If you have some basic Knowledge of SEO positioning , you will already know that:
- Google analyzes your website with an algorithm to decide where it is shown in search results.
- This algorithm is constantly updated, and sometimes those updates affect your positioning (even permanently, like when Google Penguin came out and the websites positioned with link building were penalized).
And now that there is another new quite popular update to the algorithm called Google BERT, the logical question you will be asking yourself is:
“Can this also affect the SEO of my website? “
And to answer that question we have written this post, in which we tell you:
- What is the Google BERT update.
- What specific news does it bring (and how is that going to affect future SEO positioning).
- How to adapt the SEO of your website to this new update.
Ready to meet BERT?
(Of course, there is something that we can anticipate: if you have followed Google’s SEO standards so far, you will like BERT very well 😉).
- ✅ What exactly is Google BERT and what consequences does it have for SEO
- 👉 What impact can Google BERT have on your positioning
- ✅ What specific changes does the Google BERT update bring?
- 👉 1. Prepositions take center stage
- 👉 2. Keywords still matter (but now context too)
- 👉 3. Rank # 0 is going to be more and more frequent
- 👉 4. Understand the context… when there is no context
- ✅ So what do I have to do to optimize my website for BERT?
- ✅ Keep doing things right and don’t worry about Google BERT
What exactly is Google BERT and what consequences does it have for SEO
We begin by clarifying its meaning.
“BERT” stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (ie, “Bidirectional Encoder Representations of Transformers”).
Which is likely to have left you the same.
But what you have to keep is with the following data.
Google BERT applies artificial intelligence to the algorithm to make it able to understand human language better and better.
And the goal is simple.
Offer a more accurate response to the user’s search intention .
Now, can Google BERT negatively affect the SEO of your website?
We see it.
👉 What impact can Google BERT have on your positioning
In the short term, none.
And the reason is that Google BERT is not an “algorithm update” in the strict sense of the term.
When we talk about updating, it means that Google has changed the rules of SEO positioning to a greater or lesser extent.
Most are almost imperceptible modifications that are made constantly.
Then there are those that affect the “core” or central nucleus of the algorithm and that do have a fairly significant impact. For example, some of these “core” updates have led to new SEO penalties, as happened with Google Penguin.
But BERT does not fall into either of these two categories, it is more of an improvement.
And what it implies is that now the algorithm has an artificial intelligence system, a “brain of its own”, which allows it to increase its understanding of human language.
So put very simply, BERT would be a learning tool.
That is why we say that in the short term it will not have significant effects.
But as the algorithm learns, its impact on SEO will become increasingly important. 😉
✅ What specific changes does the Google BERT update bring?
The BERT concept is not new.
In fact, Google already made some advances in artificial intelligence in 2015, when it introduced the RankBrain update.
In fact, it was this improvement that drove the concept of “search intent”.
Thanks to it, the algorithm no longer took into account only the word that the user was looking for, but went further and interpreted what he wanted to say .
Now Google BERT comes to complement RankBrain to return even more exact answers to each query.
These are the news it brings.
👉 1. Prepositions take center stage
It seems incredible, but there is a gulf between the way SEO was done a few years ago and now.
Before it was very common to see pages speaking “in the Indian way.”
For example, to position themselves for the keyword “Madrid Web Design”, many websites wrote it like this, without prepositions in between because Google didn’t read them.
Today this is no longer necessary because the algorithm understands human language much better.
But prepositions are still his Achilles heel . 😉
We give you a very silly example.
Let’s say you do these two searches on Google:
- Buy pink t-shirts
- Buy t-shirts with roses
For you it is clear that this “with” completely changes the intention of the query (from looking for pink t-shirts to looking for them with drawn flowers).
But for Google it is not so clear.
The algorithm sometimes has trouble understanding prepositions like this, so it may show you the same shirts in both cases.
With Google BERT, bugs like these will be less and less frequent.
👉 2. Keywords still matter (but now context too)
Something that is often heard is that with this new update the keywords will no longer be necessary for SEO.
But for now that is not going to be the case.
What does change is that, with Google BERT, the algorithm will also analyze the words that come before and after the keyword to better understand the semantic meaning of the search.
And what does that mean?
So that you understand, suppose you write a post and in the H1 tag you include the keyword “build a bank”.
Bank is a word with more than one meaning, so Google has a hard time interpreting what type of bank you mean.
Therefore, what you will do is look at the rest of the words in the sentence. In this case it could be:
- “Build an ergonomic bench.”
- “Build a bank that is theft-proof.”
It is a very simple example but you will surely get the idea. 😉
👉 3. Rank # 0 is going to be more and more frequent
Another interesting detail of this new update.
You have seen more than once the rich snippet known as Rank # 0 or “position zero”. That is, a search result that the user sees directly in the SERPs, without clicking.
To give you a case, look at what appears if we search “How to make a model.”
This Rank # 0 is shown when Google interprets that the user’s query only needs a concise answer.
And the goal of Google BERT is to understand better and better what are the searches that can be solved with this snippet .
But if users no longer have to click on your website to find the information they are looking for, does that mean that appearing in this Rank # 0 generates less CTR ?
In reality it may even be the other way around. 😉
Because in fact it is common that after reading the snippet , the user decides to enter your page to read the rest of the content.
👉 4. Understand the context… when there is no context
Finally we have the most difficult case for a search engine like Google.
Search terms that don’t have prepositions or words around them that give you extra information about the user’s intent.
For example, “Tren Málaga Madrid” .
When doing this search without BERT, most of the examples that appear are train trips from Malaga to Madrid, but also some the other way around, from Madrid to Malaga.
Thanks to artificial intelligence, these types of errors will also be reduced.
✅ So what do I have to do to optimize my website for BERT?
Well … absolutely nothing.
And we do not say it, but Pandu Nayak himself (the vice president of Google, who knows some of this 😉).
Because Google BERT does not establish a series of specific guidelines to position a website.
But what it does do is reinforce the SEO guidelines that Google has been recommending for years :
- Write for people, not for robots ( as we explain in this post ).
- Use a conversational style (which was already useful for voice searches and also to appear in Rank # 0).
- Take into account the user’s search intention and that your content solves their query.
Hence, at the beginning of the post we told you that if you have followed these rules so far, your page will make good friends with BERT. 😉
✅ Keep doing things right and don’t worry about Google BERT
Every time we hear about a new update like this, neither we nor our customers feel those typical cold sweats.
You know why?
A method that follows Google’s standards in terms of content quality and SEO writing, and that also never uses link building positioning (which means that you have a higher risk of being penalized when the algorithm changes).
If you also want to forget about the happy updates, you can contact us and let us take care of optimizing your website for SEO .
You’ll see how we get her to befriend Google. 😉