Google’s made a lot of changes recently, but what does that mean for your website? As Google Partners and as a digital marketing company, GOA-TECH knows its critical to keep up with everything new in the world of online algorithms, pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, and more. If you’re not up to date, here’s a quick summary of the new Google algorithm and how it affects your website and engagement.
What is the New Google Algorithm?
The two main changes you should understand in terms of the new algorithm are BERT and new featured snippet settings. You might remember when Google introduced RankBrain in 2015. This is an artificial intelligence system that intended to improve the Google search system. Similarly, Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) is Google’s neural network-based technique for natural language processing (NLP) pre-training, which aims to improve the search process for users.
According to Google, BERT will impact the ranking of results for 1 in 10 search queries. Google integration with BERT as a part of the algorithm since late October of 2019. It’s been rolling out for search queries in English, but it will expand to other languages in the future. After open-sourcing last year, Google’s AI blog now goes into more detail about BERT and its logistics.
Essentially, BERT’s intention is to help users experience an easier time attaining correct results the first time searching for something. Due to the NLP pre-training, BERT is supposedly able to understand natural human language. This is unlike any other search system that Google has ever had. By better understanding the nuances of language and the context of words in each search, BERT helps Google come up with results that are more relevant to what the user is searching for.
BERT already integrates into featured snippets around the world and in all languages. For this reason, the changes in the Google algorithm are extremely important for Google Partners and any digital marketing company working with PPC campaigns. The new featured snippet settings allow webmasters to control how Google displays your search listings. These settings also function through robots’ meta tags and an HTML attribute. You can add these four meta tags to either an HTML page or specified via the x-robots-tag HTTP header:
- “nosnippet”: – Although this is an old option, it allows specification without any textual snippet shown for this page.
- “max-snippet:[number]”: – This new meta tag gives you the freedom to specify a maximum text-length, in characters, of a snippet for your page.
- “max-video-preview:[number]”: – This is another new meta tag that allows you to specify a maximum duration in seconds of an animated video preview.
- “max-image-preview:[setting]”: – Finally, this new meta tag lets you specify a maximum size of image preview to be shown for images on this page, using either “none”, “standard”, or “large”.
The great thing about these options is that you can use these meta tags by themselves. You can also combine them if you want to control the max length of the text and video.
How Does This Affect My Website?
With all of the tech stuff out of the way, you’re probably most interested in how this new Google algorithm will affect your website and marketing relations with Google Partners. For one, it’s safe to say that Google’s intention with BERT is to help traffic for websites, not harm them. With a more intuitive search system tailor-made specifically for understanding human language, the new Google algorithm will help users find exactly what they’re looking for without all of the hard work. The users who are looking for something like your website or business will be able to find you more easily. As a result, your business can experience more traffic and/or customers.
By incorporating a system that can understand natural, conversational queries with prepositions like “for” and “to,” users will find results that fit with exactly what they mean. It’s important to note that this system will not impact your overall Google web search rankings. It will rank your pages just as it did before. However, it may impact the way your listing shows up with certain rich results or featured snippets.
As a digital marketing company, GOA-TECH can help you with everything from branding and graphic design to PPC campaigns, so check out our website for more information on how we can build your online presence from the ground up!