The Google BERT Update: How Does It Change Your Content Strategy?

by Michelle B

Your content strategy is a big part of your branding. It’s how you help your business grow, and how you reach your audience. But now that Google has changed its algorithm with the BERT update, your content marketing strategy might also need to change. The BERT update is the biggest Google algorithm change in five years, so it’s important. Here’s what you need to know, so you can keep your content strategy strong.

Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers

That might sound confusing, which is why Google called it BERT. Plus, the search engine seems to like naming its updates after something cute, unique, or interesting. BERT is actually a very good thing for SEO and marketing, due to the way it looks at content. Essentially, the new update utilizes the best Natural Language Processing capabilities Google has at its disposal. What does that mean for you? It means the search engine understands language more like another person would, instead of like a robot. You can speak more plainly and clearly to your customers in your content marketing, and Google will “get it.”

That’s a big advancement over the previous algorithms, which were still very much robot-like in the way they processed searches and the content they matched with those search terms. Context, nuance, subtleties, and other little areas of human language interaction have a better chance of being picked up by Google now, and delivered to people who are searching for what your business can do. But here’s the big thing to remember with the algorithm change: if you’re already providing naturally written content marketing copy, you don’t need to change a thing! BERT will make your content strategy better automatically.

Understanding Context is a Big Thing for BERT

In the past, search terms were looked at as individual words. With this new algorithm change, the words will be looked at for how they relate to one another. The change between those two ways of searching may seem subtle, but understanding how words relate to each other in the context of a search is really a game-changer. BERT can help searchers find your business or company easier than ever before, as long as you’re writing naturally in your blog posts, marketing materials, website content, and social media updates. Write content for humans, not search engines, and your marketing strategy will fall into place.

Then Vs. Now: How Bert Sees Search Terms

In the past, Google’s search engine algorithm focused on what it thought you were asking. For example, the official Google blog about BERT talks about how using the word “stand” can become confusing for a search engine. Do you mean a produce stand? Something that will stand alone? Or stand, as opposed to sit? Now with the BERT update, Google can tell the difference between different uses of the same word based on the context of the question.

Prepositions Are No Longer a Source of Confusion

Prepositions were a big problem for search queries before BERT, but now they’re easier for Google to handle. Because a preposition can easily change the meaning of a sentence, the understanding of them is vital to quality search results. Consider the difference between “to” and “for,” and how important it is for Google to know what those words mean. They weren’t really counted by the search engine before, but now they will be — and that changes things.

Reducing the Need for “Keyword-Ese” Searches

The biggest value of the BERT update is that you won’t need to worry about writing in “keyword-ese.” In other words, you won’t have to add keywords into your content in awkward ways, just to make sure they’re in there. Because anyone looking for your company will be able to search for your product or service more naturally, you can focus on writing good information for them. You can also worry less about whether they’ll be able to locate your site. When you produce good quality content with proper SEO practices, you can expect to be found, thanks to BERT and the search engine ability to use natural language.

If you’re looking for quality writers who can add to the value of your content marketing strategy, you want the writers here at WriterAccess. They have the ability and experience, and are dedicated to doing their best for clients who need well-written content. Get in touch with us today, and find a great writer who can give you the content you’re looking for!

 

Michelle B. has worked as a professional freelance writer since the 1990s. During that time she has ghostwritten everything from product descriptions to full-length books. Her areas of specialization include real estate, legal topics, relationships, family life, and mental health issues, but she is also comfortable writing in a wide variety of other areas. She holds an associate’s degree in business management and a bachelor’s degree in legal administration.


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