9 Dec ‘19


How the Google Bert Update Impacts Your SEO Strategy

9 Dec ‘19

In: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), / By: Ripe Media

google bert update

What’s all this BERT business?

You may have heard about the Google BERT update but what does it mean for your company? Will BERT hurt your SEO efforts or will it help them? Most of all, what do you need to do to make sure BERT doesn’t tank your search engine positioning?

There are constant updates with Google. That is part of why they have such a big market share in the search world.


Google’s BERT update was meant to help Google better understand what users want and give that to them through its new abilities. With 1 in 10 search results in U.S. English being affected with this new update, it’s not an update to ignore.

Other languages are going to roll out later but as of now, we’re looking at English results.

Assess Before You Change Anything

Before you start messing with your SEO strategy and changing the way you build inbound links — hold up!

Before you change your SEO strategy, you need to make sure that you’re an affected website. If your traffic is continuing as normal, you might not need to make any changes. And if your traffic is going up — that’s even better!

If you already have a high-quality site that has a lot of well-written long-form content, it’s likely that your site is going to do well in their update.

If you do notice that your traffic is going south, there are things you can do to help your site recover from these losses.

What You Can Do to Make Friends With BERT?

While it’s not always fun when Google messes with its algorithms, they aren’t changing their minds on this update, so you need to understand how you can make good with BERT.

Look at What Keywords Are Dipping

Go to Google’s search console and take a look at your results now vs. your results 7 days ago and see which keywords are causing the traffic drop.

When you see which keywords are no longer ranking well, look at your content that did rank well and see what is ranking well now. Comparing your content with content that is doing well now will allow you to see if you need to change your content’s format or the type of information you’re conveying.

If you notice that your content is significantly different than what is ranking on the front page, you may need to do a total rewrite of the content to get back to ranking well.

Look at the content that is doing well and see if there are certain elements that are making the difference. Do they use more images than you do? Or maybe they use videos in their posts.

There’s no secret formula since different queries need different things. Look at the keywords that are dropping the most traffic because of their volume first and try to fix those and work your way down to the lower volume keywords.

Focus on User Intent

When you create your content, you need to focus on user intent more than ever. When you type in a query to Google, look and see what results are coming up. What does Google think these people want to know?

This can be a hint for you when you’re doing keyword research and setting up the topics for your content.

If you misinterpret user intent or try to game the system and give users content they really aren’t looking for, Google is smarter than ever now. And Google is likely going to figure it out and put you at the bottom of the pile, no matter how many backlinks you have going to the page.

User Experience

More than ever, while you’re creating content, you need to focus on user experience and how you can answer their questions as concisely and thoroughly as possible.

Google loves giving its users a good experience and if you help them in that goal, they are going to rank you favorably. Having a well-designed website that allows people to view your content easily and navigate to the information they want to view is essential.

BERT Is Not a Penalty

The good news with BERT is that it’s not a penalty. Your site isn’t in trouble and it isn’t going to be blacklisted because of the update.

Instead, BERT is focusing on understanding searches so users can get as good of results as possible. In the long-run, this update is going to benefit webmasters and searchers alike to help to align websites and searchers at the right times.

As long as you continue to focus on providing the best content for the query, you are going to win out in the end.

Continue to put healthy SEO practices into practice and your site and strategy will be able to weather BERT and any other updates that are coming up in the next years.

Don’t Let the Google BERT Update Ruin Your Results

Now that you know more about the Google BERT update, you can assess your SEO strategy and see if what you’re doing is going to work going forward. While some practices will still be valid, you’ll need to tweak the rest of your strategy.

Do you need help planning out a successful SEO strategy for your upcoming year and beyond? We can show you how to roll with the changes due to BERT and other changes online.

Contact us today and let us help you get the results you need for your business.


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