What on Earth Is BERT, and Why Should It Matter to You?

Get ready, because this acronym is a mouthful: BERT stands for “Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers,” the latest named major update to Google’s search algorithm. Google rolled BERT out in late October, making it the latest step in Google’s effort to better understand searcher intent in ways that have previously been difficult or impossible for its algorithm. The goal is for Google to provide even more relevant answers to searchers’ questions by continually refining its approach.

What Does BERT Affect?

BERT will have an effect on about 10 percent of organic search results. Google claims that BERT enables its algorithm to better understand nuances of natural language. For example, in the phrases “from Boston to LA” and “from me to you,” the word “to” has different connotations. BERT is now able to distinguish such nuances. As such, the search community is expecting BERT to deliver better results with so-called long-tailed searches (phrases consisting of three to four or more words). 

What Opportunities Are There to Take Advantage of BERT?

The answer, as usual, has to do with more in-depth copy. We anticipate that as various SERP (search engine result page) features continue to suppress organic results for well-known competitive terms, the value of search traffic and rankings for long-tailed terms will increase. At MetaMed Marketing, we recommend the following:

  • Additional emphasis on long-tailed phrases when performing keyword research
  • Including more long-tailed phrases in your content
  • Focusing on long tail of search using targeted blog posts, as well before-and-after case descriptions, FAQs, etc. that can deliver specific traffic

Reach Out to MetaMed Marketing to Learn More

Call 1-866-240-8389 to get started on strategies that can help you tap into Google’s update for your benefit, as well as guidance on a wide range of digital marketing tactics.


Ali Kouros

Ali Kouros is co-founder of MetaMed Marketing. Ali heads up operations, engineering, productions, and practice marketing for MetaMed.

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