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Optimising for BERT

This week there was a major update to the way Google serve results but the SEO community have been re
Optimising for BERT
By Ross • Issue #2 • View online
This week there was a major update to the way Google serve results but the SEO community have been relatively chilled about it as there has been no real casualties from the update despite it affecting 10% of queries.
Here is this weeks Google Slide deck with all the news as well as some short tutorials. Share it with your team to keep them up to date with the algorithm changes and SERP movements every week.
In the news
You can tell BERT is a big deal for Google as it made it’s way to “normal people” news with publications like Techcrunch covering the story.
BERT uses natural language processing and machine learning to serve better answers to more nuanced queries.
And because it uses NLP and ML you CAN’T really optimise for it. However, you can use Google’s own NLP API to analyse your own content and build it into your content creation work flow.
Here is a Google Sheet I made that uses NLP API to analyse text and compare it to search console data. Just go to Tools > Scripts to and add your API key. Here is the companion SEMrush weekly wisdom video to show you how it works.
Screaming Frog also had an update that the speed demons are going to love as you can now do lighthouse speed audits at scale and filter through by issue. My other personal favourite is the ability to do 100 custom extractions at once. Scrape all the things!
Events
This week I was hosting the London leg of the #GlobalMarketingDay with SEMrush. You can access the full 24 hour steam (it’s a beast) on the official site.
London SEO Event
For London SEOs the next Take it Offline event is happening on the 6th of November with the title SEO & Digital Disaster Therapy which is going to be a roundtable event where we are going to trouble shoot any issues people are having. Full details and tickets here.
Some Cool Stuff From SEO Twitter

SEMrush
#GlobalMarketingDay It's done! What an incredible 24hrs. https://t.co/Etq7qF2kxL
5:02 PM - 30 Oct 2019
Dawn Anderson
There's actually loads of stuff out there already. People only have to go and explore. This one is useful -> https://t.co/NzqRw42re9 https://t.co/cJ3zabXXs8
1:35 PM - 31 Oct 2019
Lily Ray
Just figured out how to enable targetText on Chrome:

1. in Chrome address bar, type chrome://flags/

2. type "text fragment" in search flags box

3. hit "enabled" next to text fragment anchor

4. relaunch Chrome

5. create cool URLs like these & highlight targeted text on page https://t.co/Ckemfrwj4U
8:39 AM - 28 Oct 2019
Philipp Kloeckner
I saw an SEO today
No own podcast
No hear me speak at X conferences
No selfies with Googlers
He just sat there.
Increasing websites' organic traffic.
Like a psychopath.
8:51 PM - 30 Oct 2019
This Agency Life
This week we have been pitching our little faces off as more people contact us with their left over Q4 budgets that haven’t yet been spent.
As we are now growing a little bit too big for an all hands standup every morning we’ve updated the agency structure into account teams and removed the concept of departments.
Splitting agency resources into client teams means we can keep growing without affecting the quality of output for our current client base. As the account teams start to work independently of one another, we create ‘mini agencies’ inside Type A should lead to more innovation as they start competing and sharing insights from their accounts.
Tech I am Enjoying
I recently bought a Kindle Paperwhite so I could start to read more books instead of mindlessly scrolling through social feeds. So far I am loving it.
I “share to Kindle” on all my devices so I can save blog posts and Google patents and read them like a morning paper on the Kindle.
This week I’ve read:
I heard a great podcast too:
A great management and leadership podcast with Tim Ferris and Ben Horowitz

This Weeks Canonical Chronicle
How to Optimise for the Google BERT algorithm update? | Canonical Chronicle
How to Optimise for the Google BERT algorithm update? | Canonical Chronicle
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Ross
By Ross

Hey Guys, I'm Ross, managing director at Type A Media, a search agency based in London. Welcome to the Canonical Chronicle newsletter. I'll be updating you every week with the latest big moves from Google as well as providing some insights into some of the things I have learned running a digital agency.

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