SEO / Content

Welcome to the Google family BERT

For those that like to keep an eye on what is going on in the SEO world, you would know about BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers). 

For everyone else, you wouldn’t have been acquainted yet, nor know the significance this has to your website. Well, after reading this blog, you will.

Who or what is BERT

BERT is a Google update that relates to the context in which content is written. This is a significant step towards supporting the intent update made last year.

“BERT models can…consider the full context of a word by looking at the words that come before and after it—particularly useful for understanding the intent behind search queries.” Google 

This is a good thing. Why?

Because it means your content is going to be discovered with the intent and in the context, you want it to. Not because Google as presumed the keywords which often negated the words in which provided the context.


BERT is also a good thing for those that prioritised reliability over keywords in their blogs and didn’t remove stop words.

What to do to take advantage of BERT

Whenever there is an update like this, it is essential to review your content. Especially if you have blogs are are more than a year old or haven’t updated your website copy within that time frame.

It isn’t only content on-site that is benefiting from this update but also featured snippets.

Are keywords dead? 

In short no. Keywords and keyword analysis are still highly relevant when it comes to finding out:

  • How people are finding you
  • What makes people click
  • What content you need to write more of
  • If people are asking search engines any questions that are relevant to your business and offering
  • Which keywords are not driving the right sort of traffic

As with all updates, these are being tested, tweaked and rolled out as you read. So BERT can take time to be applied to your site. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start doing the groundwork now in preparation.


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