What Is Google BERT & What Does It Mean For You?
Searches are messy. What I mean is that web users rarely use neatly structured phrases in their searches, especially if the user is searching for information on a topic they don’t know much about.
And most of the time, people are asking questions or typing out long phrases to find the answers they need.
In an effort to increase search engine performance & give users what they want, Google rolled out a huge update in 2018 called BERT. While the update is kind of “old news” in the SEO world, it’s important that you understand the update so you know where search engines are going.
What Did Google BERT Do?
In a nutshell, the Google BERT update used neural network infrastructure to make Google search smarter. How did Google search get smarter exactly? It now understands the context of search queries better.
I say better for a reason because the update did not make the search engine perfect. It still relies on keywords to retrieve & display relevant results. Therefore, the search engine is limited in figuring out what you’re really asking or looking for.
Nevertheless, the update made the search engine better at understanding the context of verbage.
A Few Examples Outlined By Google’s Release Notes
Google offered the following examples to describe how BERT changed how the search engine understands search queries.
- For the query “2019 brazil traveler to usa need a visa”, BERT allows Google search to understand the word “to” so that results are now returned for pages that describe regulations for travel from Brazil to the US. Previously, the first result for the same query was a landing page for the US Embassy in Brazil.
- Similarly, the query “do estheticians stand a lot at work” used to return an article describing the different types of estheticians & what they do for work. Now, Google search returns an article that describes the physical demands of being an esthetician.
As you can see, BERT made Google search better at understanding the context in which words are being used. Now, users are able to find the information they’re looking for more easily.
What Does Google BERT Mean For You?
While you may not be an avid blogger, you probably want your business to show up when someone searches for a product or service you offer. As such, here are some key takeaways that are relevant to you:
- Search queries are taking on a more conversational tone
- People are looking for information, answers & solutions
- Search engines are getting smarter
- It’s no longer about what is said, it’s how.
With that being said, you should focus on answering the questions that your customers may have about your business. Use your site to describe your services to detail & even educate your site visitors about what you do.
On your Google My Business page, you should also add attributes & answer FAQ so that when a user is looking for a business like yours with specific attributes (free parking, dog-friendly, military discount, late hours or vegan), YOU are the result that shows up.
The key here is to give Google as much information as you can about your business because that’s what the search engine needs in order to provide the best experience to its users.
Our Local SEO Tech Does It All
Google is constantly changing how it presents the world’s information to end-users. And even if you’re on top of all the updates (there are usually 3-4 per year), it’s always better to have some technology to make search engines favor you.
Our local SEO tech makes sure that you’re listed everywhere you can be & enriches those listings with enriched content so you present your business to search engines in a better, BERT-friendly context.
TAPLocal’s Local SEO Enhancement package even places schema markup on your website so that Google’s crawlers know exactly what you do.