Digital Marketing

Google BERT Algorithm Update: What Is It?

In October 2019, Google released the latest and greatest algorithm update since RankBrain – BERT. So what exactly is BERT and is it important to your SEO?

BERT – Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers – is a neural network based natural language processing technique and provides the ability to better understand the full context of your query by looking at all the words in your search. Google has developed new software and hardware to make this update better serve your search results and help you dig deeper into the relevant information you’re looking for.

Google said, “With the latest advances in the science of language understanding from our research team made possible by machine learning, we are vastly improving the understanding of queries. This is the greatest advance in the past five years, one of the greatest leaps in the history of search. ”

Google BERT update: what is it?

The search giant understood that through the billions of searches they received every day, people were looking for questions that they normally wouldn’t ask. say – in a daily conversation. Rather, people focused their questions on what they thought Google would best understand. With BERT, you now have the option to search in a way that feels natural to you, instead of searching in a way that you think Google or a robot would best understand.

For conversational queries and long-tail keywords where prepositions like “for” and “to” are influential words, Google – or rather BERT – can understand the context of the words in your search. BERT models have the ability to recognize that a word as simple as “too” is very important.

Google systems previously matched search terms with keywords on a page, but BERT models understand words in various use cases. For example, before the release of BERT, Google tested and tested and found that a search for “Stand Alone At Work” matches a page with “Stand Alone” in the copy, simply because the word “Stand” was present . The SERP was not relevant for the query. BERT now recognizes that “Stand” was used in a different context.

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Does the Google BERT update have any impact on your SEO? You shouldn’t have seen too many changes in the SEO changes while BERT was introduced like in previous Google algorithm updates. Danny Sullivan from Google said not to optimize for BERT. Keep creating content and tweaking it for people and their natural issues.

BERT models are applied to the rank and affect selected snippets. Google says, “BERT will help Search better understand 1 in 10 searches in the US in English, and we’ll move that across more languages ​​and locales over time.”

The consequences of BERT

Following the release of BERT, B2C companies, including AT&T, found that high volume head terms supported their ranking. However, they were no longer ranked for solution pages, but for information pages. Because of this, BERT has changed the content strategy for digital marketers. Rather than creating content related to a consumer’s sales, digital marketers must first and foremost define the topic they are looking for.


The aim of BERT is to determine what exactly the user is asking for, so that Google can serve a searcher with the most relevant results pages. Below are various search use cases for the “Rose” keyword. “What is a rose?” Showed pages of results for what a rose flower is. Here, Google used natural language processing and assumed that this search asked for general information about what a rose is.

Google BERT sample

Then you can see that “What is rose?” Led to information about the rosé wine rosé. This is where Google took a search for the wine and provided insights all over the front page of the pink wine, how it’s made, where it’s from, why it’s recently become so popular, and more.

Natural language processing BERT

You can see below that “Define Rose” produced several different pages of results. In addition to being a flower, a wine variety, and a name, rose is also a verb. Searching for “define rose” wasn’t as sure as the above and offers multiple definitions for “rose” to answer a number of searches.

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Tracking of BERT changes

It’s difficult to keep track of whether BERT affects your website ranks a It may or may not have worked, but it is possible to see your ranking content keep changing over time.

Data Cube provides monthly documentation to report on shifts in keyword rankings. You can track keywords in Keyword Reporting week after week to see which keywords are ranking for your pages. There you can see how the content works and what kind of content your website is ranking for. Is it what is, who is, what is content? When ranking glossary and FAQ pages, consider creating a content plan with even more informational content for your website.

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