Have you always heard about BERT, but never knew exactly what was meant by it? Well, it’s the most important algorithm update Google has made in the past five years. So, let’s get you up to date as well.

In this article you will learn:

What is BERT?

The Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) is the all-in-one combo that solves majority of the Natural Language Processing (NLP) tasks. It was developed by Google and is being leveraged to better understand user search queries, which should mean more relevant results. 

For example:

The word “to” can have different meanings, which is easier for humans to understand but harder for search engines to interpret the meaning. Now with BERT, the search engines can distinguish between them. Let’s take the example that Google has provided: “2019 brazil traveller to usa need a visa”. 

Image source: Google

Before, algorithms would result about U.S. citizens traveling to Brazil. Now with BERT, it understands between such nuances and facilitates more relevant results. Google is looking at the searcher's intend and getting a better understanding of what that is. 

BERT arrived in Google’s search system the week of October 21, 2019 for English-language queries. Over time, Google will expand the algorithm to all languages.

Why is everyone talking about BERT?

It’s unique because it is the first deeply bidirectional, unsupervised language representation, and is pre-trained using only a plain text corpus. It is open-sourced, allowing anyone to use the software for any purpose. Therefore, anyone with machine learning knowledge can easily build an NLP model without the need for sourcing massive datasets for training the model. This saves a lot of time, energy, knowledge, and resources. 

It is estimated that 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020. Thus, this progression is logical as Google needed a way to better understand more conversational search queries. 

How BERT works

Let’s begin by defining what natural learning processing (NLP) is. NLP aims to enable computers to understand the way humans communicate. It relates because BERT is an advancement in NLP through bidirectional training. It’s bidirectional because BERT can understand both previous and next context. BERT is the first to successfully pre-train bidirectional in a deep neural network.

BERT allows the language model to understand the entire word context based on the set of words in a sentence. Before, it would just learn the context based on the immediate word before or after it.

Why should I care about BERT?

BERT will enhance your search on Google! Google has stated that it will impact one in ten searches, as it will work in more complex queries. Most importantly, BERT is aimed at content overall.

We’re changing slowly from conducting “keyword analysis” to “search analysis” as Google is becoming smarter and distinguishing the context of a search. If you create content that is geared toward a specific idea or topic you can rank, it doesn’t matter what keywords people type in. As long as the intent of their search will lead them to your content. 

Check out this video to learn more about why you should care!

Can I optimize my content for BERT?

This is a frequently asked question since BERT came out just a few months ago. Honestly, you can’t optimize for BERT, but you can optimize your website’s content for visitors.  

There a couple of things that you can be aware of that helps BERT make sense of your content, such as:

Danny Sullivan, an employee at Google, focuses on educating the public about search and is very active on his Twitter account. 

Google insiders, like Sullivan, often provide the same piece of advice to write high quality content garnered at their users. Now with the BERT update, this advice should be taken more seriously as Google is taking steps to better understand humans. 

Interested in other ways to optimize your content for search engines? Check out my article, “SEO 101: A Guide for Beginners”.

What should I take out of this article?

  1. BERT helps Google to better understand human language
  2. BERT looks at contextual nuance
  3. You can’t optimize for BERT, however you can focus on writing content for users

Thanks for reading! Tweet us if you have further questions about BERT. Interested in checking out my other articles? Click here

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be confusing at the beginning, but don’t worry we are here to guide you through it! We see a lot of content out there with common SEO mistakes that can be avoided. 

Before we begin, do you know what SEO is? Read our blog, SEO 101: A Guide for Beginners to warm up and get a clear understanding of the basics.

1 Wrong keywords

Using the wrong keyword is one of the most common mistakes made in SEO. You can’t neglect the preferences of search engines and users. The way to reach your audience is by understanding and using the words that they use to refer to your products and services. 

There is such a thing as using the incorrect keyword. 

You’ll want to choose one that has relevance to your subject and will help your SEO. Conduct keyword analysis first to find out if it will have good results and will reach your potential customers. It should come across naturally in the URL, the title of the page, and your content. If there aren’t any relevant purpose to the content or the website, then you know it’s the wrong one.  

We've only covered a tiny section on how to choose the correct keyword. Check out MOZ's blog post on Keyword Research to get a detailed description on where to begin.

2 Failing to include relevant internal and external links

To get the most of SEO, you’ll want to include a mixture of internal and external links on your page. Don’t fill your page with random links but use well-ranking websites with reputations to improve your content quality. Internal linking will bring people to relevant content on your website and will encourage them to stay longer on your website. 

Tip: Avoid using “click here” as an anchor text strengthen it by using words that will teach the reader how it will be beneficial to them. This also improves SEO as search bots will know what the link is about.

3 Not taking advantage of Google SEO reviews

Did you know that your Google business reviews have a huge influence on your business’ local SEO? By simply increasing the number of Google reviews with your specified keywords, you can see an increase in visibility of your website. You will want to take advantage of this and encourage your clients to leave Google reviews! Read our blog post on How Google Reviews Help SEO to get a better understanding and tips on how to optimize your SEO. 

4 Low quality content

We are surrounded by content noise when we scroll through our social media feeds, and by publishing non-original content you will just be part of that noise. Publish interesting and valuable content that will set you apart from others. The goal is to provide real value content to your visitors. Your focus should be addressing their needs by crafting relevant content, and SEO should take care of itself. 

Remember that you are creating content for people, not for robots. You want to make your content easy to read and follow:

Eager to know more tips on how to create quality content? Read our blog How Quality Content Can Help You Lead the Battle.

5 Avoiding tittle tags & meta description

Once you’ve chosen a target keyword in your articles, you’re not done with optimizing your content. Fixing your page titles and adding meta descriptions are important for search engines when they are crawling your website. If these optimizing factors are properly done, they can improve the performance of your content. 

6 Poor social media presence

Once your content is published, you’ll also want to optimize it on social media to get the attention of users, specifically of those that have a significant online presence. Create relationships with the appropriate influencers to get noticed by your target audience and by search engines. Use their credibility to promote your content. 

7 Forgetting about analytics

Forgetting to track progress is one of the most common mistakes! You can’t improve your SEO if you disregard the numbers. Google Analytics is a useful tool to measure your analytics and to see how your optimization is working for the various content and strategies you are using. Get into the habit of regularly checking your analytics and tweaking your strategy if nothing converts.

It doesn’t matter how many SEO blogs you read, you’ll make a mistake now and then. We hope that you can learn from these common mistakes’ others have made and avoid them in your own efforts. 

Thanks for reading! Tweet us if you’ve caught yourself in one of these common SEO mistakes, we’d love to hear from you. Check out our other articles on SEO, WordPress, marketing, social media, and more! 

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