Changes to Google Search Lead to Improvements in Language Understanding

Changes to Google Search Lead to Improvements in Language Understanding

Posted on Tuesday, October 27th, 2020 at 9:12 pm    

Google made another round of announcements a few days ago and it looks like their latest algorithm, which includes updates to BERT, is getting even better at understanding natural language. These improvements to search mean that the quality of your written content is going to be even more important.

Let your McAllen digital marketing experts at Cobalt Digital breakdown exactly what Google announced and how this can potentially affect your website and marketing efforts.

Quick Overview of BERT

Google’s BERT, or Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, is a neural network-based system for natural language processes. The purpose of BERT is to help the search engine better understand the nuances of language and context so that results are better aligned with queries. Ultimately, the goal is for BERT is to understand the complexities and subtleties of language just like a human would.

When BERT was launched a year ago, it was only being used on one out of every ten English searches. In its recent announcement, Google said that BERT is now being used on nearly every English query. This should improve the quality of results for searches.

The Beauty of Language


One of Google’s most interesting announcements is that its new spelling algorithm will improve the search engine’s ability to decipher misspellings. With one in every 10 queries misspelled, this update will definitely prove to be beneficial for Google users.

This isn’t a service level improvement either. Google stated that “this single change makes a greater improvement to spelling than all of our improvements over the last five years.” Now that’s a big difference in “did you mean” tech.


Another reason to make sure the quality of content and information you’re providing on your website is up to par, Google is now able to index passages on a page, not just the overall page. This update to their algorithm will impact 7% of search results.

As Google puts it, “By better understanding the relevancy of specific passages, not just the overall page, we can find that needle-in-a-haystack information [users are] looking for.”


Context is so important in search and being able to obtain a greater diversity of results can meaningfully improve the experience of a user. That’s why Google has applied neural nets to delve deeper into the subtopics around a given topic.

As Google explains it, “If you search for ‘home exercise equipment,’ we can now understand relevant subtopics, such as budget equipment … and show a wider range of content for you on the search results page.”

While this component isn’t yet activated, Google claimed that they’ll start rolling this out by the end of this year.

More Than Just Language

Furthering the reach of their AI, Google is improving their ability to understand deep semantics of videos so that viewers can quickly find key moments. The search engine giant will be using this tech to tag important moments in a video so that they can be navigated like chapters in a book.

It’s expected that 10 percent of searches on Google will use this new tech by the end of the year. But as can be seen with BERT, this update can have profound effects within a year.

Another extremely interesting component that’s going to likely play an even bigger role in the months to come is Google Maps popular time algorithm. With the pandemic changing the world of business so much, Google has decided to make its network more reliable by providing up-to-date information on businesses. For instance, soon Google users will be able to see exactly how busy a business is, popular hours, and what safety requirements and protocols they may have in place to protect clients against COVID-19.

This means that you’ll want to make sure your information is updated and accurate on your Google business profile. By being on top of this component on the backend, you’ll be able to provide your customers (and potential customers) with the information they need to visit you at a time that best fits their expectations.

The Value of Copy & Content

Google knows the power of language, so it’s in your best interest to make sure that your copy and content is up to par. By delivering valuable, informative, and quality content – such as blogs, articles, and general website content – you’ll be able to meet the needs and answer the questions of your audience.

Of course, this is always easier said than done.

Luckily, the team at Cobalt Digital Marketing has just the thing to support you.

With our Cobalt Formula™, you can get the expertise of our exceptional Cobalt content creators who know how to write engaging copy and deliver valuable content. Not only can our team help to deliver outstanding website copy that will ensure you meet the parameters of Google’s updated algorithm, but we know how to create fantastic blogs, articles, landing pages, and white papers, while ALSO getting you found on Google.

With content catalysts, SEO experts, and Google-certified analytics partners, we’ll make sure you get found.


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