Google recently announced some algorithm shifts, and we want to tell you what those updates will likely mean for your property management company.

The Latest Google Algorithm Updates

We can always expect Google to make algorithm updates every now and then.

In fact, they do it several times a year, and they don’t always announce that it’s happening. Google wants to maintain their advantage over bad digital actors and continue improving the way search results are delivered to users.

BERT: Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers

One of the most recent updates was implemented in October of 2019, and it’s called BERT. This stands for bidirectional encoder representations from transformers.

BERT is a better way for Google to understand the context of any search queries that are made. Instead of just looking at keywords, Google is now considering entire sentences and nuanced language.

Google announced BERT as one of the most comprehensive changes they’ve made in the last five years, and it will impact one search in every 10.

Before Google welcomed BERT, it couldn’t manage to grasp context and prepositions like at, with, and for. These words will change sentence meanings for human beings, so now the search engine will do a better job understanding word relationships. It means that keywords won’t be the only things making an impact in the search results you receive.

What Google Saw Before BERT:
Example of Google before BERT

What Google Sees After BERT:
Example of Google after BERT

This is a big change because now, Google understands the intent of the searcher and not just the keywords.

Google Local Search Results & Neural Matching

Right after the BERT update, Google announced that it would roll out neural matching for Google local search results. Neural matching is like a super synonym system. It’s meant to help Google connect words to concepts better.

Before this update, businesses might have had an unfair advantage in local Google searches if they happened to have keywords in their business name. That hurt search results and made them less reliable. Now that Google has made it easier for the algorithm to understand the concept being searched rather than a specific keyword, it can deliver search results that are most relevant to the search query instead of matching keyword to keyword.

Google can now do a better job of going beyond the literal name and actual words in a description of a Google My Business page when looking at whether or not to rank it for a certain search term.

Core Update for January 2020

The latest update from Google is recent, and they’re referring to it as the January 2020 Core Update. When they update the core algorithm, it means worldwide for all searches. They don’t provide much information about what they changed, but it’s quite likely related to the first two updates that were mentioned earlier.

What Google’s 2020 Updates Mean for Property Managers

As a property manager, what does it mean for your company?

If you see your search ranking start to drop, don’t panic! Google has said it will take a few weeks for things to settle, and that some changes in ranking is normal. Drastic changes to these small fluctuations can be more harmful than helpful in the long run.

Google has repeatedly mentioned the way to success, in light of all the changes, is to focus on the fundamentals. Lucky for you, we’ve got a blog series coming out soon that will cover Google marketing basics, so keep an eye out for that!

If you’re an existing client of Fourandhalf and you are unsure about how these new changes will affect you, let’s take a look at where you stand. If you do not have anyone taking care of this for you, contact us at Fourandhalf with any questions you may have. Let’s get you set up with a superior marketing strategy with Google’s 2020 updates in mind.