All you need to know about Google’s BERT update

google bert update

On October 25, Google released its much anticipated algorithm updated namely BERT. Hailed as one of the major milestones in the search engine history, BERT (bidirectional encoder representation from transformers) is speculated to be a disruptive force. 

At the core of this new update is Google’s new technology BERT that the search engine giant introduced last year. BERT stands for bidirectional encoder representation from transformers. Here, transformers refers to models that interpret the meaning of conjoining words in relation to each other. 

This means that now Google can understand the proper context and meaning of a search query by interpreting the correlation of words and offer better search results. It is a huge bonus of users and will go a long way in establishing user’s trust and greater brand value.

What exactly is the BERT algorithm?

BERT is Google’s premium deep learning algorithm related to natural language processing. By using BERT algorithm, Google can understand search queries better as BERT is capable of deciphering the exact meaning and context of words used in a sentence. 

As per search engine expert Bill Slawski, Bert is a natural language processing pre-training approach that can be used on a large body of text. It handles tasks such as entity recognition, part of speech tagging, and question-answering among other natural language processes. Bert helps Google understand natural language text from the Web.

Google has open sourced this technology, and others have created variations of BERT.

How SEO will be affected by BERT and should website owners worry?

Like every other Google algorithm update, even BERT is going to impact rankings as well as featured snippets. However, the good news is BERT is not going to be used for 100 percent searches. 

Currently, BERT will be used only in 1 out of 10 searches in U.S English. As per Google, BERT is so complicated that pushes the boundaries of Google’s hardware and this is why it has been restricted to fewer searches for now. 

Google is deploying the BERT model in two dozen countries where featured snippets are used to improve the quality of the snippets. 

So, for now, there won’t be major upheavals in the search ranking, however, post full-fledged implementation of BERT, website owners have to come up with highly optimized content to get better ranking on search engine pages.

The myths surrounding BERT update

Despite clear indication from Google, there were many who failed to understand the BERT update in its entirety. This resulted in the publication of many blogs that spread information that were nothing but myths. Now, it’s time to bust those myths and get the real picture. 

As per a Tweet from Google’s Danny Sullivan ‘There’s nothing to optimize for with BERT, nor anything for anyone to be rethinking. The fundamentals of us seeking to reward great content remain unchanged’.

This should clear the air for now and is enough to bust all myths surrounding BERT update. Let’s have a look at some of the myths that made headlines.


With BERT update you will have to optimize your website for long tail keywords

Absolutely not. BERT update simply intends to understand the user queries better so that the search engine can provide specific results.


BERT update is not that significant

Well, what can I say about such ignorance. Google on record said that BERT is already affecting one out ten English language searches, which is ten percent of all search queries. If 10% is not a significant number, what is?


BERT is the biggest update of all time

I can understand how this myth circulated. Well, it is based on the press release from Google that stated that it is one of the biggest leaps forward in the history of search engine. Now even in this statement, BERT remains as one of the biggest updates and not an all time big update.

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With Google’s BERT update, the search engine is capable of understanding the nuances of language and is certainly is a quantum leap in how search results are delivered. In this process, Google will provide its users with premium search experience. 

It’s still under anticipation how BERT is going to affect Google’s search page ranking as the update is applied on only 10 percent of searches, however, for now the effect seems to be minimal. Though it must be noted that once full implementation of the BERT update, content creators have to come up with unique and highly optimized content to rank better on result pages. 

Although, Google aims to improve the search queries results with BERT, understanding language is still a challenge. Despite the efforts that the search engine firm has undertaken, BERT might not get everything right just yet. However, the industry behemoth is poised for similar such efforts to enhance the search results and provide great user experience.