Google algorithm updates are arguably dreaded my most in the SEO industry as they come with a lot of uncertainty, questions and work! But I’ve found after working for SEO agencies and freelance for the past 5 years is that staying ahead of the updates makes them much easier to deal with when they come around. But how can you say ahead of something that hasn’t been released yet? Luckily you’re reading this article and with past updates to support the theories, here’s a look at the Google algorithm updates you can expect this year.
Natural Language Programme
If you’re in the SEO industry or kept up to date in the last year, you’ll know all about the capabilities of machine learning. Google has now released a demo of its Natural Language Programme which uses machine learning to reveal the structure and meaning of a website’s text to Google. Google has always highlighted that a website’s content is essential for ranking but it has previously read the text for phrases and identifies what it thinks is relevant for SERPs.
After the BERT updates in late 2019 which claimed that Google was able to focus on the structure of a sentence and offer the most relevant websites in return, the Natural Language Programme is likely to continue with this update and be part of another update in the future.
The Natural Language demo currently available allows you to add your website current text and gives it an overall score as well as a magnitude score. The highest overall score is 1 and the lowest is -1, Google currently recommends a website’s sentences to score over 0.25. When using the tool, you can also identify how Google perceives your content, as certain words can trigger different context.
After using this personally, I can say it is very difficult to work out what it wants in the beginning. Depending on how you normally write content, the sentences will likely get low scores less than 0, but if you have time on your hands the best thing to do is to continue to play around with your wording until Google understands the points you’re trying to get across.
But the take from this is that it’s a successful system that Google has spent a lot of time developing, so it’s more than likely that they will roll out a core update that supports this demo. Plus, if it’s something you want to start working on before the update, there is no risk in rewording your content to please Google, be it’ll take time to make the wording readable for both the users and bots.
Another area to think about is more companies’ opting to create their own platforms using app developers, so looking into how this is going to affect Google search trends is also a future consideration.