All You Need to Know About the BERT Algorithm Update

Posted - November 26, 2019

When your search engine optimization (SEO) progress is unexpectedly reversed and your rankings plummet, it could be because of a Google algorithm update that’s shifted how the search engine ranks sites.  BERT is Google’s most recent update, focused on artificial intelligence. It’s turning heads—and it should! Google says that BERT is the most important algorithm update in five years, and it will have a massive impact on search results. So, let’s take a look at this game-changing update and how you can adjust your on-page SEO to roll with the punches and stay on top of Google’s search results.

What is the BERT Algorithm Update?

BERT stands for “Bidirectional Encoder Representation from Transformers”. Now, we may be a team of digital marketing experts, but sometimes the tech jargon even goes over our heads! So, let’s get our answer from the source! According to Google, the BERT update is in place to help its search engine better understand the nuances and context of words used in searches. This deeper understanding helps provide even more relevant results to user search queries.

Context Matters!

As in any conversation, the context of what we say matters! There are so many homonyms in the English language that change meaning based on the context of how they’re used.  For example, a search for “How to get engaged” could bring up results that could range from dating advice to how to pay attention during a lecture at school.  Before BERT, users wanting specific results had to search with specific keywords. Now, however, Google is making strides to think like a human and understand what someone is searching for no matter how they phrase their query (right down to the preposition).

Context and Content

How Does This Update Affect SEO?

Google is slowly rolling out this update, so it’s currently only impacting one in ten searches. That means that most websites haven’t yet seen major changes in their analytics.  The update is on its way, though, so sites that spam users with keywords to “game the system” should be aware. Creative content is no longer going to rank well if it’s solely written for search engines. Remember, Google wants to interpret sites and queries as naturally as possible, so your website content matters now more than ever. Keep some of these notes in mind when measuring your site’s content with Google’s newest standard.

Keep it Natural to Stay Relevant

No matter how original your site’s content is, you must create it with the intent to connect with humans! Today, as Google crawls your site, it will understand content just as a human visitor would. Stuffing in awkward phrasing to appease the Google gods isn’t the natural way to write. That’s why we’ve always approached our client’s content with a conversational tone.  User-friendly content is the goal, so review your site with your visitors in mind and truly ask yourself if what you’ve got is for your target audience’s benefit, or Google’s.

Get Specific With Your Content

You could have the longest posts on the internet, using all of the right keywords and still miss the mark of gaining an audience’s attention⁠—and trust. One of the easiest ways to gain trust or authority is to create content that:

  • Focuses on a specific topic
  • Answers searcher questions quickly
  • Gives users more value than your competition
Valuable Content

Explore the Horizons of Algorithm Updates With Dallas SEO Dogs

We can’t say that there is a sure-fire way to “beat” BERT, but it’s always good to review your site’s SEO and try new strategies when the search landscape changes. Dallas SEO Dogs helps clients navigate Google changes and gives them the advice and optimization their site needs to continue the climb to the top during search queries.  We are ready to get to know your brand and connect it with the audience you created it for. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with one of our SEO experts.