Google announced a significant update on handling search queries, called BERT. The company views this as the biggest leap forward in the past 5 years and in the history of search. The company states that currently BERT is used on 1 in 10 search queries.
What is Google BERT?
BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers ) is a type of AI that allows Google to better understand the relationships between elements of language in a search term. It handles tasks such as entity recognition, part of speech tagging and question-answering among other language processes. BERT will be capable of interpreting the intent and context of the search query based on the whole search phrase as opposed to a single word. The language understanding capabilities of BERT will give users better results that satiate their real intent.
Featured snippets: The rollout will impact featured snippets. Google said BERT is being used globally, in many languages, on featured snippets.
How will it impact SEO?
Google has been using the BERT Algorithm for displaying search results. The company confirms that the new algorithm has impacted 1 out of 10 search queries entered on Google search. Significant changes were detected for search queries that are longer and conversational or searches where prepositions like “for” and “to” were used.
Google is now better at understanding exactly what you are searching for and providing more relevant search results and featured snippets. Its function is to help Google better understand searchers’ intent when they search in their natural language. Another important thing is that SEOs and content creators can now focus on writing great content with users in mind rather than just writing for machines.