Content Marketing Blog mint

Content Marketing Blog

Don’t Be Scared of BERT, He’s Very Understanding!

When was the last time you heard of BERT? While it seems like a name from Sesame Street or 1965 (Sorry to all the Berts out there!), BERT might be a name you’d like to know in 2019. That’s because it’s Google’s newest algorithm update and it has a big impact on marketers and their SEO strategy.

BERT stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. In simple terms, BERT improves Google’s ability to detect and respond to natural language. According to marketer Liam Carnahan, BERT helps Google understand language "more like a human and less like a robot." He adds that BERT helps Google’s search function properly interpret the nuances and context of search questions and queries.1 Sounds like an update that was years in the making.

Google BERT Update in Action

By developing BERT, Google interprets the whole phrase, rather than each word in a phrase. This means that answers to queries will be more direct and contextually relevant. How noticeable will the difference be? According to Google, very noticeable.

In his article exploring BERT, marketer Neil Patel outlines a key example of how BERT makes a difference in your search results.2 Patel explains, that if you looked up "2019 Brazil traveler to USA need Visa" before BERT, your top result would be how US citizens can travel to Brazil without a visa.

Comparision of a search before and after BERT. Image taken from Neil Patel's blog: https://neilpatel.com/blog/bert-google/
(IMAGE: BRAZIL BERT RESULT)

However, after BERT, your result is more accurate – it’s about people traveling to the US from Brazil. That’s because BERT accounts for connecting words like "for" and "to" more accurately. They can add a lot of meaning and nuance to your search query.

BERT Won’t Hurt

While any new algorithm update might seem daunting to content marketers, you have nothing to fear. BERT is beneficial to most of us, as long we abide by the golden rule of content writing – writing naturally. If you’re unsure of how to make your content writing feel more natural, but effective, have a look at our article on writing tips that work. If you’ve crossed that hurdle, here are some things to know about BERT that can help you better optimize your content:

  • Context is Key: As mentioned above, BERT allows Google to understand the context behind words, rather than just words themselves. This is very helpful for words with multiple meanings.
  • Testing, Testing: BERT is still in its testing phase, which means it only impacts about 1 in 10 searches on Google.<3 Plus, it’s only being used on U.S. English search queries…for now.  
  • See it on Snippets: You’ll be able to see BERT at work on featured snippets and through PAA on Google. That means, it’s easier than ever for users to find what they’re actually searching for.

While BERT is a new update, it’s not a stretch to say that it could become the new normal for Google. With the rise in audio driven searches through smart phones and home assistant devices, Google and its competitors are working diligently to respond to naturally worded queries in an accurate way. BERT is a small step for the search engine, but a giant leap for SEO as a whole. 

Are you struggling to understand your NLA (‘no longer available’) from your SEO (‘search engine optimization’)? Content marketing may not be your strongest suit – and we’re here to help. At MintCopy, we have a team of talented SEO writers that can keep your content relevant and interesting. We use the best digital practices to optimize your content and keep your site, blog and other online platforms relevant.

Use our online form to get in touch. You can also follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to stay up-to-date with content marketing trends.

Share


Recent Posts

Sheetal Pinto - 5/19/2022 06:00

What You Need to Know

If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that Google is going to update its search algorithm. Some experts estimate that Google makes 500 to 600 updates annually, or once or twice each day. Most of these changes don’t have a significant impact on your SEO strategy, but every now and then, one comes along that can have serious repercussions. Learn more about two new features of Google search that help users verify and evaluate search results.

Sheetal Pinto - 5/5/2022 06:00

Google, one of the largest companies in the world, relies on artificial intelligence for hundreds of it projects. It can seem a little hypocritical for Google to tell businesses that they can’t use AI-generated content on their website. Back in 2010, Google’s John Mueller said that using automated translation tools to create content for your website “could be viewed as being against our Webmaster guidelines.” Here we are, over 10 years later, and Mueller just tweeted that “content generators have been around since the start of the web…Most sites…don’t need help creating low-quality content.” There’s a big discussion in the SEO industry about AI-generated content.

Sheetal Pinto - 4/21/2022 06:00

One of the toughest things about creating content is coming up with ideas. You can research keywords all day long, but if you can’t come up with topics around those keywords, your content may fall flat. If your in-house copywriter is struggling to keep up with a content calendar, you might be thinking about working with a content agency. Use these questions to prepare for a meeting with the project manager or as starting points to create your own content. 

Sheetal Pinto - 4/7/2022 05:54

There just isn't a 'softer' way to say this; it's bad. Duplicate content, as defined by Google, “refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content in the same language or are appreciably similar.” Google highly recommends avoiding duplicate content. The key reason is that the ranking of the page on search engine results may suffer. This means, your audiences will not find your content, and when they do, they are unlikely to consider it useful. Understanding how Google handles duplicate content can help you elevate user experience and create a better content marketing plan.

Sheetal Pinto - 3/24/2022 06:00

Modern customer expectations have dramatically changed over the past few years. Although the pandemic certainly influenced customer behaviour in many ways, customers were already trending towards transparency and social responsibility from the companies they patronized. Creating content that shares your values and mission can bring your audience together to support your brand. Here are some ways to create connections to your audience through content marketing.

Sheetal Pinto - 3/10/2022 06:00

If you just keep churning out content without reviewing what you’ve already done, you’re missing out on opportunities to make your content perform better. A content audit exercise involves systematically reviewing what you’ve published on your website and blog. As you adjust your content marketing plan to your business goals, this audit can help you find gaps in your content and see what’s been successful. When reviewing your content, look for these things that can negatively impact your content strategy.

Sheetal Pinto - 2/24/2022 06:00

Search has changed a lot over the years. Search results are displayed to be more efficient for users. Users search for information differently than they used to. There’s still a lot that search can’t do right now. Google aims to change the power of search again with their latest update, Multitask Unified Model, aka MUM. This new update will expand search capability to make search deliver more accurate and relevant information in seconds. Here’s what your content writers need to know about MUM.

Sheetal Pinto - 2/10/2022 06:00

Refine Your Content So it Resonates with Your Audience

Many websites churn out content as part of their online digital strategy without considering how their audience will respond to the content. Contextualizing content is a way of adding value to the reader. But what does it mean to put your content in context? It’s a way of approaching content that considers the why and when of your content, not just the person who is reading it. A person who needs a plumber to fix a leak needs different content than someone who is thinking about how to install a new toilet. The first customer needs access to a list of quick tips to prevent damage until a plumber can help while the second customer may want to read through a detailed outline of updating a bathroom for aging-in-place.

Sheetal Pinto - 1/27/2022 06:00

A Simple Guide from Your Content Agency in Toronto

A blog post is an accessible, versatile format that has the potential to reach and engage a wide audience. You can write the blog posts in-house, or you can outsource content writing for your blog. The important thing is to ensure that your blog presents a professional image, offers memorable and shareable content, and proves effective in helping to achieve your business goals. If you're just starting your blogging journey, read through our ‘Step-by-Step Guide to Start Blogging' - parts one and two.

Sheetal Pinto - 1/13/2022 06:00

Writing SEO content requires a seamless blend of three skills to get the best results. In order to be a skilled SEO copywriter, you must be able to produce creative and engaging writing, have sufficient knowledge of the topic, and be able to use relevant keywords seamlessly into your writing. Are you at a loss on how to create informative and creative content? Here are ten tips that can be added to your copywriting cheat sheet to help you improve your SEO content.