Natural Language Processing

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Google’s search algorithms are constantly evolving, becoming more complex as time goes on. But, its goal continues to remain the same: to provide users with the most relevant, highest quality results.

Keeping up to date with the latest Google updates, trends, and capabilities is important to both your content and SEO strategy. In this blog, we’ll be taking a look at one of Google’s recent advancements, known as NLP. Keep reading to learn what NLP is and how it impacts SEO.

What is NLP?

Natural language processing (NLP) is a processing field of artificial intelligence that enables a computer program to understand human language as it is spoken and written.

Thanks to big data and machine learning, Google is getting really good at understanding websites and their content as well as providing its users with more accurate search results. Why? Because it is using NLP.

NLP isn’t necessarily new to Google. In fact, Google has been collaborating with researchers on NLP research since 2011. NLP was a big component of BERT, introduced in 2019.


  • NLP

The 5 Elements of NLP 

NLP has a lot of moving parts. Let’s take a look at the top five elements of NLP.

1. Sentiment Analysis 

Sentiment analysis involves analyzing the feelings expressed by the text. Using this element of NLP, Google can understand whether the tone of a piece is positive or negative.

2. Syntax Analysis 

Using big data, natural language processing (NLP) can analyze the syntax of your pages to understand things like sentence structure and context.

In addition, NLP is able to determine whether or not a piece of content is well written topically and grammatically. As you might have guessed, this makes it harder for sites to implement black-hat SEO tactics.

3. Content Categorization 

Using NLP, search engines like Google can understand what a piece of content is about to categorize it better and provide users with more relevant search results.

4. Entity Recognition 

NLP’s entity recognition, with the help of big data, is starting to better understand entities like images and videos. Using NLP, Google now can read and understand images, even if they don’t contain alt text. It even has the ability to determine if an image or video is related contextually to a piece of content as well as understand the relationships between entities.

5. Multiple Language Support 

If you utilize different languages on your website, you no longer have to worry about Google understanding your content. Thanks to multiple language support, you no longer need transcriptions on your page. Instead, you can focus on delivering the best content for your users.

How Does NLP Impact SEO?

The expansion of NLP has strong ties with SEO, and there are a few things that marketers should be aware of as NLP continues to grow.

1. Black-hat SEO is donezo.

As mentioned above, NLP has made it more difficult to win with black-hat SEO tactics. With its advanced syntax capabilities, NLP is starting to understand content and context better.

In other words, if you’re still doing things like keyword stuffing or cloaking, you will not rank in the SERPs. So stop wasting time with black-hat SEO.

2. Write for the user, not for search engines.

You’ve heard this time and time again, but now it’s even more important.Using natural language in your content increases your chances of ranking higher for your target keywords.

3. Select images that compliment your content and add value.

As mentioned earlier, NLP can determine what an image or video entails, even if it doesn’t contain alt text. That means it’s time to implement images on your site that actually relates to your content.

Note: Although NLP can read images without alt text, it’s still an SEO best practice to include alt text when optimizing your images.

As NLP continues to advance, new elements are being added, such as automatic speech recognition which Google uses to make sense of voice searches. With the rise of voice search, it’s important that your site is well-optimized for it.

5. Write content that meets search intent.

Another advancement associated with NLP is the ability for Google bots to understand the context of content as it relates to search intent. Before writing a blog post, creating a video, or a landing page, review the search intent of the search query you’re attempting to target. You can do so by using a tool like SEMrush, or by reviewing the SERPs associated with your target term.

Succeed in the SERPs

No matter your industry, the success of today’s businesses relies on their ability to be found online. Implementing a strong, quality SEO strategy benefits a brand and its marketing efforts and is critical to its web presence, especially within competitive markets. If you’re looking to grow your business, contact SMA Marketing today. Our team of SEO specialists has the skills and knowledge to drive the right organic traffic to your website.

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