Why the BERT Algorithm Update Doesn’t Matter

On October 25th, 2019 Google announced the introduction of its BERT algorithm update. Although said to be among the biggest improvements in how the Google understands searches, practically speaking it doesn’t matter to SEOs and online marketers. In this brief post I’ll explain why.

What is BERT?

BERT (Bidirectional Encorder Representation of Transformers) is a technique used to better understand natural language through the use of machine learning. Essentially this process assesses the full context of a word by reviewing the terminology that comes before and after it within a sentence.

The Impact

The primary impact of this algorithm update is a dramatic improvement in understanding query intent. Longer, more converstational queries that use prepositions like “for” and “to” are particularly affected. Here’s one illustration:

Example of BERT Algorithm Affect

In this example, Google’s algorithm overlooked the presence of “to.” The result was that the SERP did not properly address the intent of the query.

Why BERT Doesn’t Matter

BERT improves the SERP relevance for longtail, conversational queries which are in low demand. So eventhough it’s a big improvement, practically speaking it doesn’t impact the types of searches for which most optimize. So..

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”


In short, SEOs and online marketers should simply write for users and ignore BERT. This update appears to be more an improvement on Google’s ability to match relevant information to searcher queries.

WordPress Resources at SiteGround

WordPress is an award-winning web software, used by millions of webmasters worldwide for building their website or blog. SiteGround is proud to host this particular WordPress installation and provide users with multiple resources to facilitate the management of their WP websites:

Expert WordPress Hosting

SiteGround provides superior WordPress hosting focused on speed, security and customer service. We take care of WordPress sites security with unique server-level customizations, WP auto-updates, and daily backups. We make them faster by regularly upgrading our hardware, offering free CDN with Railgun and developing our SuperCacher that speeds sites up to 100 times! And last but not least, we provide real WordPress help 24/7! Learn more about SiteGround WordPress hosting

WordPress tutorial and knowledgebase articles

WordPress is considered an easy to work with software. Yet, if you are a beginner you might need some help, or you might be looking for tweaks that do not come naturally even to more advanced users. SiteGround WordPress tutorial includes installation and theme change instructions, management of WordPress plugins, manual upgrade and backup creation, and more. If you are looking for a more rare setup or modification, you may visit SiteGround Knowledgebase.

Free WordPress themes

SiteGround experts not only develop various solutions for WordPress sites, but also create unique designs that you could download for free. SiteGround WordPress themes are easy to customize for the particular use of the webmaster.