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Google Announces Upcoming Changes To Search

Google has announced a number of changes that are going to impact search, and if you are responsible for the SEO of your business, you need to take note!

The various changes, some of which have already rolled out, are expected to affect how websites will rank on Google. If you notice a sudden change in rankings (good or bad!), it is likely due to these updates.

BERT Is Set To Impact Every Search Query

Google’s BERT algorithm update, which originally rolled out in October 2019, allows Google to better understand the context behind search queries. When it first rolled out, Google stated that BERT would impact 1 in 10 search queries.

But in their most recent announcement, Google revealed that BERT will impact virtually all search queries (providing they are written in the English language).

This new update will allow Google to better understand the user search intent and provide higher quality results for the user.

To make the most of this update, you might want to focus on optimising your website for user search intent.

Web Page Passages Will Be Indexed

Google also announced that it will now be indexing passages from a web page. This update is expected to impact around 7% of search queries and will alter the way Google’s search engine results pages (SERP’s) look on desktop and mobile.

The update allows Google to find information that is relevant to the search query, even when it is deep within a web page. It essentially means that individual passages from your content can be ranked, as well as the web page itself.

Google said this provides a way for the search engine to “find that needle-in-a-haystack information” that search users are looking for.

Changes To Broad Search Queries

Another update, coming at the end of 2020, is expected to change how general search phrases are ranked. The update will allow Google to better understand the subtopics surrounding an interest or a broad topic.

For example, if a search user is looking for “home exercise equipment”, Google will now display a wider range of content that considers various subtopics, such as budget exercise equipment, premium picks etc.

This update is expected to make it more challenging to rank for broad keyword phrases that have high traffic. On the other hand, it might make it easier to rank for specific subtopics.

So, make sure your subtopic pages are well optimised and have plenty of relevant content!

Introduction Of Spelling Algorithm

In the grand scheme of things, a new spelling algorithm isn’t very exciting. But Google has stated that the new update is the biggest improvement to spelling in 5 years.

This new update not only allows Google to understand misspelt words, it also helps Google understand the context behind the misspelt words. Again – Google is prioritising user search intent to improve the relevance of the results it provides.

Changes To Video Content

And the final announcement from Google is about an update which sees Google use an AI-driven approach to better understand different passages within video content.

Google will be able to identify key moments and sections within a video, tag them and then send search users directly to the section relevant to their search. Think of it as sending someone to a specific chapter in a book!

This update will have rolled out by the end of 2020 and is expected to impact 10% of search queries. It may be something to think about if you create and upload content to your website or YouTube channel.

Get In Touch

Google’s John Mueller has mentioned that SEO will become more challenging in the near future. However, there’s no need to worry, GrowTraffic is here to help!

GrowTraffic is an award-winning digital marketing agency based in Lancashire and Yorkshire. We specialise in SEO, content marketing and social media – but we offer a range of digital marketing services.

If you would like some help with SEO, get in touch with the GrowTraffic team. You can email us on info@growtraffic.co.uk or give us a call 0161 706 0012.

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