NIX Solutions reports: John Mueller on the BERT Algorithm, Link Rejection and Content Quality

Well-known SEO expert Marie Haynes conducted an interview with Google employee John Mueller. The conversation took place as part of the next issue of the Search News You Can Use podcast, which was released on June 3. Together with SearchEngines, NIX Solutions presents the summary.

During the interview, Mueller answered a number of questions related to SEO. Below we will consider some of them.

  • Does Google use the BERT algorithm to determine the quality of content?

No, it does not. According to Mueller, BERT helps Google better understand various content (sentences, requests, entities), but it does not evaluate its quality.

At the same time, BERT may intersect with quality if people write in such a way that it cannot understand what is at stake. But this is not connected with the decision on quality, BERT just can not understand what this content is about.

  • Link rejection

Mueller also answered several questions related to link rejection and the use of the appropriate tool in the Google Search Console.

According to Mueller, there are two situations where link rejection makes sense in the absence of manual sanctions:

  1. If the owner of the site is sure that they will receive manual sanctions based on previously received unnatural links;
  2. If the owner of the site really does not know what Google’s algorithms will do, and wants to protect themselves.

When asked if algorithmic improvements are possible after link rejection (in the absence of manual sanctions), Mueller replied that this is very rare. Therefore, we should not expect changes in visibility as a result of link rejection in this case.

  • Content quality

One part of the interview was also devoted to the quality of the content.

According to Mueller, in terms of quality, it’s important to know that not all pages are equally important to Google. Therefore, it’s important for website owners to check the URLs that receive impressions and clicks on Google.

If Google ignores certain pages (for example, if a large amount of so-called “thin” content is generated on a site), then these pages are less priority for improvement work. However, they can affect the crawl budget (this applies to larger sites).

In general, if you see that Google directs traffic to those pages that are not high-quality or not very relevant, then you can take measures (add the noindex attribute, configure the server response code 404, etc.). It’s important to ensure that Google indexes the highest quality site content.