Are there any SEO techniques for Google BERT?

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It is one of the most frequently rebounding question among the international SEO community, destined to become the true leit motiv of this year and maybe beyond: “How to optimize the site for Google BERT“? To imagine the reasons behind these concerns is quite easy given all the hype generated by the new algorithmic system of the search engine, and from Google also come some suggestions to put into practice on our contents.

Is it possible to iptimize a site for Google BERT?

Already back on the official Google BERT’s presentation day, Danny Sullivan took the risk of playing defense and further specified that “there are no real works of optimization to do on the sites” nor “strategies to rethink”, because the new algorithm only operates on language understanding. Very useful claims in order to clear the field from risky and improvised theories, but not to close the subject.

We can optimize contents

In fact, there is some work to do to optimize contents, even if not properly focused on BERT: we need to keep on writing with our users in mind, to provide them with useful and relevant information, to take care of who is actually reading our site pages, to pay extra attention to all those on page SEO aspects. Therefore, nothing special but to keep on publishing those famous “quality contents” according to the Google expression we all know and love.

In the past few days it was John Mueller to go back to the topic, during a YouTube hangout, with an explanation a little more articulated and nuanced about how to optimize the site for Google BERT, giving some further info to whoever manages websites. First of all, we need to clarify what is the new algorithm for and why it is working the way it does, to then figure out what to practically do for our contents.

Google BERT improves language understanding inside the Reasearch

Ans then, Google BERT is useful to better understand the language in the search system, in almost any language in the world: in order to reach a “better comprehension of the questions or the queries performed by people”, on one side, and “to better comprehend the text on a page” on the other, so to offer the most relevant answers.

Work to offer valid contents for the queries

Queries “are not really something you can influence a lot with a SEO work“, says Mueller, but a work of contents improvement is still possible, because “the text on the page is actually somethingyou can influence” and intervene on.

To write in a natural way

According to Mueller, the recommendation is essentially “to write in a natural way“: a sentence that could sound obvious and cliched, but “many of these algorithms try to understand the natural text and to better comprehend which topics the page is covering”, so to better link the query launched by a user with a specific result.

To avoid the keyword stuffing and think about the readers

Therefore, once again Google reaffirms that the SEO copywriting must mean to write texts that are not trying to satisfy the robots, but rather to create contents that “a normal human being would be able to understand”. One example above all, “rather to do keyword stuffing at full throttle, prefer a kind of writing closer to the normal language”.

To evaluate the relevance of the contents compared to queries

According to the observers, like Roger Montti on Search Engine Journal, we need to increasingly focus on the relevance of a content compared to the query, because this exact aspect is the true core of the most recent changes, such as Google BERT, the neural matching and RankBrain a while back, all working to optimize the comprehension of the meaning of the text.

Relevance has become an issue because lots of editors tends to overlook the topic – or, we could similarly say, forget to comply with the search intent – so to only focus on keywords. And that is why it is interesting that John Mueller actually mentioned the keyword stuffing as critical error, a kind of technique that goes in the exact opposite way compared to natural writing.

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