Why Google wants us to be more BERT | Fresh Nous

Be more Bert for Google

With Sesame Street celebrating its 50th birthday this year, it seems the AI folks at Google have decided to pay their own tribute to the children’s TV classic with a new algorithm update.

Just like the friendly yellow muppet, BERT (which stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) should be greeted with a grin by content managers and SEO practitioners alike.

For BERT’s over-riding aim is to make it easier for users to search Google more naturally and receive more relevant results based on those searches, thus saving time.

How does it do that? Well, BERT understands language more like a human than a robot.

The key word here is context. Let us explain…

When they’re searching for something, people often type long strings of words into Google in a bid to cover all bases.

Pre-BERT, Google AI normally interpreted each of these words individually but now it does a better job understanding the words as they relate to each other to give you the answer you’re looking for much quicker.

As customer experience experts who help our clients engage with their customers and speak to them in a language they understand – and can easily respond to – Fresh Nous welcomes BERT’s arrival.

It sends a very strong signal that Google wants content writers to write natural, user-friendly copy i.e. it wants them to write with the reader, rather than the search engine, foremost in their mind. Google also wants writers to worry less about using keywords in content just to get in their good books but to think harder about keywords in a context that will resonate with readers and align to the language they use.

In a blog, the company writes: “No matter what you’re looking for, or what language you speak, we hope you’re able to let go of some of your keyword-ese and search in a way that feels natural for you.” Amen to that.

Here in the UK, we won’t be saying ‘hi’ to BERT just yet as it is currently being tested on one in every 10 searches and is only used on U.S. English search results.

Assuming it works as Google hopes it will, BERT looks set for world domination in due course!

To connect with customers, both existing and prospective, it’s important to know what they’re looking for and how they define that need when they search online.

That’s where Fresh Nous can help. Our team have many years’ experience of helping businesses to talk to customers in a relatable, contextual way. If words don’t come easy, we can help you get your message across through website wording, marketing documents, emails and a range of customer service-related collateral.

For more information, contact Fresh Nous on 01905 780810 or get in touch.