What is Google BERT? Everything You Need to Know

Google BERT, the new Google algorithm update, could have a big impact on search engine optimization (SEO). Here’s what you need to know.

In 2019, Google introduced BERT — Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. BERT focuses on natural language processing to better understand the context and nuances in searches to match questions more effectively with results.

Why does it matter? According to Search Engine Land, BERT will impact 1 in 10 of all search queries by changing the ranking results. So if you held the number one spot for a keyword on Google, after BERT’s introduction, you might see your ranking dip.

BERT does not replace RankBrain. But when Google thinks BERT will help better understand a query, it will use it.

Here’s an example of how BERT works, via Search Engine Land:

  • Before BERT, the query “Can you get medicine for someone pharmacy” might have returned “Getting a prescription filled” as the top result.
  • After BERT, that same query might return “Can a patient have a friend or family member pick up a prescription?” as the top result.

In essence, BERT will help create more context around queries and hopefully drive better results for searchers.

How to Optimize for Google BERT

The challenge with BERT is that optimizing for it might not be possible in the traditional sense since it is changing how it matches results – not necessarily how results rank based on content creation.

That said, BERT leans towards natural language, so it’s more important than ever to have quality content with clear writing. The focus needs to be on the value of your content for potential readers.

Also, if you have niche content that wasn’t necessarily ranking high, even though people were searching for it, BERT could actually help give it a boost.

The best way to know whether BERT is affecting your results is to monitor your analytics. If you see a dip in your ranking or traffic, it could be due to the algorithm shift. When this happens, it can indicate a need to refine your keyword strategy.

Additionally, look at your conversion rates. If traffic is still going to your page, but you aren’t getting any conversions, it may indicate that the right people aren’t finding your page. This may also warrant an SEO audit and a strategic analysis to make sure that you are targeting the right people in the right places with the right methods.


  • Monitor your analytics and watch for changes in traffic.
  • If your website isn’t optimized, it’s even more important that you do so now.
  • Content also needs to be well-written and done in a way that sounds “natural.” Optimize content for readers.

Pulsion Marketing can help your business adapt to Google BERT and other algorithm changes. We offer SEO and content marketing solutions that help drive prospects to your website.

Learn more about our services by calling 1-888-701-4441 or visiting www.digiforcemarketing.ca.