Google has announced important updates that will heavily influence which sites will be ranked in the Google search engine. Whereas some of the changes only have an impact of less than %10, the recent BERT update will have a total impact on all sites currently on the web.
Google is rolling out these changes a little at a time and we can expect to see them starting from now to the end of the year.
Good SEO scores will likely be harder to maintain using the current strategies and this is due to the fact that many of the algorithm changes are intentionally trying to allow for more diversity making it harder to predict the nuances of what Google will consider being worthy of being placed in the first page of search.
Google’s BERT is everywhere
If you are still unfamiliar with what BERT is exactly, let us explain. BERT helps Google to understand the user’s intent when typing in a search query. Up until this point, BERT had been used in about %10 percent of search queries, specifically longer ones where it needed to understand the context by analyzing all the works in the query to provide a more accurate result.
The change means that for queries in the English language, BERT will be used by default in each and every search. We can assume that over time BERT will be implemented to analyze other languages.
According to Google:
“Today we’re excited to share that BERT is now used in almost every query in English, helping you get higher quality results for your questions.”
Changes to Google Spelling Algorithm
Even though we have come to rely on AI for just about everything online, there are matters that only a human will do naturally. Thankfully, where nature fails, programming and design have succeeded. Spelling errors in search used to be enough to get results in a search that were far from what you were expecting, but now with Google’s spelling Algorithm update technology helps to find the users desired search results regardless of incorrect spelling.
Google changes Subtopics
More diverse results to broad search queries will help to offer a wide range of answers to the term the user has searched for. Many times a term can be misinterpreted if the word has more than one meaning as in the term Chicago, this could refer to the city, the band, or the Broadway musical.
As a result of this change, it may become harder to rank for high-traffic broadband keyword phrases. Be careful when competing for a broad topic to optimize your subtopic pages well.
Here’s how Google explains it:
“We’ve applied neural nets to understand subtopics around an interest, which helps deliver a greater diversity of content when you search for something broad.
As an example, if you search for “home exercise equipment,” we can now understand relevant subtopics, such as budget equipment, premium picks, or small space ideas, and show a wider range of content for you on the search results page. We’ll start rolling this out by the end of this year.”
Searches Will Be Affected by Video Change
We have all experienced the introduction of video among other types of content and now, with good cause, Google will begin to analyze passages or smaller sections within a video, assign an appropriate tag, and offer these as search results to user’s queries.
It will become increasingly important to plan each video thoughtfully so that it is easily understood, one section at a time.
Here’s how Google described it:
“Using a new AI-driven approach, we’re now able to understand the deep semantics of a video and automatically identify key moments. This lets us tag those moments in the video, so you can navigate them like chapters in a book.
We’ve started testing this technology this year, and by the end of 2020 we expect that 10 percent of searches on Google will use this new technology.”
Data Sets in Search
The change that Google is making by adding Data Sets as search results will affect websites that rank because of its ability to provide statistical information. Now that the data will be shown right in search results rather than the user having to click on the website which contains the data, these sites will lose rankings and clicks.
The way Google does this is by using natural language processing, allowing it to determine if the user’s query can be resolved by showing statistical data.
Here’s how Google explains it:
“Sometimes the best search result is a statistic. But often stats are buried in large datasets and not easily comprehensible or accessible online.
Since 2018, we’ve been working on the Data Commons Project, an open knowledge database of statistical data… now we’re making this information more accessible and useful through Google Search.”