Google BERT and its impact on marketing and SEO

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Today’s topic is BERT, which is Google’s neural network-based technique for natural language processing pre-training. BERT stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers.


Quite simply, Google has found a way to understand user intent through the nuances and context of words in searches. For example, if your search parameters included the word “for” and the word “and,” BERT is now able to better understand the context of that entire string of words typed into the search bar. Prior to this algorithm update, only strong keywords were picked up so your search results may have included information not pertinent to your search.

Basically, there are three types of Google searches: Informational, Navigational, and Transactional. Informational is HOW, Navigational is WHERE, and Transactional is BUY. And according to Google, BERT primarily affects informational searches, which are most of the searches conducted on the internet.

Worried about BERT? You shouldn’t be. Just focus on creating more relevant and useful content, revisit how your site captures informational searches, and make more video content. Oh, and continue E-A-T-ing – make sure your website and social media exude Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

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Since almost all marketers believe that search engine optimization is extremely important, recent improvements and changes to the search engines’ algorithms have proven difficult for marketing experts and marketing agencies and their SEO strategies.

In fact, with the new Google update, BERT, it seems that marketers will need to adapt their strategies in order to stay competitive in the digital marketing world.

But what is Google BERT and will it have an impact on SEO?

What is the BERT algorithm?

Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) is a deep-learning algorithm related to natural language processing. It will help machines understand what the words in sentences mean with all the nuances of context and will help Google understand natural language text from the Web.

Some experts believe that BERT is the answer to the growing adoption of voice-enabled devices and may be one step closer to understanding and leveraging search intent.

Major improvements

One benefit that Google BERT provides is improving how Google understands search queries since BERT refined results for voice searches, which is more vital than ever as more people use artificial intelligence (AI) assistants – like Siri and Alexa – every day.

Another benefit of Google BERT is that it forces businesses to make quality content since it will now look for content that answers a question or query fully. It may challenge the notion that more content is better, allowing Google to choose the best results for any query a person can make.

How does BERT affect SEO?

Although no web site could have prepared for BERT, it is possible that it won’t majorly impact most sites. In fact, the companies that will be most affected are the ones that have been publishing irrelevant content, targeting unrelated keywords, have a multilingual web presence, or have started leveraging voice-enabled devices.

More than ever, your content will need to have greater relevance for particular keywords in order to get web traffic.

As aforementioned, digital marketing agencies will have to incorporate strategies that optimize SEO for voice devices. The implementation of long-tail keywords will be extremely important because people phrase queries and questions differently when speaking, and it’s vital to capture those words as well.

While some experts believe that translating English sites into other languages will still be effective, creating original content in other languages that answer multilingual users’ questions will be more impactful.

Additionally, websites won’t be able to just create any type of content and get credit for it anymore. BERT will now help Google better understand the intention behind every query so only the websites with the most unique, relevant content will rank, not the ones that target keywords just to get traffic.

In short, while BERT will bring certain changes to the specifics of SEO, one thing remains true: publishing quality and unique content that is relevant to your audience is still one of the best digital marketing strategies you can do.

If you have questions about your marketing needs, then Venerate Media Group is your answer. We will make sure you have the best marketing strategy to generate leads and help you become a top competitor in your industry. Call us today at (888) 486-4130.