The Internet’s favorite search engine recently had a major update, although you most likely didn’t notice. The tech giant was first known for its search engine and has since moved on to hardware.Google does not often publicly speak about Search, but recently, the company has revealed an updated algorithm that aims to improve your search experience.
The new algorithm, Bert, which stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, uses machine learning and math modeling to produce better answers to complex questions. Bert is meant to help in voice and text search commands sent in Google Assistant.
Here is an example of an improvement implementing Bert:
Take the search for “do estheticians stand a lot at work.” Searches like these have long proved difficult for a computer to parse, because “stand” carries multiple meanings, and “at work” is essentially slang. Under Google’s old system, the top search result bordered on irrelevant: It was a local newspaper article on free-standing beauty schools.[…]
Indeed, in the estheticism example, the new system produced a highly relevant result on the physical demands of such jobs.
Bert is designed to find exactly the answer you are looking for, which in this case is “do estheticians stand a lot at work”. However, this might not always work. Bert can overthink and provide another result such as:
The search “What is south of the state of Nebraska?” Google’s old algorithm came close to the right answer, but Bert overthinks it, serving up a link to the tiny community of South Nebraska, Florida.
Based on how questions are asked, and how Bert will answer them will cause some users not to notice any improvements. Bert is currently being added across all Google platforms.
Google has recently faced criticism over Search. Users claim that Google’s attempt to provide certain results to search queries is an attempt to keep users on Google’s pages instead of other sites with the answers users are looking for. Google claims Bert is expected to improve search results and lead users to the correct pages with the search results they are looking for.
Bert is also set to be implemented on Google’s advertising platform.