Google’s John Mueller answered a question about what to do to optimize for the BERT algorithm. Google has maintained that there is “nothing to optimize for.” Mueller offered a more nuanced answer that offered a little more information to publishers who are concerned about BERT.
The BERT algorithm is a way to understand text. So rather than analyzing text in the sense of matching keywords, BERT helps Google understand the topics and concepts behind sentences, paragraphs and search queries.
So it’s kind of like the difference between matching words and understanding words.
Google’s blog post explanation, Understanding Searches Better than Ever Before , arguably falls short for publishers and those in the search community. Google’s post was written as an explanation to users of Google’s search engine and not so much for publishers.
How to Optimize for BERT?
Danny Sullivan suggested to the SEO community that there was nothing to optimize for other than to write content for users.
There’s nothing to optimize for with BERT, nor anything for anyone to be rethinking. The fundamentals of us seeking to reward great content remain unchanged.
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) October 28, 2019
Google’s John Mueller expanded on Danny’s advice. He doesn’t contradict Danny but rather gives more details.
The question posed to John Mueller was:
Will you tell me about the Google BERT Update? Which types of work can I do on SEO according to the BERT algorithms?
Mueller began his explanation by relating what the purpose of the BERT algorithm is:
I would primarily recommend taking a look at the blog post that we did around this particular change.
In particular, what we’re trying to do with these changes is to better understand text.
Which on the one hand means better understanding the questions or the queries that people send us.
And on the other hand better understanding the text on a page.
The queries are not really something that you can influence that much as an SEO.
John then offered his explanation on what a publisher can do with text content:
The text on the page is something that you can influence. Our recommendation there is essentially to write naturally.
So it seems kind of obvious but a lot of these algorithms try to understand natural text and they try to better understand like what topics is this page about.
What special attributes do we need to watch out for and that would allow use to better match the query that someone is asking us with your specific page.
So, if anything, there’s anything that you can do to kind of optimize for BERT, it’s essentially to make sure that your pages have natural text on them…
Mueller then began to say something but stops before he completes his sentence:
“..and that they’re not written in a way that…”
Mueller stops for a second, takes a breath, then appears to not finish the above thought. He then begins a new sentence:
“Kind of like a normal human would be able to understand. So instead of stuffing keywords as much as possible, kind of write naturally.”
I saw a Facebook post the other day where someone related his opinion that fixing algorithm updates often comes down to fixing issues with authority and relevance. I agree with that observation 100% because that’s been my experience for the past several years.
Most of the major algorithm updates where Google tells us what changed revolves around relevance. BERT, Rank Brain and Neural Matching were all about understanding language and that is all about relevance. They all touch on understanding what text means.
Yet according to Google there’s nothing to optimize for other than writing naturally. One takeaway that I find interesting is that John Mueller cautioned against keyword stuffing.
I know some will respond to Mueller’s advice with smug eye rolls as they reach for another keyword to SEO with.
But I’ve been doing SEO for twenty years and in my opinion what Mueller said has some deeper implications, particularly to those who have lost rankings in recent updates.
In my work providing solutions for clients that lost rankings, a common issue is the one about relevance. Relevance becomes an issue because so many publishers tend to focus too hard on keywords and not enough on relevance signals.
Watch the Google Webmaster Hangout here:
Saving the dinosaurs: Startups drive to electrify fossil-fuel cars
You can save your prized Aston Martin DB6, Porsche 911 or Mustang from the museum of combustion engine history. Or your Fiat 500 and Renault Clio, for that matter.
That’s the message from a growing cohort of European and American startups seeking to carve out roles in the auto transition by converting the roaring dinosaurs of the fossil-fuel age into clean electric vehicles (EVs).
At the high end, companies like Britain’s Lunaz sell a “remanufactured” Aston Martin DB6 for 1 million pounds ($1.3 million), or Dutch firm Voitures Extravert, which sells a reengineered 1960s Porsche 911 for 300,000 euros ($337,000).
At the lower end, startups like France’s Transition-One have developed no-frills kits designed to electrify mass-market models like the Fiat 500 and Renault Clio in a few hours for about 8,000 euros. They are betting they can provide drivers with a cheaper and greener road to zero emissions than scrapping their car and buying a new one.
EV conversion is a cottage industry that’s emerged over the past five years, and been turbo-charged by advances in battery technology and electric motors in the past two. The market is largely untested, and several industry players interviewed by Reuters described an exciting, if precarious, scene.
“It’s pretty revolutionary at the moment,” said Mark Roberts, a 30-year McLaren veteran who is now chief creative officer at British startup Charge Cars. “Almost every month there are new companies popping up and you don’t know who’ll fade away after a year or so or who’ll be there for the duration.”
Next year Charge Cars will launch production of 499 electric versions of 1960s Mustangs, built from the ground up using car bodies produced under license from Ford and starting at 300,000 pounds apiece. The company, which initially set out to convert classic cars, has spent five years developing an electric replica model instead.
“Traditional manufacturers like Porsche can afford to screw up,” says CEO Vadim Shageleev. “We’re a startup, so we can’t.”
Established startups like his have attracted attention from traditional auto suppliers and manufacturers seeking technical input as they transition to electric – Michelin, for instance, has partnered with Charge Cars to test new technologies.
But there may be little room for error as a host of new EV conversion startups strive for scale to help them weather the increasing regulatory standards and costs that have begun to be introduced in countries like France.
“New regulations will wipe out a lot of smaller players because they won’t be in position to meet the standards,” said Chris Hazell, founder of Britain’s Zero EV, another startup working on mass-producing conversion kits for Porsche 964s and other classic models. His company will expand to the United States next year.
CLASSIC TO GARBAGE
There are various proposed routes to scale.
Lunaz, for example, sees classic cars like the Aston Martin DB6 as a good start.
The three-year-old company and its competitors at this end of the EV conversion industry aim to capitalise on the world’s large population of classic vehicles, with an estimated 5 million in the United States alone.
Lunaz typically buys a classic car on the open market or takes a customer’s existing vehicle, strips it down to the bare metal, rebuilds it, gives it a fresh paint job, new interior and an electric drive system and software with a range of about 250 miles.
But Lunaz sees its future in commercial vehicles, and is building a new factory at Silverstone in central England, home to the British Grand Prix, to convert more than 1,000 diesel garbage trucks a year into upgraded electric models.
“Classic cars were the lightning rod to get us to market,” founder David Lorenz said. “But if you want to have a real impact, you’ve got to have scale.”
Lorenz told Reuters the company was scoping out sites for a U.S. plant and one in continental Europe, and was considering going public within a few years.
‘THROW THESE CARS AWAY?’
In France, by comparison, the race is heating up among mass-market converters who spy an opportunity in the country’s anti-road pollution plans, which outpace much of Europe.
All diesels older than 2011 will be banned in large cities from the start of 2025, affecting millions of car owners. Paris wants to go faster and implement the ban from 2024.
New vehicle retrofitting laws introduced in the country last year, which startups say require government testing of about 100,000 euros per generic model to be converted, have intensified the need for scale.
Orleans-based converter Transition-One plans to start selling conversion kits for six models including the popular Fiat 500 and Renault Clio for those diesel owners who cannot afford a new EV. The kits consist of battery, electric motor, power electronics, and new instrument cluster, and typically have a range of about 140 km.
The cost to customers could be close to 5,000 euros including government subsidies, said CEO Aymeric Libeau, who said he aimed to produce kits “at scale” next year, having waited for the retrofitting laws to materialise, with the gear to be installed by independent mechanics certified by Transition-One.
Arnaud Pigounides, CEO of Paris-based REV Mobilities, estimates converting a car to electric cuts emissions 60% versus scrapping an old vehicle and producing a new one, in a country home to around 40 million passenger cars.
Pigounides said his company, which offers to convert a range of cars and commercial vans for around half the price of a new vehicle, has orders to convert 370 cars and 1,500 vans.
“The big question is: do we throw all those cars away or do we convert them?” he added.
‘HOW DO WE DO 10,000?’
Chris Pateman-Jones, CEO of British vehicle charging company Connected Kerb, said only “mass market” options in the EV conversion industry could make a real difference to the environment, rather than classic cars.
“The cost of producing a new car is huge, so if you can reuse what’s there it’s a fantastic idea,” he said. “But the challenge is doing it at sufficient scale to actually have a meaningful impact.”
For four-year-old startup Electrogenic, based down the road from Lunaz, the plan to reach significant size is to tap into rural Britain’s four-wheel drive market, specifically the Land Rover Defenders popular among farmers.
Co-founder Steve Drummond said the company was developing a kit for old Land Rover Defenders for 20,000 pounds that local mechanics can install. He added that Britain’s 36,000 farms need four-wheel drive EVs but there are no equivalent new models on the market.
Across the world in California, meanwhile, Zero Labs is aware of the limits of its current business performing electric “restomods” to rebuild classic Ford Broncos and Land Rovers.
The company’s vehicles start at $350,000, but it can only convert around 50 a year – so it is developing electric platforms that licensed auto shops can use to convert classic cars.
“We asked ourselves how do we do 10,000 a year?” CEO Adam Roe said. “Our platforms are going to be our scale product.”
(Reporting By Nick Carey; Additional reporting by Gilles Guillaume in Paris; Editing by Pravin Char)
Apple tells suppliers demand for iPhone 13 lineup has weakened – Bloomberg News
Apple Inc has told its component suppliers that demand for the iPhone 13 lineup has slowed, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter, signaling that some consumers have decided against trying to get the hard-to-find item.
(Reporting by Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)
Apple may have a problem with iPhone demand as well as supply – The Verge
Apple is indicating to its iPhone 13 component suppliers that it may not order as many units as expected due to a drop in demand, according to a report in Bloomberg.
While the company had already cut orders for the year to 80 million — down from a target of 90 million — it was reportedly planning to make up for much of the drop next year. Now, though, Apple is said to have told manufacturing partners that this may not happen and they might not see the expected boost in orders.
Like almost every other technology company, Apple has been dealing with supply issues brought on by the global semiconductor shortage. CEO Tim Cook said the company’s last quarterly earnings took an estimated $6 billion hit due to the shortage as well as the impact of COVID-19 on manufacturing in Southeast Asia, and Apple was expecting an even bigger impact on this current holiday quarter.
If Bloomberg’s report is accurate, though, it suggests that the iPhone 13 range might not meet Apple’s initial expectations even without the supply crunch. The original plan to assemble 90 million units for 2021 reflected a forecast of increased demand, as Apple usually orders around 75 million iPhones for the year of each launch.
Turkey’s Erdogan replaces finance minister amid economic turmoil – Aljazeera.com
House prices in Canada will rise higher in 2022, real-estate report says – CTV News
Is it time for Anwar Ibrahim to step aside? – Aljazeera.com
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Europe kicks off vaccination programs | All media content | DW | 27.12.2020 – Deutsche Welle
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
News13 hours ago
Middle Class are Under Siege in Canada
News12 hours ago
Super Powers Addiction to Opium
Politics24 hours ago
Study: Politics Outweighed COVID Severity in Reopening Decisions – Inside Higher Ed
Health16 hours ago
COVID-19 vaccine rolls out for children under 12 – Yahoo News Canada
Health13 hours ago
How HIV research paved the way for the Covid mRNA vaccines – CNBC
Health21 hours ago
Omicron could threaten COVID-19 immunity — but we're not going back to 'square one' – CBC.ca
Science8 hours ago
Arctic could see more rain than snow in 30 years, study suggests – Eye on the Arctic
Media14 hours ago
Facebook whistleblower Haugen urges lawmakers to avert impasse on social media laws – NBC News