How Google BERT & 2019 Core Updates Influence SEO in 2020
Google made over 3,000 changes to search this past year. In contrast Google only made somewhere around 400 changes in 2010. In truth we can always expect algorithm changes.
Because Google continues to release algorithmic updates to improve and refine results. Furthermore, SEO rankings today will change tomorrow. Likewise, web sites must continue to improve to build and maintain rankings in Google search results.
Before beginning SEO in 2020, you must understand the impact of Google 2019 broad core updates. Let’s take a look.
Google Broad Core UpdatesBoard core updates simply means Google engineers made a bunch of changes to various parts of the Google search software system, with the intent making results more accurate. Below are the 2019 core updates.
MARCH 2019 CORE UPDATE
This update was the first major algorithm change in 2019 to improve ‘neural matching’, an algorithm to better understand concepts.
JUNE 2019 CORE UPDATE
This update took about 5 days to fully roll-out. Niche websites for travel, retail, health, finance and gambling were widely affected and hit hard.
SEPTEMBER 2019 CORE UPDATE
Rankings for YMYL sites (Your Money or Your Life) were negatively affected. For example, health websites and travel websites.
OCTOBER 2019 ‘BERT’ CORE UPDATE
Google BERT and SEO | Google introduced the BERT algorithm, an open-sourced technique for natural language understanding. Specifically it will improve the search engine’s understanding of conversational search queries. For example longer spoken sentences and concepts such as; ‘the best way to sell your train collection, toy train prices, best prices selling train collection’.
Specifically BERT learns word context based on surrounding words; not just the words that precede or follow a given word.
And within the context of search, BERT helps Google understand longer conversations or searches where prepositions like ‘for’ and ‘to’ help to define the meaning.
In other words, BERTS looks at the content BEFORE and AFTER a word to inform its understanding of the meaning and relevance of that word.
Although it is a considerable update for search engines, the impact may be difficult to fully measure since many SEO tracking tools do not track conversational phrases.
Content for SEO purposes has become a potent mix of machine learning, aka Rank Brain and natural language learning called BERT. Therefore it’s imperative for the website owner’s to understand the subtle differences to achieve top website ranking.
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