On Friday, Google announced its “biggest leap forward” in years to its search algorithm as it offered a detailed public explanation of its secret formula, which in many ways was a rather unusual occurrence.
In a statement, Google search vice president Pandu Nayak said: “We’re making a significant improvement to how we understand queries, representing the biggest leap forward in the past five years, and one of the biggest leaps forward in the history of search.”
Explaining the jargon:
Googleinformed that its new effort will be based on what it says Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT), and this attempt to understand query words which blend in perfectly with the context of the sentence for which it is used.
Nayak explains:“By applying BERT models to both ranking and featured snippets in search, we’re able to do a much better job helping you find useful information.”
“In fact, when it comes to ranking results, BERT will help search better understand one in 10 searches in the US in English.”
Over the course of time, Google has planned to spread the improvement to more languages and locations.
“Previously, our algorithms wouldn’t understand the importance of this connection, and we returned results about US citizens travelling to Brazil,” Nayak said.
“With BERT, search is able to grasp this nuance and know that the very common word ‘to’ actually matter a lot here and we can provide a much more relevant result for this query.”