Can you optimize for the Google BERT update? Explanation of UFOs and neural networks


Introduction of Google’s update of the algorithm, BERT (or Bone-way Eencoder Rpresentations from Transformers) could be one of the most influential updates to search results in the last 5 years. It is estimated that the new update will affect about 10% of searches and is used for better understanding purpose behind them.

To explain Google’s reasons for the update, here’s a snippet from Google’s press release of October 24, 2019:

“With the latest advances in our research team in the field of language comprehension – enabled by machine learning – we are significantly improving our understanding of queries, the biggest step forward in five years and one of the biggest leaps in Search history.”

So what exactly does this mean for SEO? According to Danny Sullivan, a well-known Google search engine, this means nothing in terms of optimization:

“Write good content”. If only the SEO community had $ 1 for every time I heard that! Unfortunately, great content is simply not enough (at least in most SEO situations). The real question is: how do we turn “writing good content” into useful tips?

What is the Google BERT update?

In layman’s terms, the update is a change in Google’s natural language or UFO processing and is intended to link the question to the answer.

Google searches for websites and websites that can answer: who, what, when, where, why, and how.

So if you want to impress someone with a wealth of knowledge about Google BERT this holiday season, you can say: “Google’s latest update is a neural network and natural language processing technique specifically designed to improve the current word2vec model for understanding word relationships.”

Can you optimize for Google BERT?

Short answer: you can’t optimize for BERT – but you you can optimize the content of your site for users, which is basically the same thing.

The main focus for the future should be SEOs SEO for entities, which is a type of optimization that focuses on establishing a relationship between two things.

As mentioned above, the content should be considered relevant and your site should do everything in its power to establish a link between the scope of the search purpose and your site. The more you cover a niche or topic, the more “authority” or “relevance” you create (similar to how backlinks work).

What is Entity SEO?

To illustrate how Entity SEO works, we googled “Who’s the Big Boy in the Princess Bride?” To show you how Google’s algorithm determines results:

An example of natural language processing - the princess bride

Honestly, this is very cool. A movie character can appear in results based on BERT / RankBrain (and a host of other algorithms that work in unison), which is related to the idea of ​​Entity SEO. To help explain how we got involved summary that you can read before we go further with our own explanation:

“Methods, systems and apparatus, including computer programs encoded on computer storage media, to identify entities associated with the entity targeted by the search query. One method involves accepting a search query, the search query being found to relate to the first entity of the first entity type, and one or more entities of the second entity type having a relationship with the first entity; receive search results for a search query; finding that the number of search results identifying the source containing the reference to the first entity meets the first threshold (the author’s emphasis is bold); finding that the number of search results identifying a source that has a different entity type than the corresponding entity type meets the second threshold; and providing information identifying one or more entities of another entity type as part of the response to the search query. “

In the future, it is important that search engine optimizers improve their understanding Entity as applicable to Google. why We have noticed that trends in Google’s latest updates to the core algorithm (RankBrain, Medic, and BERT) favor this concept.

Here is a picture to help you visualize:

Diagram of SEO entities from Google's patent

Clean as mud? good.

The key to understanding the relationship between an entity and SEO is in Section 404 in Figure 4 on Google’s patent shown above, which reads: “a sufficient number of sources identified by search results are credible sources for a particular entity. “

The difficulty with the keyword touches on this idea a bit, though it doesn’t hit right in the head. Because while this is a useful metric, it does not take into account the strength of the connection of the entities.

In addition, backlinks are not the only thing that creates “sufficient resources” as stated above. Which means that domain authorization or domain rating metrics also can’t fully calculate what Google is trying to do.

In summary, Google’s goal is to build a relationship between queries in different contexts with websites and webpages in order to form a “trust rating” (similar to Google Vision API works), which allows them to link a search query back to your site. The more you are involved in creating an entity link, the more likely you are to be trusted by Google as an authority.

Use Google’s own SERP to understand entity relationships

This is a fun exercise that was mentioned in a previous post on keyword mapping in keyword research.

To understand Google’s current understanding of the subject, enter a keyword and specify the fields “people ask”, “auto-suggestion”, “image result” and “people search” sections (located at the bottom of the SERP):

An example of UFOs and entity relationships

“Storage company” is associated with removals, public, floor, business, self-storage, yellow, portable and lockers. It is interesting to see that the “yellow” brand is strongly associated with the relationship between the entity. When I use Raven’s check keyword rankings to see the strength of the keyword profile, see why “yellow” appears in search results for this query:

“The closest storage space to me” as the phrase gets 300,000 searches. Guess who’s in 28th place? Yellow. “London Storage” at position 1? Yellow. We bet that if Yellow wanted to rely on its SEO campaign, it could gain a lot more organic real estate, especially since BERT and related algorithms rely so heavily on entity science.

How to win after BERT

If you want to dominate the SERPs in 2019 and 2020, start being creative when linking one entity to another (i.e. company = keyword). Don’t do this just by building authority through links. The variety of links, brand awareness (popularity), content relevance, overall niche authority (probably another way of describing relevance) and of course the technical aspect of your site will play an important role in ranking.

Don’t just rely on the 100/100 SEO technical score. You’ll need a lot of websites, a lot of internal links, a lot of content that covers the semantic scope, and you’ll need to create a strong web footprint that will link your brand to the keywords you’re looking for.

Best of luck!

-Equal team

Further reading – Bibliography


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