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In Google News - TribeTalk EP 20

Last Updated April 27, 2021

Check out this TribeTalk from our Marketing Specialist, Kathryn Betancourt chatting with our Growth Specialists, Dan Abubakar and Ashley Williams. 

Major Google Algorithm Change 

Google's latest algorithm change is expected to affect 10% of all search results. The new algorithm is called BERT, which stands for  "bidirectional encoder representations from transformers." (We think BERT is a lot easier to remember…)

One example from Google's announcement: 

“Here’s a search for ‘2019 brazil traveler to usa need a visa.’ The word 'to' and its relationship to the other words in the query are particularly important to understanding the meaning. It’s about a Brazilian traveling to the U.S., and not the other way around. Previously, our algorithms wouldn't understand the importance of this connection, and we returned results about U.S. citizens traveling to Brazil. With BERT, Search is able to grasp this nuance and know that the very common word 'to' actually matters a lot here, and we can provide a much more relevant result for this query.”


The same search query, yet very different results that seem to give a more human return. We recommend watching for any changes to your search rankings as Google begins rolling this out. 

New Legislation To Disclose Algorithms 

Although we get a glimpse into some search engine algorithms, there are still things kept in secret. Now there is proposed legislation to require search engines to disclose algorithms. 

This is a new Senate bill that is aimed to give users of search engines more control over personal data. If passed, the bill will also give users an option for unfiltered searches, which could affect the way advertisers are able to target based on search history, location, etc. Leaving us asking….


Phrase and Broad Match Modifiers Close Variants 

As machine learning progresses the days of targeting specific keywords may be coming to a close. Phrase match and broad match modifier will begin to match queries with the same meaning. 

Broad match modifier keywords are those that can match to queries in any word order. This has included misspellings, singular or plural, abbreviations, etc. Now, it will also include “same meaning” queries. Google provided the example below. 


Phrase Match also can now show on the same meaning queries. See the example below. 


Google is making a change to its keyword selection preferences to keep keywords that match to a query from competing against each other. See the quote from Google below. 

“If a query currently matches to an exact, phrase, or broad match modifier keyword that exists in your account, we’ll prevent that query from matching to a different phrase or broad match modifier keyword that’s now eligible for the same auction as a result of this update.” 

This may result in a slightly higher volume of clicks (3-4%). As we mentioned with the BERT algorithm change, we recommend monitoring performance and also adding negatives.

Lead Form Extensions

Google’s rolling out Lead Form Extensions to help you connect with your customers faster. When users click the lead form extension Google will even auto-fill their information making the process simpler for users, meaning more leads for you. Check out the example below. 


Based on how we’ve seen this play out on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, we have questions about the quality of leads this will produce, but definitely recommend testing it out to see what kind of results it produces for your business.

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