BERT ranking algorithm: what are the implications?

Algorithme de classement BERT : quelles incidences sur votre positionnement ?

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No doubt you had noticed the latest innovation from Google at the end of 2019? This strongly ignited the canvas.

Many web SEOs feared drastic changes in the SEO world. Several articles have even appeared to explain how to optimize your website for the BERT ranking algorithm.

But now that the soufflé has subsided, let’s see together what the impact is on your positioning.

What is the BERT algorithm?

Meaning “Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers”, it is a process that takes its source on a neural network for preforming to natural language processing (TLN or NLP in English).

More simply, this algorithm tends to take in their entirety the requests of an Internet user in the search bar thanks to an AI (artificial intelligence).

Google therefore no longer examines the keywords individually, but treats the search as a whole while taking into account the context in order to offer more relevant and specific results.

For example, if you ask the question: “Where to find a hotel to take nice walks in Paris?”, Before 2018 Google mainly focused on keywords, now it analyzes the sentence as a whole and can understand the intention of the Internet user’s research.

Currently, you finally have the possibility of integrating prepositions, pronouns, linking words and everything that is specific to oral language!

Highlighting quality content

On the one hand, Google BERT only impacts 10% of queries. They generally include long and complex sentences close to speaking.

On the other hand, although the BERT algorithm does not seek to penalize websites, it still favors content that provides a precise and relevant answer to the Internet user.

It is therefore the latter that appear in the first positions of Google’s results pages.

Today, the Internet user has more and more importance on the Internet since it is he who will increase the visibility of your site.

There must be content that responds to:

  1. its needs,
  2. his expectations,
  3. his immediate concerns.

This is called quality content. And the latter takes value with the BERT algorithm.

If you notice a drop in your positioning and a loss of visibility, it is because you have sought to be well referenced in the search engines without taking your readership into account.

You must then stop overloading your articles with keywords. Also avoid empty and impersonal sentences. Mainly provide qualitative and informative information. Finally, have a vocabulary and tone appropriate for your target audience.

However, remember that this was already essential before the arrival of the BERT ranking algorithm. Indeed, it has no impact on 90% of searches since it mainly focuses on queries of more than three words.

The importance of Featured Snippets or Zero Position

As it favors precise and relevant content, the BERT algorithm greatly improves featured snippets since they provide clear and concise answers to the various requests of Internet users.

It could be anything: “How to prepare a jam? “,” What insurance reimburses the loss of keys? “, ” How to change banks ? “, Etc.

More exactly, this is a search result. Of course, its objective is for the request to be satisfied. Located at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs), featured snippets look like a sidebar.

This usually contains a description of a few lines, the URL of the page, a link and its title.

Appearing on featured snippets gives you better visibility and credibility. To do this, you need to know the general questions that users are asking in your industry. You must also provide short and relevant answers, but also topical.

With Google BERT, we are increasingly entering a question / answer principle. By offering exhaustive and clear content, you are displayed on featured snippets.

The valuation of long tail keywords

As we mentioned earlier, Google BERT allows you to answer long and complex queries specific to natural language.

These are generally made up of more than four or five words, and above all, they represent 10% of Google searches.

These are the ones that the BERT algorithm impacts. But it also tends to better understand voice searches in order to provide us with coherent and relevant answers.

Although it is not possible to optimize your site specifically for BERT, you can surely perceive a small difference in SEO: short keywords are less and less adapted to current searchers, unlike words. -long tail keys that correspond more to natural language.

They allow you to appear in the first positions of the results pages of Google since they respond more precisely to the request of the Internet user.

Consider re-evaluating your keyword practice. Above all, use long tail keywords in order to better adapt to new developments in BERT.

Indeed, this one privileges more and more the sentences constructed. Perhaps the subject-verb-complement structure will even be favored more by the algorithm in the future.

What to remember from the BERT ranking algorithm

The BERT ranking algorithm has a very minimal impact on your positioning. This can be explained by the fact that it only affects 1 in 10 searches, as we already mentioned in this article.

However, it cannot be denied that there is a high risk of developing, so certain SEO habits must already be followed.

Also, this algorithm is not meant to be a positioning factor. So you can’t optimize your site precisely for BERT, as Danny Sullivan, Google’s public relations officer, explained.

BERT: the most important Google update in 5 years
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