied since 2018 and was put into practice in 2019, reaching Latin America at the end of 2019, learning more about Hispanic-American culture, its accents, and its colloquialisms, immersing itself in conversational searches. But how does he do it?

We know that artificial intelligence is already among us, surely you have already interacted with a ” chatbot ” or you have not asked yourself, how do I get recommendations on what to watch on Netflix or youtube? How do they know what I want?

That is AI, it is about systems that absorb information through machine learning, analyze it, and react allowing it to make predictions.

BERT arrives to refine conversational and complex searches, through an open-source neural network that continuously learns, since it has been trained to process our living and natural language. Attention here! in interaction with the context.

And this is how Pandu Nayak, vice president of the Google department, explains it: « BERT can consider the full context of a word by looking at the ones that come before and after it, and this is useful to understand the intention of the queries that are made in the searcher”

So what does BERT offer us?

Google BERT

As an Internet user, you can do a search as you can think of, and Google has the ability to understand you of course, if you don’t have time to write, you can simply ask for your cell phone, which also applies to voice searches.

And it is that now the cell phone is “the inevitable” and can understand us, decipher us and even predict what we want, something like reading our thoughts. Arouse some fear! not? But don’t worry, breath, despite the advances that BERT brings, he still has a lot to learn about our complex and living language, because every day we create new meanings, we appropriate new words and we ask approximately half a million new questions every day (15% of approx. 3 billion daily searches)

What does BERT bring to SEO professionals? Ally or Rival?

Well, it depends, for some, it represents only a headache, for demanding higher quality in technical and content SEO on-page; off-page SEO, and a more satisfactory UX.

But what about Google RankBrain?

Could it be that RankBrain disappears in front of BERT’s intelligence? Will we stop using the Rankbrain update?

The simple answer is no. It is true that for many years it was Google’s main quality filter, but now it is necessary to make it clear that one does not replace the other.

RankBrain is a very important step in all AI development, refining the search engine’s ability to analyze the keywords within the large google index and thus deliver the most coherent and appropriate answers for that type of intention.

With the arrival of Google BERT, we are not replacing their work, but it is strengthened, which is a plus. An algorithm that comes to lighten the work of understanding curious human beings. Let’s see an example, BERT: a before and after for artificial intelligence

If you put in the search engine “2020 tourist to Chile needs a vaccine certificate”
With Rankbrain, you would get results responding to: “Chilean tourist needs a vaccination certificate” since the preposition “a” was not taken into account since it still did not have a high sensitivity to prepositions.

BERT: Where is the opportunity for SEO?

Now that we know that BERT specializes in longer sentences, does that mean we should use more long-tail keywords? Could it be that I should write even longer content? Don’t worry, astronaut, don’t jump to conclusions, by the way, since we’re on the subject, do you know what the ideal size of an article is?

First, the idea of ​​the algorithm is and will always be to help Google with its mission to deliver faster and more accurate answers to what its users need.

Having that as our “star of Bethlehem”: as our guide, we share some small recommendations to align your SEO with BERT, but remember that each technique encompasses a series of activities that we also give you in our series of articles on how to optimize your SEO Explore our blog! It is the first tip.

  • Write for humans, not google bots
  • Do not repeat your keywords without rhyme or reason; that went down in history and
  • you can be penalized for that.
  • Apply LSI Keyword in your content
  • The important thing is quality in your content, not quantity, so consider content pruning!
  • More conversational searches mean visualizing and taking voice searches into account
  • Eye! with the loading speed of your website, together with all the technical aspects that also entail doing SEO, all for a good UX!

So, with each arrival of a Google update, it means changing the traditional style of doing SEO, and always staying original with creativity, which means adapting your SEO strategy with originality, quality, and that emotional connection that -for now- only humans understand. Take advantage of it!

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