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Lots of articles have popped up about Google's newest algorithm update called BERT. They are calling it the biggest improvement in 5 years.

Theoretically the algorithm will be able to provide much better search results to keywords a searcher has entered.

What does that mean for our internal on-page SEO? Just keep providing great content and optimize for keywords that people are actually searching for. It sounds good to me. Nothing new.

The shortest article I found.
#bert #update
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    It's definitely something new in that just adding keywords may be useless. What becomes more important is using those words in the context of the queries that people type in. My assumption (yes, that's all any of us have at this point) is that optimizing around longer tail queries will become much more important.
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  • Profile picture of the author KylieSweet
    Google BERT algorithm update is more than Rank Brain, a machine learning function that recognizes users search query and able to understand the concept of the site page in which will be provided to the search results to satisfy the users needs and expectations.
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    I should also add that the last several major Google updates have been centered around the actual content on a page. They seem to be trying to get away from their backlink-dominated algorithm more and more with every update.
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    • Profile picture of the author expmrb
      Originally Posted by dave_hermansen View Post

      I should also add that the last several major Google updates have been centered around the actual content on a page. They seem to be trying to get away from their backlink-dominated algorithm more and more with every update.

      Yeah and SERP's are becoming a complete BS.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
    The biggest takeaway, at this time, to my own article publishing is that BERT affects the search query and not the article query.

    Google's BERT Update improves how Google understands search queries. BERT analyzes search queries, not web pages.

    Over the years Google has introduced many Algos, Algo Updates and Core Algos, etc.

    Over the years on this forum many of us utilize Google SERPS to pull visitors to our websites, offers, etc. thus, many of us optimize the SEO of our online real estate according to Google Policies. When done the Google way we hope to pull free traffic from the Google SERPs. Conversely, when done wrong we expect other websites to rank higher than our own websites and as a result we experience little to no traffic.

    Over the years on this forum many of us promote..

    Content Is King.
    and
    SEO wise, "Write Content for the reader and format the content for the Google SERPs."

    Enter.. BERT. Since BERT affects the search query and not the article query (Content, Keywords, etc.) we as webmasters, online publishers etc. are now subject to optimizing for the Algo's search query. After all if we do not the end result will be that our websites may not rank on page one as a minimal.

    Google's BERT is "defining" the phrase Content Is King.

    Many bloggers know of the phrase "Content Is King" and many bloggers agree with "Write content for the reader."

    Content is still a major ranking factor in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) being the page title displayed by search engines in response to a query by a searcher and now more importantly.. BERT.

    Many bloggers with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experience also support the phrase "Content is King and best SEO practice is "Write the content for the reader and format the content for the SERPs." Reason being is that content is a major ranking factor affecting the SERPs in that the pages displayed in the SERPs by the search engines are in direct response to a query by a searcher and now more importantly.. BERT.

    Google's BERT is "defining" the phrase Content Is King and since BERT affects the search query and content alone will no longer affect the search query then what are we to do if we hope to attain page 1 of the SERPs?

    Keywords? We have to focus on keywords in the title of an article that BERT understands and will (must) be directly relevant to the article's title. The article's content must also be written to clearly define the keywords be they long tail or short tail.

    Enter the content writers. Many bloggers that pay content writers to include specific keywords and phrases will now want titles that conform to BERT. Some people will say they already add the keywords to the title, so nothing new. There is something new and that is BERT. No way around BERT. What did the Borg say.. "You must comply." That is what Google has made policy if you care about being on page 1.

    So, I will comply simple because I kinda like being on page 1 because I kinda like free traffic.
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    • Profile picture of the author codyhay
      Originally Posted by Jeffery View Post

      The biggest takeaway, at this time, to my own article publishing is that BERT affects the search query and not the article query.

      Google's BERT Update improves how Google understands search queries. BERT analyzes search queries, not web pages.

      Over the years Google has introduced many Algos, Algo Updates and Core Algos, etc.

      Over the years on this forum many of us utilize Google SERPS to pull visitors to our websites, offers, etc. thus, many of us optimize the SEO of our online real estate according to Google Policies. When done the Google way we hope to pull free traffic from the Google SERPs. Conversely, when done wrong we expect other websites to rank higher than our own websites and as a result we experience little to no traffic.

      Over the years on this forum many of us promote..

      Content Is King.
      and
      SEO wise, "Write Content for the reader and format the content for the Google SERPs."

      Enter.. BERT. Since BERT affects the search query and not the article query (Content, Keywords, etc.) we as webmasters, online publishers etc. are now subject to optimizing for the Algo's search query. After all if we do not the end result will be that our websites may not rank on page one as a minimal.

      Google's BERT is "defining" the phrase Content Is King.

      Many bloggers know of the phrase "Content Is King" and many bloggers agree with "Write content for the reader."

      Content is still a major ranking factor in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) being the page title displayed by search engines in response to a query by a searcher and now more importantly.. BERT.

      Many bloggers with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experience also support the phrase "Content is King and best SEO practice is "Write the content for the reader and format the content for the SERPs." Reason being is that content is a major ranking factor affecting the SERPs in that the pages displayed in the SERPs by the search engines are in direct response to a query by a searcher and now more importantly.. BERT.

      Google's BERT is "defining" the phrase Content Is King and since BERT affects the search query and content alone will no longer affect the search query then what are we to do if we hope to attain page 1 of the SERPs?

      Keywords? We have to focus on keywords in the title of an article that BERT understands and will (must) be directly relevant to the article's title. The article's content must also be written to clearly define the keywords be they long tail or short tail.

      Enter the content writers. Many bloggers that pay content writers to include specific keywords and phrases will now want titles that conform to BERT. Some people will say they already add the keywords to the title, so nothing new. There is something new and that is BERT. No way around BERT. What did the Borg say.. "You must comply." That is what Google has made policy if you care about being on page 1.

      So, I will comply simple because I kinda like being on page 1 because I kinda like free traffic.
      That's some explanation.
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  • Profile picture of the author Janice Sperry
    One of Google's official articles about BERT is here.

    One quote I found particularly interesting is this:

    "Particularly for longer, more conversational queries, or searches where prepositions like "for" and "to" matter a lot to the meaning, Search will be able to understand the context of the words in your query. You can search in a way that feels natural for you."

    Google has forever said that it ignores stop words in its search algo. Because of that we have almost always left them out of urls to keep them short and to the point. It may be better now to include stop words in the title and url if it may be the way most people would enter a search phrase.
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    • Profile picture of the author expmrb
      Originally Posted by Janice Sperry View Post


      "Particularly for longer, more conversational queries, or searches where prepositions like "for" and "to" matter a lot to the meaning, Search will be able to understand the context of the words in your query. You can search in a way that feels natural for you."

      Does it mean that community boards and forum sites along with sites like reddit or quora will rank better??!!


      I don't think so!!
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
      Originally Posted by Janice Sperry View Post

      One of Google's official articles about BERT is here.

      One quote I found particularly interesting is this:

      "Particularly for longer, more conversational queries, or searches where prepositions like "for" and "to" matter a lot to the meaning, Search will be able to understand the context of the words in your query. You can search in a way that feels natural for you."

      Google has forever said that it ignores stop words in its search algo. Because of that we have almost always left them out of urls to keep them short and to the point. It may be better now to include stop words in the title and url if it may be the way most people would enter a search phrase.

      Exactly!

      I spent much of this day optimizing 15 eCommerce stores for BERT. 18 more to go - tomorrow.

      All "Wedding Gown Boutiques."

      Changed "Available in x Colors" to Wedding Gowns/Bridal Gowns/Wedding Dresses/Bridal Dresses available in x colors." Where applicable of course.

      Since BERT analyzes search queries, not web pages and BERT affects the search query and not the article query and BERT will apply to both ranking and featured snippets in search - BERT will be able to understand the context of the words in the query.


      Tomorrow, all of my Hunting & Fishing sites, 46 total, which are a bit more complicated, but all of them are on my own servers (I'm a server admin) I can do 90% to 95% of the changes in 30 minutes if not less and some manual changes in an hour if not less. Depends on how much coffee I drink.
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      • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
        Originally Posted by Jeffery View Post

        I spent much of this day optimizing 15 eCommerce stores for BERT. 18 more to go - tomorrow.
        Tomorrow, all of my Hunting & Fishing sites, 46 total,
        Wow, That's just a bit more than hand full of sites
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
    Originally Posted by Janice Sperry View Post

    One of Google's official articles about BERT is here.

    One quote I found particularly interesting is this:

    "Particularly for longer, more conversational queries, or searches where prepositions like "for" and "to" matter a lot to the meaning, Search will be able to understand the context of the words in your query. You can search in a way that feels natural for you."

    Google has forever said that it ignores stop words in its search algo. Because of that we have almost always left them out of urls to keep them short and to the point. It may be better now to include stop words in the title and url if it may be the way most people would enter a search phrase.
    Originally Posted by expmrb View Post

    Does it mean that community boards and forum sites along with sites like reddit or quora will rank better??!!

    I don't think so!!

    I remember John Mueller commented about forums and User Generated Content in a Google video on YouTube, but I don't have the link.

    John Mueller stated that Algo changes that will affect forums are in work and will affect UGC aka User Generated Content. When? Which Algo? He did not comment other than the team is working on forum UGC. Will be interesting to see how that turns out. More about it here.
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    • Profile picture of the author expmrb
      Originally Posted by Jeffery View Post

      I remember John Mueller commented about forums and User Generated Content in a Google video on YouTube, but I don't have the link.

      John Mueller stated that Algo changes that will affect forums are in work and will affect UGC aka User Generated Content. When? Which Algo? He did not comment other than the team is working on forum UGC. Will be interesting to see how that turns out. More about it here.

      @Jeffery I have made already all links (which are submitted by members) in our board ugc no-follow no-opener.
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  • Profile picture of the author outreachpanda
    BERT algorithm focuses on more natural language. So one needs to focus much on content marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author divyakochar
    BERT stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, is an open-source pre-trained Natural Language Processing (NLP) system designed from Google to understand the real nuances of search queries. Simply, it's a technique that helps Google to figure out the real intent and context behind the search queries. BERT model tries to understand the context of a word based on all of the other surrounding words, making the search results of conversational queries more accurate.

    The real motive of this update to make improvements in the Google search system to crack the intent of search queries

    Hope this will help you!
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      Not trying to be mean, but did you read Janice's posts? Jeffrey's? Anyone else's?


      Your post makes me think you didn't read what Janice or Jeffrey (and the others) wrote.


      Originally Posted by divyakochar View Post

      BERT stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, is an open-source pre-trained Natural Language Processing (NLP) system designed from Google to understand the real nuances of search queries. Simply, it's a technique that helps Google to figure out the real intent and context behind the search queries. BERT model tries to understand the context of a word based on all of the other surrounding words, making the search results of conversational queries more accurate.

      The real motive of this update to make improvements in the Google search system to crack the intent of search queries

      Hope this will help you!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
    Over the past two months I have been in discussions with a team of webmasters about BERT and after some measured results we decided to convert or maintain our existing website architecture to the silo architecture.


    The silo architecture is nothing new and neither is BERT (Pre 2019). What is new about BERT (Post 2019) is the ability for a webmaster to take advantage of some SEO attributes to attain better rankings in the SERPs hen utilizing the silo architecture. More about silos here.


    Janice is spot on about long tail keywords aka Kws. We have learned that if you want to use Wordpress and the silo architecture to make the link structure consist of topics and sub-topics where the longtail kws are the topics and short tail kws are the sub-topics.


    Just a tip or two
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  • Profile picture of the author Skywriting
    Originally Posted by Janice Sperry View Post

    Lots of articles have popped up about Google's newest algorithm update called BERT. They are calling it the biggest improvement in 5 years. Theoretically the algorithm will be able to provide much better search results to keywords a searcher has entered. What does that mean for our internal on-page SEO? Just keep providing great content and optimize for keywords that people are actually searching for. It sounds good to me. Nothing new. The shortest article I found.
    Google is always about getting customers to the appropriate vendor (or intermediate information) as quick as possible. They always will be.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
      Originally Posted by Skywriting View Post

      Google is always about getting customers to the appropriate vendor (or intermediate information) as quick as possible. They always will be.
      What do you mean when you say "intermediate information"? From that statement I believe you did not read the thread. I have never heard of intermediate information.
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      • Profile picture of the author DWolfe
        Originally Posted by Jeffery View Post

        What do you mean when you say "intermediate information"? From that statement I believe you did not read the thread.
        You mean after all this time we have to read the thread before we make a useless statement.Gee who would of thought of that
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  • Profile picture of the author manonpoint
    End of the day, google is going to get better and better at showing searchers the most relevant content for their query, so basically, write relevant content. I'm probably in the minority, but I think all these updates are a good thing. It's much easier to just write good content than figuring out how to optimize for everything the algorithms are doing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
      Originally Posted by manonpoint View Post

      End of the day, google is going to get better and better at showing searchers the most relevant content for their query, so basically, write relevant content. I'm probably in the minority, but I think all these updates are a good thing. It's much easier to just write good content than figuring out how to optimize for everything the algorithms are doing.
      I agree and that is another way of saying relevant Content is King and format the content for the SERPs. After all, what good is relevant content to a web site when that content is not indexed in the SERPs,
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      • Profile picture of the author savidge4
        Originally Posted by Jeffery View Post

        I agree and that is another way of saying relevant Content is King and format the content for the SERPs. After all, what good is relevant content to a web site when that content is not indexed in the SERPs,
        excuse the language but if Content is King... Context makes the King her B*tch.

        Anyone can create content, but doing so in CONTEXT is a whole other story.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
      Originally Posted by manonpoint View Post

      End of the day, google is going to get better and better at showing searchers the most relevant content for their query, so basically, write relevant content. I'm probably in the minority, but I think all these updates are a good thing. It's much easier to just write good content than figuring out how to optimize for everything the algorithms are doing.
      I agree that we don't have to figure how to optimize for everything the algos are doing. However, when Google has a major update to an existing algo such as BERT that will affect the placement of my websites in the SERPS then as a minimal I will optimize for BERT.


      When webmasters rely on organic search engine traffic we have to implement SEO. What is happening today as we speak in regard to websites that are not optimized for BERT?


      Here is a real situation posted in this forum.


      A business owner and self-taught SEO Specialists owns and operates several businesses in a country outside the U.S. All of those businesses are on one website.


      The owner reported the website historically was on page 1 of the local SERPs for the respective industries. All of a sudden the website "placement" for the respective industries on page 1 started dropping e.g. from placement 1 to 3, 2 to 4, etc. After only one week the website as a whole dropped off of page 1.

      Why?

      We jumped into the SERPs with our BERT and Dean Martin hats on and "Wham ! Bam ! Thank You Ma'am !" .. the problem was quickly apparent and also resolved, albeit with a little BERT optimization. The website's "local" simply was NOT optimized for BERT 2019.


      Further, we jumped into the website with our SEO hat on and discoverd the website seemed to have good SEO practices implemented by an experienced SEO Specialist. Good relevant content in context as a whole. Further, the site architecture was Silo Clusters applicable to the different industries,


      However, the old BERT Algo that was not enforced by Google for years simply needed optimized for the BERT 2019.


      In short, SEO wise it was no longer SEO worthy for the local SERPs and the business relied heavily on local organic search.


      An hour later which included a 15 minute coffee break the site was SEO Worthy. Took Google about one week or less for the site to rank on page 1 again.


      The take-away is BERT will positively affect our "SEO Actions" as long as we figuring out how to optimize for the algorithms and..

      Take Action.
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  • Profile picture of the author SEOmonsterj
    Definitely you must change your content to be like FAQ structure, since Google is not a search engine but an answer engine.

    For instance, type your main keyword and see what are the suggested searches and the suggested questions.

    Then take the most interesting one in terms of search traffic ( search traffic is always an estimate, as 15% of all searches are brand new and there is no search traffic for them) and use them as H2 for your post.

    Also a YouTube Video always helps for your rankings and for better indexation of your post.

    Good Luck Janice!

    Kind Regards,

    Yannis Divramis
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  • Profile picture of the author wickieagentur
    It's an update to Google's natural language processing, which is used to match a search query with the content on a page. Essentially, it's the next step forward in Google's quest to better understand natural language in context, and match search results as closely as possible to a searcher's intent. And it's just one of the many signals Google uses to understand and match search queries to results. BERT won't necessarily come into play for all search queries. Rather, it will be used on a query-by-query basis, and depending on the query one or all of the methods above could be used. It's important to understand that BERT analyzes search queries, not the content on a page. So, while there's not much you can do to optimize for BERT directly, it does mean you should double-down on your efforts to create relevant, quality content.
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    • Profile picture of the author cbpayne
      Originally Posted by wickieagentur View Post

      It's an update to Google's natural language processing, which is used to match a search query with the content on a page. Essentially, it's the next step forward in Google's quest to better understand natural language in context, and match search results as closely as possible to a searcher's intent. And it's just one of the many signals Google uses to understand and match search queries to results. BERT won't necessarily come into play for all search queries. Rather, it will be used on a query-by-query basis, and depending on the query one or all of the methods above could be used. It's important to understand that BERT analyzes search queries, not the content on a page. So, while there's not much you can do to optimize for BERT directly, it does mean you should double-down on your efforts to create relevant, quality content.
      And which one of these sites did you plagiarize that post from? What is the point?


      https://www.google.com/search?client...4dUDCAo&uact=5
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      • Profile picture of the author DABK
        It seems that some people think plagiarizing correctly is a sign of high intelligence and/or education. Which gets you followers, which gets you sales, right?


        I miss the days when they at least tried spinning the stuff.



        Originally Posted by cbpayne View Post

        And which one of these sites did you plagiarize that post from? What is the point?


        https://www.google.com/search?client...4dUDCAo&uact=5
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  • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
    Probably another fake name and picture in the user details and posted by a paid forum poster trying to boost the Christmas traffic on the forum.

    here is his real picture >

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  • Profile picture of the author XenG
    I really am hoping we'd get the benefit from this BERT update. There were a lot of updates this year and it was pretty bad getting hit every time.
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  • Profile picture of the author jonnypean
    Recently, I have seen some changes in the ranking as well.
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