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Understanding Google BERT: A Guide for Digital Marketers

Updated: Jun 27, 2023


If you’re a digital marketer, chances are you’ve heard the term “Google BERT.” Or maybe you haven’t. In either case, it’s important to understand what this new AI-powered algorithm is and how it can impact your SEO strategies. What is Google BERT? Google BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) is a cutting-edge algorithm that utilises Natural Language Processing (NLP) to better understand and interpret natural language. Released in October 2019, BERT has been a major game changer for SEO and has revolutionised the way Google interprets search queries. BERT uses two methods to understand human language: word order and context. Word order examines the sequence of words in a sentence, while context looks at the relationships between words.


By combining these two methods, BERT can better understand complex questions and statements posed as search queries. This, in turn, allows Google to serve more accurate search results to users.

How does BERT Impact SEO? Before BERT, Google’s algorithms relied heavily on keyword matching to determine the relevance of a webpage to a search query. This often resulted in irrelevant or incomplete results as the algorithm couldn’t fully comprehend the context or intent behind the search.

With BERT, Google has shifted its focus from keyword matching to understanding the context of words in a sentence. This means that creating content that serves the user’s query has become even more important.


Here are some important tips for optimising your content for BERT: ● Ensure your content is written in a way that makes sense when read in its entirety and provides a quick answer to the searcher’s query. ● Use synonyms in your content to stay ahead of the competition. BERT now better understands synonyms and context, so using topically relevant terms can result in higher rankings for your content. ● Take note of the content medium that Google is now ranking. Google tends to display short and sharp answers but these answers might be best served in certain mediums or content formats such as video, images, FAQs with schema, tables and statistical highlights. ● Optimise for new ranking factors introduced by BERT. In addition to improving the accuracy of search results, BERT has also introduced new ranking factors that Google takes into account, such as relevance, entity recognition and sentiment analysis.

Summary: Google BERT is a state-of-the-art algorithm that utilises NLP to better understand natural language and provide more accurate search results to users. It has changed the way Google interprets search queries and has shifted the focus from keyword matching to understanding the context of words in a sentence. As a digital marketer, it’s important to understand how BERT impacts SEO and to adjust your content strategies accordingly. By following the tips outlined above, you can stay ahead of the competition and optimise your content for BERT.


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