How Google BERT Update Will Change Your Content Strategy in 2020

As marketers, we are all aware of the regular updates Google keeps coming up to increase the quality of search. BERT is said to be one of the biggest Google updates of the year. It affected roughly about 10% of all search queries. This update was initiated to help Google better understand natural language processing. So, what does it mean for your SEO and content strategy?

These type of major algorithm update usually send SEO professionals into an uproar about how to optimize. Google’s mysterious algorithms are on a quest to understand the user’s intent better. It is important to note that BERT won’t be having a massive impact on your SEO strategy or content marketing metrics.

Google said that no specific or special requirements are needed to optimize content for BERT update as the update is more focussed on understanding the searchers who search in natural language. Also, more than the length of the content, BERT gives importance to relevance.

Google’s BERT update is just a big step ahead in Google’s quest to better understanding how humans think. However, there are some key observations from the BERT update that you should be taking into consideration!

Let’s dive into some of the big ones.

1. BERT Gives High Importance to Informational Queries

BERT is primarily influencing search queries that fall near the top-of-the-funnel or informational queries. Why so?

Informational queries tend to have more uncertainty attached to it while compared to navigational or transactional queries. A huge part of the BERT update is cracking these uncertainties for providing a more direct answer.

These informational queries can be related to someone looking to bake a cake. they aren’t sure how, so they search for “how to bake a cake.” Once they perform the search, they may find a solution such as different recipes. From there, they may search for a solution, using a navigational query such as “Simple white cake recipe.”

Once someone figures out the proper solution, they then may perform a transactional search query, such as ” Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook.”

We can see that BERT is radically impacting top-of-the-funnel keywords, which are informational related keywords.

Google interprets informational queries as such through a process called masking. When you enter a word in the search bar specifying something, Google examines the word before and after for missing letters to figure out what the user is looking for in the process!

Google will then provide you with information on what exactly you were looking for though your query had a few missing/incorrect letters or words.

2. Laser-Focused Answers Are a Game-Changer

Shifting focus on long-tail keywords and questions is nothing new. The BERT update seems to be another step in this direction. However, it is more than just optimizing content for keyword density. It is more about providing users with direct answers to questions and informational queries.

So, how to abide by this in your SEO and content plan?

We can do it in two ways:

  • By structuring your content around specific questions/queries.
  • By providing laser-focused answers.

When you are looking for a specific answer, you will not want to go through a huge piece of content to find what you are looking for on the Internet. What you want is a super-focused piece of content that provides you with direct answers.

For instance, you are writing a comprehensive piece of content about bathroom remodeling.

Within the content, you will be having a section about bathtubs in addition to sections like showers, floors, hardware, etc. Here, even if your content provides the answer, it might be difficult to get your content ranked for bathtub-specific questions like:

  • What are the standard bathtub sizes?
  • Do master baths need bathtubs?

In such scenarios, you are better off creating two separate posts to answer each of these questions.

The concept is nothing new to the SEO world. But, it seems like BERT is pushing it further!

3. Longer Content Might Not Always Serve the Purpose

It is easy to get caught up in general statistics. The notion that long content is generally better is becoming more of a myth after every update.

However, we cannot say that creating shorter, more concise content is a particular fact in SEO that applies across the board. It will all eventually depend on how specific the query is!

Broad queries like “how SEO works” or ” how to create a great content marketing strategy,” will need a longer, more thorough content. But, queries like: ” what is a no-follow link” or “what are keywords” won’t require a novel to describe.

We can say that ranking highly for super focused informational queries comes down to how good you answer the question. The trick is providing content that will give the searcher an efficient yet solid answer!

Always Stick to Google’s Classic Words of Wisdom

Creating high-quality content with the user in mind has been one of Google’s age-old advice. It still remains the focus of SEO. If you are someone looking for ways to fine-tune your strategy around the BERT update, sticking to these classic words of wisdom should be your primary game plan.

You may have seen that usually, longer content gets better ranking, but according to the new BERT update, your content doesn’t need to be longer, as the focus is not on the word count but the quality of the content. It also doesn’t mean that longer content should be neglected. The content created should have a perfect balance.

Content creators should always keep track of digital marketing updates as they may bring in new specifications regarding the optimization of a page and also how to rank well. In general, if your primary focus is bringing value and knowledge to your target audience, every new update from Google should be welcomed.

To continue beating the dead horse, we can say that if creating remarkable content that can answer your target users’ pressing questions is a priority for you, then you don’t need to do anything to optimize for BERT!

Author Bio

Author BioFaiz Varghese is a social media marketer at TechWyse who is a knowledge craving techy. He loves to write quality content on the internet and has a passion for his job.2

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Written by Webgranth


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