Numrange, BERT, and Natural Intelligence

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There are two significant recent developments in Google’s algorithm.

[1] Google’s Operator Numrange is back!

Numrange seems to be working. (Knock on wood!)

[2] BERT – Search Naturally

The latest Google’s algorithm change, BERT, affects a serious 10% of all queries. Google is now paying attention to “insignificant”, short words, that it had previously ignored as “stop words”. It is noticing words like “at”, “to”, “as”, “if” where they create meaning (try sf to nyc). With BERT, Google’s search is becoming even more semantic and less formal, database-like. (For those wanting “database-like” search experience, Google keeps its Verbatim option).

What BERT tells us is to search natural-language-like, especially if we have a short question. For example, start a query with “what is”, “how many”, “top companies in”, “competitors of”, etc.

BERT (as part of other semantic-oriented changes) teaches us to be friends with working, evolving semantic search systems like Google’s. For better results on Google, search as simple as possible. It’s better to take advantage of machine-learned capabilities vs. suppress search interpretation by using long OR strings or Boolean Builders. Of course, any serious practitioner will use advanced operators, but using ORs is outdated (I mean it).

There are no textbooks on writing useful Google queries. It’s someone’s “natural intelligence” that matters in developing the “search” skill.

Join us for a webinar “Sourcing with Natural Intelligence” on Tuesday, November 12th, where we’ll share the important thinking patterns and multiple concrete examples of this (most) productive Sourcing approach.

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  1. Pingback: The Full List of Google Advanced Search Operators | Boolean Strings

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