Maria Kulibaba
Verb Brands

Businesses have had to become savvier in how they push their brands forward due to Google’s constant algorithm changes. With Artificial Intelligence (AI) making search more human and smarter, Google can now identify brands who are true to themselves and can also reject and penalise those who are not. 

Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird are some of the most significant algorithm updates that have shaken the digital landscape in recent years. The latest update, BERT, is enabling more conversational language to be used during the user’s search.   

What is BERT and how will this affect your brand?

Google’s most recent and biggest update is BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers). The BERT algorithm is a deep learning algorithm related to natural language processing. It helps a machine to understand what words in a sentence mean but with all the nuances of context. 

BERT algorithm example

For luxury brands, this means the end consumer will be able to receive much more relevant information on their search by being more conversational and personalised. This also shows Google’s great efforts to try to push voice search as a key channel for brands. 

How can BERT impact marketers in 2020? 

Rather than simply doing single keyword matching, which has been how it’s been done to date, BERT now understands the importance of prepositions and how they change the intent of the search. This greater recognition gives more relevant and contextual results for the end consumer.

What is very exciting for luxury particularly, is that the features of this new algorithm make search more human, conversational and also personalised so that the end-user can find what they’re looking for faster and better than ever before. From an SEO perspective, you cannot rely just on keyword research tools, a human approach thinking process is needed to succeed with this update.

With Google using machine learning and AI to understand its customers better, it’s vital that brands understand their customers more in-depth. What sort of interests do they have? Which media do they consume?  What content do they enjoy, what videos do they watch? 

It’s always recommended to take a human-first strategy to optimise your search, creating quality content that is relevant and will answer the questions that your customers may have.

What is the right type of language to adapt to BERT? 

Today it’s important that you understand how a machine interprets your content by using NLU (Natural-language understanding). This means you need to get data from different sources, search beyond the bounds and don’t us simple keywords tools. Review all your data to have an idea of what your customers are watching and reading online. Your performance activity is a great source to better understand this information. Add your paid-search data on top of that to get a full picture of who your customers are. Then set a customer-centric strategy to figure out where you can add value to a customer’s journey, providing content that will be relevant at each stage of the customer journey.

To sum up, BERT will definitely increase the quality of the SERP. Marketers should make sure to provide users with the type of content that is most authentic and true to their brand. 

If you enjoyed reading about the new Google algorithm in SEO, please join us for our next LEARN breakfast session where we’ll be discussing Top SEO Trends Impacting Luxury in 2020. It’ll be at Shoreditch House, 8:30 am -11 am on the 20th of November, 2019 reserve your place on the guestlist now.