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Google BERT: What does this update mean for SEO in Nigeria?

Google continues to stay true to its purpose; organizing the world’s information and making this information available quickly. A new core update rolled out this week – Artificial Intelligence algorithm codenamed BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers), not Bert from Sesame street .

BERT is one of Google’s evolutionary inventions in the history of Search, since RankBrain.

What is BERT?


In improving the user experience of results generated by Google Search, BERT helps Google serve up relevant results to search queries by understanding the contextual meaning of the keywords and other natural language being used.

The context that the keyword has been used provides more meaning to Google. For example, a search for “Apple store” brings up results to specific locations where Apple stores are located in your city, and not grocery store to pick up apples.


What does it mean for your website SEO?


If the content on your homepage, landing pages and your blog are poorly written, then the entire website may not perform for Search. In line with Google’s quality content policy, strive to write content for humans.

The more you create great content to help and educate, the more Google Search’s ever-evolving landscape will continue to reward your SEO strategies.


This is what I think..

Google just released an update on November 8th, 2019 and a lot of sites experienced drops in their organic rankings because they were in violation of some of Google’s policy on link-building.

BERT helps Google understand language and context better and if you have built a link from an unrelated page just for the purpose of ranking, Google ignores that link. A perfect example is; linking to a dentist’s website from a home makeover blog. This technique is most employed by PBN (Private Blog Network) owners and it seems Google is beginning to crack down on it.

Google has not expressly said you could not ask for links to your website. But it should not be transactional nor occur frequently, that it becomes an intent and literally arm-twisting the ranking algorithm. The analogy that makes it concrete is – votes. Votes back to your site should be natural and not bought, sponsored or coerced. They should be true and deserved mentions.

By that reckoning, Google considers PBN links unnatural, as they are considered manufactured votes. I get comments and emails a lot from other webmasters offering link-exchange. It is rewarding in the short-term, but devastating to Google Trust, as new updates begin to roll out to tackle the “GreyHat Uprising”.



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