What is BERT update?

BERT is the abbreviation for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from  Transformers. This is a deep learning algorithm related to natural language processing. With all the nuances of context, in understanding what the words in a sentence mean, this will be helpful to machines. This was initiated by Google on October 25th 2019. From then, till December 9th 2019, it was already applied to over 70 languages. Jacob Delvin created and published this BERT in 2018.

According to Jacob Delvin, BERT is different from other language representation models as it had been designed to pre-train deep Bidirectional representations from the unlabelled text by conditioning both right and left context together in all layers. To create state-of-the-art models for a wide range of tasks, such as question answering and language inference, without substantial task-specific architecture modifications, fine-tuning can be done to the pre-trained BERT model with just one additional output layer as a result.

This algorithm is simple in terms of concept and powerful in terms of efficacy. Including pushing the GLUE score to 80.5% (7.7% point absolute improvement), MultiNLI accuracy to 86.7% (4.6% absolute improvement), SQuAD v1.1 question answering Test F1 to 93.2 (1.5 points absolute improvement) and SQuAD v2.0 Test F1 to 83.1 (5.1 points absolute improvement), on eleven natural language processing tasks, BERT gets new state of art results.

Depending on what is typed on either side of it, a word can have two totally different meanings. In determining what forms of synonyms and closely-related words are used, for example, “bass” the instrument and “bass” the fish, BERT easily helps Google. Nothing to be done with one another, those two are different search results. However, you need not worry regarding the search results that come due to the confusion among those two due to BERT.

Negation is what, BERT is not good at. However, it helps in improving the way, in which Google understand the search queries. Instead of analysing web pages, this algorithm analyses search queries. This might not help any sloppy content. It does so, by analysing the previous and next words to the particular word. For example, the word Rose had various uses. However, while searching perfect suggestions can only be made by analysing the search query and not the web pages as this word might be present in several pages which are not at all related to the search query.

What is its impact in SEO?

In both well-written web content and the one which is not, BERT will surely show its impact on SEO. It will be showing a negative impact on those which are not well written. Rather than focusing on content, most of the web pages or SEO blogs are written by concentrating on keywords. Due to this, the algorithm’s ability to pick up on this type of content gets disturbed by the natural language processing which is the unique property of BERT. 

Better content will be shown and the search query returns quality will also be increased due to this update. So, it is good when it comes to consumers. However, this might be bad news for businesses in which the quality of the content is not considered as a priority. You need not worry as there still are ways that might avoid having your business suffer the effects of BERT update.

How to not get affected by BERT update?

For the companies that are having high-quality contents, it is not very much difficult. You just have to follow the below-given instructions.

  • You need to make sure that you are having solid contents.
  • Never prioritise keywords, although they are important for content.
  • A great company that has the ability to generate top-quality content which is even tailored as per your industry’s SEO needs might help you in revamping your copy when you are worried regarding its effect on your visibility.
  • The process of tailoring your content according to this new approach at searching can only be guided to you by them. Also in ensuring that you remain at the top of the return pile to your consumers and clients, they might be helpful.
  • Even while concentrating on keywords, just make sure that you don’t get into broad term keywords and just focus on long-tail keywords. This is necessary as people might be praying search queries much differently while speaking.
  • When it comes to multilingual contents, the translation of the content into various languages might still be an effective way in other countries. However, it might be greatly impactful, when those contents are created in their original languages in each country.
  • Targeting solely for traffic to the website by the use of keywords is not going to work now and so, you might need to produce very much relevant content only. Only such contents are going to rank top in the list by Google and are displayed first to the people.
  • Providing a better experience to the people searching over Google is essential to get to the top as this also is being analysed by the BERT update.
  • If your web pages are dropping in traffic, then it is better for you. Yes, take it in a positive way. Just cross-check for what made those particular contents to reduce traffic. Then rectify this and make it beneficial for you. Better be late, than never.


The BRET update has been deployed to provide better searching experience for the visitors to Google. This being different, analyses the quality of the content based on the phrases being formed by the visitors in their search queries and not on the keywords in the content. This update has made it essential for the businesses to provide only high quality contents and specific contents. While this is going to be very much useful for the consumers, It is surely going to effect those businesses which tried to stay at the top results without having specific, effective and useful content needed for that.

What is BERT Update, Its Impact on SEO was last modified: February 16th, 2024 by Md Azharuddin
Mohammed Azharuddin is Founder and Senior digital marketing trainer @ Web Trainings Academy. He has 16+ years of experience in training and digital marketing services.

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