How BERT Can Impact Your SEO Score
Google regularly unleashes new pieces of software that impact how its search engine performs. One of the most exciting, for many software engineers, is BERT. Short for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, it encompasses many different functions. Primarily, it helps search engines understand complex word searches that rely heavily on word context. For those who write SEO or have SEO involved with their website, you might wonder how BERT is going to impact your SEO score. Here’s what you need to know.
How BERT Helps Searches
Because BERT can read a search query in two different directions – as opposed to other search algorithms – it is more capable of reading and comprehending what the sentence actually reads. For example, there are many words in the English language that have two meanings. Those words can even adopt different meanings when used with other certain words.
Machines have a difficult time understanding this because they don’t always have the full context. Unidirectional search engine algorithms are only capable of reading a search query in one direction. This doesn’t allow them to comprehend context because they’re unable to refer to an earlier part of the sentence after completing the entire sentence.
BERT can. While BERT is still learning context and ambiguous words, it stands at a much greater chance of being able to accumulate answers for sentences that use natural conversational speech.
Transformers is another crucial part of BERT’s design. Transformers deal with keeping track of the ‘who’s somebody’ in conversation. When having a normal conversation with someone, you may refer to a friend of a friend. That ‘who’s somebody’ can be difficult for humans to keep track of throughout the flow of conversation. For a machine, it’s even more complex.
However, because BERT’s software revolves around keeping track of transformers, it’s better at understanding exactly what the conversation is about.
It May Impact International SEO
One benefit of BERT is that it can actually correlate certain words in a different language while compiling a search for another language. Even though BERT may not understand the foreign language, per se, its system and deep-learning allow it to make those connections.
This is great for websites that use international SEO. They can use certain keywords that will help them rank higher on sites in different countries.
SEO Overall Impact
Is BERT going to impact SEO as a whole? Yes and no. While your overall SEO score may not change drastically, the more that BERT learns, the more you’ll have to pay attention to your SEO. This is because BERT may be able to better tell if a source that you link to is relevant or not.
Because it understands context better, it may start to realize that the sites you’re using for your links are actually not relevant at all. This may mean that you just need to hone your skills in nuance SEO writing or just make sure that you’re always linking to credible sources that Google enjoys the most.
Otherwise, you shouldn’t expect BERT to impact your score too much. As the software becomes more intelligent, however, it may eventually have a larger impact on SEO scores. As such, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on how BERT develops.
Contact SEO Locale for expert SEO services today. Having issues with the BERT update? Need a white label SEO partner, we can help!
You may be an experienced digital marketer or a novice, but there are several ways to improve your auditing skills for Search Engine Optimization. I’ve been in this space for 16 years now and had to deal with over 1,000 website problems. Personally, I enjoy the auditing aspect of SEO, it is always changing and new issues arise over time. Your SEO auditing process should differ from platform to platform and campaign to campaign. For example, a local SEO and national SEO auditing process will be very different. Generally speaking I will provide you some of the key components of an SEO audit process. Let’s get started with these quick tips on how to improve your SEO auditing skills.
Start with an Auditing Tool
First, start with an auditing tool like SEMRush. There are several auditing tools out there to get you started. It is a simple process of getting initiated without any expert assistance. This will be able to crawl your entire website quickly without you missing thousands of issues. We’re constantly fixing website issues month over month, so make sure you provide your fixes in priority order during your audit process. An example of an SEO audit below is from SEMRush for one of our clients. As you can see there are false positives. We tackle items by priority starting with errors and work our way into warnings and notices over time.
Manually Inspect & Browse Your Website
There are several items we manually inspect while an SEO auditing tool is running in the background. Look for the XML sitemap. Find pages, posts and demo content that may have been left in there from the development of the website. Run through the website and see if you can find an HTML sitemap as well, is this website easily crawl-able? Are you having a hard time finding pages? If you are you will want to increase the crawl-ability of the website. Right-click on Google Chrome “inspect”, click on the console tab, do you see any errors or warnings? Fix them. We run into this problem and usually have issues with websites not being fully secure because they are calling http:// rather than https:// on an element on the website.
You could click on the not secure notice next to the website address, on top of your browser, and it will explain why the website is not fully secure. Example below:
Search Google for Your Main Keyword or Brand
During the SEO auditing process, we want to spot any inconsistencies or issues when websites are being crawled. Manually searching for a keyword you may rank for, or search your brand, and check if you see the intended meta description. If you do not, go and check your robots.txt file or see if there is a NoIndex tag implemented on the website.
Run Site: in Google Search
Sometimes our manual process or tools will not pick up some pages so running site: urlofyourwebsite.com in Google search could result in some other findings that can be holding back your website’s SEO.
SEO Auditing Process
Now I only covered only about 1/10th of the entire SEO auditing process, but our workflows and SEO auditing process shifts based on the website and platform. Auditing a website on Shopify versus WordPress can differ due to the structure. If you are interested in a free website audit you can contact us today, no catch! If you own an agency and want to start a white label SEO package with us, you can!
Recently we’ve been getting slammed with new inbound leads at SEO Locale. The team is still working through the shutdown. Sadly we have not seen our team members for almost a month now. As a company we had our setup prepared for a catastrophic event like this. Our team members were up and running immediately after we shut the offices down.
Luckily in our industry the internet is still turned on. Online shopping is increasing and businesses are starting to thrive more with our digital marketing product. We’ve had clients that had to shift their marketing and SEO to be geared towards the virus. The SEO Locale team is moving fast on these shifts for all of our clients.
Marc and myself sat down and evaluated some campaigns since the shutdown period. The statistics below are prime examples of how SEO still works during these stressful and tough times for business owners.
Results measured starting March 15, 2020 – April 2, 2020 vs March 15, 2019 – April 2, 2019
✔️ eCommerce Client +467.51% Increase in Revenue
✔️ Another eCommerce Client +2,298.77% Increase in Revenue
✔️ Local Franchise Gym +181.24% Increase in Leads
✔️ Service Industry Business (B2B) +492% Increase in New Users
✔️ Local Law Firm +389.62% Increase in New Users
✔️ B2C Client +129.57% Increase in New Users
🏆 Beat your competition with SEO. Our clients are seeing massive results during these tough times.
Here are a few marketing tips we compiled for a pandemic like this and how you can stay ahead of your competition:
- Is your product or service in high demand for your customers. If so look at your approach to see if you can make adjustments to increase your SEO visibility.
- Create a notification pop to alert your customers you are still operating.
- Start creating posts on social media that help your customers understand they can still use your services. Most people are bored at home and browsing the internet and social media.
- Increase your brand awareness. This is the perfect time to jump in front of your potential customers with your brand.
- Start a community involvement initiative. Provide help of those in need. Don’t use this as a sales tactic, but getting involved will help the community come together.
- Start increasing your conversion rate with new marketing tactics. Focus on your business during these times and beat your local competition.