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How to Optimize for BERT – As Explained by Google

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John Mueller, in his recent webmaster hangout, discussed Search Engine Land’s co-founder, Danny Sullivan’s suggestions on how to optimize for Google’s BERT update. Google has stated that writing natural content that a user can easily understand is the only way to optimize for the BERT update.

What is BERT?

BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) is an algorithm that helps Google to better decode/interpret the questions or queries asked by people and deliver more accurate answers to them.

Read more about BERT here.

The following is a screenshot of what Danny Sullivan suggested for optimizing for BERT:

How to Optimize for BERT - As Explained by Google

Here is the question posed to John Mueller:

Will you tell me about the Google BERT Update? Which types of work can I do on SEO according to the BERT algorithms?

John Muller’s explanation on the purpose of the BERT algorithm:

I would primarily recommend taking a look at the blog post that we did around this particular change. In particular, what we’re trying to do with these changes is to better understand text. Which on the one hand means better understanding the questions or the queries that people send us. And on the other hand better understanding the text on a page. The queries are not really something that you can influence that much as an SEO.

The text on the page is something that you can influence. Our recommendation there is essentially to write naturally. So it seems kind of obvious but a lot of these algorithms try to understand natural text and they try to better understand like what topics is this page about. What special attributes do we need to watch out for and that would allow use to better match the query that someone is asking us with your specific page. So, if anything, there’s anything that you can do to kind of optimize for BERT, it’s essentially to make sure that your pages have natural text on them…

“..and that they’re not written in a way that…”

“Kind of like a normal human would be able to understand.  So instead of stuffing keywords as much as possible, kind of write naturally.”

Takeaways

BERT, Rank Brain, and Neural Matching are all about understanding natural or human language and the meaning of search sentences or queries to deliver relevant results. 

As stated by Google, there is no better way to optimize for BERT than to write natural content without the stuffing of keywords.

Take a look at John Mueller’s explanation on how to optimize for BERT in this YouTube video.

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