• Wendy Danko

What Is BERT?

Updated: Jan 14, 2020

Words are complicated, and BERT will help online searchers.

Bert the dog says hi and to pay attention the the BERT algorithm update.
Bert the Dog wants you to know BERT the algorithm

In Short, BERT looks at the context of your words.

BERT was developed by Google to help the search industry understand the context of the words by looking at how the word fits the sentence structure. The context of a word used in a query makes a big difference. Because one word can have many meanings, BERT will look at how that word is used by looking at the other word usage. BERT looks at parts of speech to help figure the meaning and context of the words used in a query or question asked. This addition to Google's algorithms should help make your searches online more meaningful.

Because the English language is so complicated, BERT will not be perfect, but it is a welcome addition to help humans in their online searches. Google will be expanding BERT to add even more functionality in the future, so stay tuned.

What you need to understand about BERT is that it will affect your SEO and keyword research.

Because BERT looks at natural language usage and can understand the difference in context, your keywords should be in a native, conversational format. BERT understands the difference in words like – Two, To, and Too, for example. Each of these words is used for a different purpose.

I can see online some companies are paying attached to the BERT algorithm change, for example:

  • When I was hunting for a photo to illustrate a concept I was working on, I went to unsplash.com to look at pictures. I noticed the description for each photo was a written description for the photo instead of just single keywords (this is new).

  • These written descriptions are useful because, with Google's BERT, the picture will receive better search results because of the context of the narrative.

  • The photo I used for this article has a description of what it is, not a complete sentence, but what the photo is showing. The explanation for the picture above is "fawn dog lying on platform beside body of water."

  • The categories for the photo are still there, but the description will help BERT understand the context of the picture.

  • Other platforms are developing their algorithms simular to BERT. Facebook has RoBERTa.

As you can see in my short review, BERT will help the searcher on their journey to finding what they want with more accuracy. What this means for SEO and content creators is that the creation of content for online purposes is leaning toward well written and research concepts to get the search engine's attention. Google has been saying this for years, that they want to send searchers to sites that have the best answers to their questions. To see what Google has written about BERT in more detail here is a link.

Now you can make a better connection to people searching with better content, context, and BERT.

If you still have questions you can contact Wendy at WenKo LLC.

WenKo is an SEO Company based in Minneapolis, MN