Why every brand should get to know BERT
Google is changing its algorithm again – the biggest change in five years. It’s going to have a big impact on brands, including those in the retail sector vying for their piece of the consumer spend online. Is this the death of SEO?Tuesday, 11 Feb 2020
by Retailing Africa. Google is changing its algorithm again – the biggest change in five years. It’s going to have a big impact on brands, including those in the retail sector vying for their piece of consumer spend online, as David Jenkins of digital marketing agency, Mickey Llew, explained, businesses, digital marketers, strategists, and brands, should take the time to get to know BERT. Really well.
- What is BERT? Google rounded off 2019 by rolling out the biggest change to its algorithm in over five years with the introduction of Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers – or BERT. With BERT came the search engine’s ability to effectively complete a user’s natural language processing – effectively now understanding intent as if Google were human… almost. BERT makes it more possible for Google to understand the behavioural intent of the query, rather than only understanding the words that are typed into the search bar – and this is important for the evolution and increasing use of voice search, made possible by Siri and Alexa.
- Please explain BERT’s impact on brands. Brands across the globe took a significant knock in web traffic as many websites lost their positioning and ranking on the Google results page. Some have deemed BERT the death of SEO.
- Is it the death of search engine optimisation (SEO)? Businesses seeking to optimise their websites for SEO need to keep their content fresh and up to date to stay ahead of Google’s ever-evolving search algorithms if they want to hold onto their top spot in the snack pack or search engine results page (SERP).
- How can brands continue to tap into consumer spending power? While Google is working harder than ever to achieve a set of results that make sense for the searcher, there is greater pressure on brands to adjust their content strategies if they want to be top of the SERP or snack pack. Brands wanting to keep those premium search result positions must therefore change their approach, moving away from creating content that they think their clients will find relevant, to offering content that answers the questions that their potential and existing clients want answered.
- What do you advise – can BERT be gamed? Authorities on the topic of Google and the algorithm changes have said that BERT is the death of SEO, that Google can’t be gamed any more. They maintain that the only way to keep at the top of the page is to write great content, making sure that your content strategy applies the same approach as it always has, because it’s always worked. It takes an agency with experience in SEO to identify those questions, tracking patterns and search behaviours to align them closely with your content strategy and SEO to hold that top SERP spot.
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