Hey Bert, Hey Bert, What’s That You’re Googling?
Google Bert is here! Ok, so you’re not as excited as we are, but you should be. If you’re a small business owner and you’ve been scratching your head trying to figure out marketing, SEO, and how to get up there on Google without having to kill somebody, things got more interesting with Bert.
The Google Algorithm Thing
When you type something into Google, or say something to your Google machine, or possibly even think about Googling something, a lot of different things happen in the microseconds it takes for your questions to be answered.
Google does a lot of background work to find you a list of websites it thinks will answer your question. It’s not as simple as looking at the words in your search and pulling up sites that match those words. If it were, every time you Googled ‘Batman’ you’d end up with a lot of bats and a lot of men, possible men holding bats, maybe cricketers.
To be effective, Google has to interpret your meaning and suggest content based on what it thinks is going to add the most value to your search. It does this using an amazing algorithm. Nobody knows how the algorithm works really, except maybe a few clever people at Google HQ and Skynet, but we do know it’s always changing and SEO folks like us have to constantly adapt to meet its requirements.
So What’s This Bert Thing?
Good question. Bert is the name of the latest update to the algorithm. And, despite what you might think about its name (it stand for Bidirectional Encoder Representations for Transformers…yeah, we know) it’s a major update. Google has always been pretty intuitive. It’s done this for a long time by taking note of all of your web activity, your maps, your Android phone usage, your telling one of its little white boxes to wake you up at a certain time or to play a particular piece of music. That’s why advertisements are tailored for you and predictive searches are fairly accurate.
But now the game has changed again! Bert is here!
Bert is a major update to the Google agorithm that is designed to make it more functional and able to understand natural language, or rather, the context of the things you put into it. Let’s break down the example Google kindly distributed:
The example calls for quite a specific search. The Googler wants to know how to park on a hill without a curb. Pre-Bert Google would not have understood the ‘no’ part of the query. Instead it would have decided Parking, Hills, and Curbs were the important things to pull from that search and presented you with exactly the opposite type of information you wanted.
Post Bert searching provides a very different experience. Google is now able to understand the context of the words, not just look at them as individual entities and build its own understanding. This is a big deal for the way content is written and indexed.
So How Does This Help My Small Business?
Aha, good question, we’re glad you asked. Google Bert has the potential to really help the little guy, depending on what that little guy does and how he goes about doing it.
Pleasing Google is the aim of many a small business looking to get to that holiest of places, SERP 1. But…it’s always been a little tricky. Firstly, Google doesn’t explicitly tell you how to please it. Rather it’s been a case of tickle it here, nibble it there, measure the results, try something different, aha, keep doing that. For the SEO specialist, the digital marketing gurus, the companies able to pump cash into finding a solution, ranking numero uno has been almost a sure thing. The little guy with the humble website and limited brand recognition hasn’t really had much of a chance competing against the bigger corporations. Their ability to pay people to pump out content constantly and perform SEO with surgical precision has diluted any sort of fair marketplace for rankings.
But then Bert came along. Big Bad Bert with his contextual swagger and his desire to be incredibly helpful to searchers strode in and changed the game. With Bert comes new opportunities for small to medium businesses to jump up the rankings by creating high quality, specific, longtail keyword ready content. Think about it. If you can find the right phrase, context specific, that users use to find products and services like yours, you have the opportunity to create the most amazing content that Bert will love.
Gone are the days where you would write to please a machine. Now, with Bert, you’re writing to really engage with your audience. You’re a people pleaser. You can use natural language to create awesome content that your audience will eat up. And Bert will thank you for that.
So go on, give it a go. Write that new blog post, but really focus on your niche, what you’d want to know about if you were a customer, and see how it rates.
As always, we can help put together any content you like, including blog posts, newsletters, or web pages that are Bert friendly and speak to your customers. Contact us today – www.jordanoldbury.com