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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 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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        .

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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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