What does the Google BERT update mean for you?

Google BERT Update
Last edited 21 March, 2024
2 min read.

In this post, we’ll cover the following:

Google’s latest update BERT was announced a couple of days ago and will affect 10% of search queries. This makes BERT one of the biggest Google updates of the last 5 years. So, what does this mean for you?

BERT stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, and it’s all about search and intent. Google defines it as ‘a neural network-based technique for natural language processing.’ In simpler terms, Google has made significant improvements to understanding queries and intent.

What is the Google BERT update?

BERT is all about understanding search better. Instead of analysing a user’s search query word by word, the new update means that Google will interpret the entire phrase. By doing so, Google can provide more accurate search results.

Previously, slight modifications or spelling mistakes dramatically impacted Google’s results. Now, with Google looking at the entire phrase, the results are more accurate than ever. Google has provided some examples of how looking at the entire phrase will impact the results:

BERT update

What does BERT mean for your business?

Firstly, this is not an algorithm that penalises anyone. This means that your business doesn’t have to worry too much about serious penalties that will seriously negatively impact your SEO efforts.

The biggest thing to look for is whether there have been many changes to your traffic. The websites that will perform best following this update will be those which are largely content populated. Here’s a few examples of how a few of our clients have done in the last week compared to the previous:

Increase traffic

Looking at organic traffic alone, our client has improved substantially over the past 7 days when compared to the previous week.

Again, looking at organic traffic alone, the number of users, new users and sessions have all risen.

How can I stop my traffic from dropping?

If your traffic appears to be dropping, don’t worry yet! Google has a long history of rolling out updates, then tweaking them in the weeks after.

If you are worried about how your search position has been impacted by BERT, let us know. At EDGE Creative, we can identify the queries or keywords that are causing the traffic drop, run a comparison report and see which queries you have lost traffic for.

We can also assess traffic changes through determining what is ranking now and change or tweak your content to match what is now ranking. If needed, we can also create new content.

The BERT update may be one of the biggest in the last 5 years for SEO and as such, it’s important to keep your content relevant and up to date. If you need support overcoming common content strategy problems, or understanding SEO, we can help. Call us on 0121 355 8092 to see what we can do for you.


Lydia Campbell

Digital Media Strategist

Lydia is involved in managing and monitoring clients’ SEO and advertising efforts, squeezing every last bit of success out of each campaign. Lydia takes no prisoners when it comes to PPC. After joining the team as a digital marketing apprentice, Lydia developed a keen eye for analytics and a passion for achieving results. Lydia’s loves watching projects grow from start to finish, and seeing tangible results from the campaigns she watches over so diligently.