It’s that time of the year again. Google has unleashed the biggest update its released in years and its shaking the industry, right? Wrong. So what is BERT and why is it so underwhelming right now?
In fairness, BERT is the first big step which Google has taken in a long time. It’s a cool tech update which will have huge implications in the long run, but practically none in the short term. The folks over at Google have taken the first proper step for search bots to understand the context of long tail search phrases and content. Thats right. As of now this will mainly effect long tail keywords only. Such as, “Best beaches to play volleyball at today near me”. In a perfect search result Google would display each results related to top rated beaches, that are volley ball accessible and close to the IP location of the searcher. Now considering its winter, raining and there are no beach clubs open right now, Google should provide me a suggestion to maybe watch a movie instead.
That said, the search result triggers the places feature in SERP since my query included the text, “near me”. Listing all the beach clubs and locations near me. And it does quite a good job at that. Unfortunately these beach clubs are currently all closed and even if they were listed as open, the weather does not permit beach games.
So this update has a long way to go before Skynet is born and SEO’s are trembling with fear. But as a first step, it’s got me really excited. The thing is, that we are decades, if not hundreds of years away from having machines that can pass the Turing test on each and every count. And we’re even further away from having a Google which is all mighty and powerful. In the meantime, at Gainchanger, we’ll keep on doing what we do best and evolve at the same pace Google does.