For SEO experts, issues with the changes in a website could be the start of an error or issue with part of the website. However, sometimes these issues are the result of updates and changes in the system that affect the overall SEO landscape. At the end of November, one of these errors were noted, and many thought that the issue was due to mistakes in the system. However, it’s come to light that these errors were the start of a new algorithm being used by Google to handle certain query results.
At the beginning of November, Google began a test that uses a new algorithm to help U.S. websites make sense of certain queries that use neural matching for certain queries. The title may sound unwieldy, but the results are hard to ignore. Speaking through the Google Search Liaison Twitter account, Google stated they were “making use of neural matching as part of the process of generating local search results.”
According to Google, “Neural matching is an AI-based system Google began using in 2018 primarily to understand how words are related to concepts. It’s like a super-synonym system. Synonyms are words that are closely related to other words.”
Neural matching is being considered the November SEO update for the month. SEO experts like to have something to call the latest updates. At times, Google opposes this tendency of SEO experts to name things, but this interpretation is the official stand at Google. Speaking again through the Google Search Liaison Twitter account (which Google did a lot of this month), the company stated, “Neural matching in local search — which we call the Nov. 2019 Local Search Update — has now fully rolled out. However, as with web search, results can change as there are smaller updates that happen all the time, as well as content itself that constantly changes.”
According to Google, “The use of neural matching means that Google can do a better job going beyond the exact words in business name or description to understand conceptually how it might be related to the words searchers use and their intents.”
It’s important to remember that these changes don’t necessarily mean that SEO is changing and that everything needs to be tossed out with the bathwater. Just like with the BERT update and other changes, these systems are better ways for search engine users to get the results they want, even when they’re working with terms that are similar to the ones you want to use in search.
SEO experts have to remember that there isn’t a single algorithm that will control the entire SEO landscape. There will be plenty of times when different algorithms with slight differences will be used to determine what the best search result is for a particular situation. If nothing else, these new updates will eliminate the need for searching for synonyms and other terms to use when a certain term becomes too overused for some uses.
For more recent news about the neural matching and how it can affect the SEO results on certain results, you can see how the BERT language will affect certain SEO results.