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What You Need To Know About Google BERT Update

Posted by Kathy on
What You Need To Know About Google BERT Update

Google is always surprising the SEO industry and its latest surprise has come in the form of BERT algorithm update. Google has recently announced this update and it is likely to impact 10% of all the searches.

There is nothing too technical about this update as it is a huge step forward in Google’s understanding of the intent of the search query. Google has always been at the forefront of Natural Language Processing and with this update, Google has become even better at understanding the nuances or context of the search query.

This update has received so much interest as Google quantifies it at the biggest leap forward in NLP in the past 5 years.

Google has identified it as an update that is designed to help it better understand search queries. Simply put, this algorithm will make Google better at identifying the context and certain nuances that will help it in ranking the most relevant stuff in its organic search results.

It is likely to have the most impact on the longtail searches as the context is much more important in longtail searches. Keep in mind that longtail searches account for more than 70% of the queries on search engines and with the increased use of voice for search, this percentage is likely to grow further.

In addition to 10% of all the searches, this update is also likely to affect the featured snippets across a variety of languages. Another important thing you need to know about this update is that it is not replacing any other element of the search algorithm and this update will be used in conjunction with existing elements of the search algorithm.

BERT Effect on SEO

When it comes to your SEO strategy because of this latest update, the consensus among experts is that you can’t really optimize for this update. This update is meant to make Google better at understanding the context of the queries which means if you already have content that is designed to answer specific questions asked by a searcher, you are good and are likely to benefit from this update.

It is going to hurt the rankings of content that is designed around a particular keyword or phrase and is not particularly designed to give the right answer to the searcher.

Since this update is meant for a better understanding of the user’s intent, it is most likely to have a huge impact on informational searches. In simple terms, it is likely to impact rankings for queries where the user is asking a question or a specific query. This is due to the reason that in most cases, these questions are ambiguous and not very clear as is the case with navigational searches or transactional searches. This brings Google one step closer to becoming an answer engine instead of remaining a search engine.

If you already have good content around a certain topic, you do not need to worry about this update as you already have everything needed to take advantage of this latest update. However, if you have designed your content around a particular keyword or a bunch of keywords, you need to start updating your content and prepare a content plan.

The first step in your SEO strategy should be to create content around a particular topic and not keywords. In fact, the popular keyword research methods are likely to be obsolete in the near future as Google and other search engines keep getting better at understanding the meaning or context of the content.

When you are creating content, make sure it covers a particular topic and it should also include answers for specific questions that are likely to be asked by your users. Make sure you give a specific answer to a specific question.

While long-form content has long been the favorite of content and search marketers, it is likely to lose its relative importance with this and other future updates. This doesn’t mean you need to give up on long-form content. The only thing you need to do is to slightly tweak your long-form content strategy to include specific answers to specific questions inside the long-form content pieces.

Overall, this update like all the past updates is a step in the direction of Google becoming an answer engine instead of remaining only a search engine. If you want to be prepared for this update and similar future updates, you just need to focus on creating content that serves your users instead of focusing only on search engine algorithms.

SEO Tips

Tips For Improving The Website Load Speed And Boosting SEO Of Your Website

Posted by Kathy on

If you have read anything about SEO over the past few months, you must know by now that website speed is a ranking factor. Visitors have a low attention span these days which means they want everything to be instant. This also means that your website should load almost instantly. If it doesn’t, there is a higher chance that your website won’t get any traffic from search engines.

You can write as much high-quality content as you want but if the website is not optimized for quick loading, your content will never reach its intended audience. After all, your competitor is just a click away.

Google has categorically said that loading speed is now a ranking factor. In fact, it is a more important ranking factor than commonly understood. Websites should not only load fast for users but you should know that loading time also influences crawling.

Speed optimization has a much bigger impact on bigger sites. Bigger sites have to think about crawl rate and crawl budget in addition to user experience. A fast loading website means Googlebot will visit your website more often.

Fast loading websites result in better user experience which, in turn, leads to higher conversion rates and a reduction in bounce rates. It also helps in building brand loyalty and trust. User experience is also a ranking factor and a fast loading website means better user experience which means people will come back to your website more often.

Tips to Boost Website Load Time

1. Reduce HTTP Requests

Whenever a browser fetches an image, page or a file from a web server, it is counted as an HTTP request. Research suggests that almost 80% of the load time of a web page is taken up by these requests. Also, modern browsers limit simultaneous connections for a domain from 4 to 8 which means if there are more than 25 HTTP requests at the same time, your web page will take a long time to load.

One of the ways to reduce HTTP requests is to combine all the JavaScript and CSS files. It can be complicated but merging all these files will help in improving the load times.

Another way to reduce requests is to use conditional statements to load only what is needed. For instance, some scripts are required only on mobiles whereas some images need to be loaded only on desktop. Conditional statements can be used to achieve this objective. You should also try to get rid of irrelevant images, especially heavy once.

2. Make Use of Content Delivery Networks

Simply put, a CDN is nothing but a collection of web servers that allow content to be distributed across multiple locations for more efficient delivery to users. These are typically meant for static content.

There are several CDN providers. In fact, there are some free CDN that can be utilized for cheap or for free by smaller websites. Using CDNs is straightforward as all the companies provide the necessary documentation to upload static content to CDN servers.

3. Image and File Optimization

Use image optimization software for optimizing all the images on your website. Several images can be easily replicated with CSS which will help in reducing the file size. In case you have downloaded stock photos and uploaded them straight to the server without optimization, use optimization software to reduce the file size.

As far as using a particular type of images, use SVG for vector images, PNG for images that need transparent background and JPG for images where fine details are not that important.

4. Compress Bulky Pages

All webpages above 100 KB in size are considered bulky and require a lot more time to download. It is recommended to compress these pages by converting them into RAR files. When a browser requests a file from the server, the server will send the RAR file which will be expanded by the browser to display on the screen. This alone has the potential to increase website speed by almost 70%.

5. Enable Cache

Certain elements of a webpage such as images and layouts are stored in internal storage. It is recommended to enable cache to increase the website loading speed for your regular visitors. It has the potential to increase the site speed by up to 40% for your regular visitors.

6. Minify CSS and JavaScript

It is the process of getting rid of all the unnecessary characters from stylesheets and JavaScript without making any changes to the functionality. It’s easy to minify the stylesheet and JavaScript with the help of several online tools. Minification will help in reducing the overall file size which, in turn, will lead to reduced website loading times.

Conclusion

Overall, website load time is an important ranking factor and it is completely under your control. Make use of the above-mentioned tips to reduce the website loading time. You should also use free online tools such as Google Insights to figure out things you can do to further reduce the website loading time and improve the SEO of your website.