The past month in search October: 2019

By Jaywing

Google’s BERT Algorithm Update, New Lead Form Extensions & Virtual Makeup Try On with YouTube; Welcome to Octobers Month in Search.

Google’s BERT Algorithm Update

What is the BERT Algorithm?

In late October, Google started rolling out it’s biggest algorithm update in 5 years: BERT,  which has a strong focus on better understanding natural language in search. Google claims the new update is the ‘’biggest leap forward in the past five years, and one of the biggest leaps forward in the history of Search’’.  

The Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers Algorithm or in short BERT, was created to ensure search queries are being accurately answered, with Google now understanding human like queries that are conversational based. 

Natural searches, which include prepositions like ‘’for’’ and ‘’to’’ have a large impact on the way a query could be answered, Google will now be able to understand these prepositions in search resulting in more accurate results.

Google has said the BERT update will affect 10% of search queries and cannot be optimised for, as it is just it’s way of providing more accurate answers to conversational searches.  

To ensure the update was useful in search, Google did a series of testing which demonstrated BERT’s ability to understand the context behind queries.  Below is an example where Google previously wouldn’t understand the importance of the word ‘’someone’’, where as after the BERT update, Google can identify that the term someone changes the search result completely, rather a generic result about getting prescriptions filled.  


Source: Google 

The BERT update has rolled out to all English language queries, with the intentions to eventually roll out across all languages.  

What does this mean for businesses?

Google has stated that there is no way for a website to optimise for this update. However a revision of your current content strategy with a focus on Google’s E-A-T guidelines may help businesses in the future. This way, you create strong content that helps Google understand that you are an authoritative expert in your field. 

As BERT focuses on better understanding conversational queries, websites can re evaluate their content marketing strategy, to ensure long tailed keywords are used to rank in search.  Historically, users would search in simple terms such as ‘’Digital marketing agency North Sydney’’ where as natural speech is commonly used, for example ‘’What are some digital marketing agencies in North Sydney?’’.  

Google Ads is Testing New Lead Form Extensions 

Google Ads is beta testing new lead form extensions to better capture customer interest from your current existing Google advertising efforts.

The new ad extensions feature will have a number of features including:  

  • Customisation of lead forms, including specific information you want to ask the customer (name, email, contact number, postcode, etc). 
  • Option to upload images for the background of the form  
  • Customised message which appears after the form has been submitted 
  • Offering customers a special offer which can only be accessed once the lead form has been filled out   

What does this mean for businesses? 

The new ad extension feature allows businesses to record customer information once users fill out the lead form.

Nathan Ma, Jaywing’s Biddable Media Executive said: “This new Google beta gives businesses a new feature to capture customer information in a customisable, easy to implement ad extension that will greatly assist with your current marketing activity”

Virtual Makeup Try On With YouTube 

Google is launching a one of a kind ad feature, which allows customers to virtually try on makeup in Youtube Masthead and TrueView discovery ads globally.  

Google’s intentions with the new feature offers brands the option to show ‘’realistic, virtual product samples that work on a full range of skin tones, to YouTube’s 2 billion monthly active users’’.

Google reports the cosmetic giant NARS is one of the first brands to use the new feature, they have reached over 20 million users of the VR feature to date across Australia, US and Canada. On average 2 out 3 of the 24 lipstick shades shown have been virtually tried on, this equates to over half a million shades in total. 


Source: Google

What does this mean for businesses?

One of the biggest struggles for beauty brands is being able to push sales online if a user has not physically tried the product on. Having the option to try on beauty products can help convert customers with a try before you buy technique all in the comfort of their own home. For businesses, the accessibility and functionality of virtually trying on beauty products will enable a higher chance for the beauty products to be purchased.  



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