With very little fuss, other than in the world of SEO, Google introduced a new algorithm in 2018.
BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) is a hugely significant and technically complex development that aims to help Google understand natural language better.
You only need to think about the famous Two Ronnies sketch ‘Four Candles/Fork Handles’ to realise the ambiguity of words and why they are so often misinterpreted.
BERT has been designed to give machines the common sense and emotional intelligence that humans use to give language its context. By better understanding the nuance and context of words, BERT aims to remove ambiguity and, in so doing, deliver better results to people conducting a search.
Although content cannot be specifically optimised for BERT, it is essential that content is written to appeal to natural language processing (NLP) which still plays a huge part in search performance. Our SEO experts use a host of techniques, including:
- Questions and answers
- Clear and accurate language
- Salient keywords – words that often appear alongside a specific keyword
- Structured data and HTML mark-up – for instance, headings, HTML tags and lists
In short, Google’s algorithms are immensely sophisticated. The days of being on page one for one specific keyword are long gone.