What is the Google BERT update?

With the BERT update (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers), Google is even better able to understand the natural language of searches and texts. As a result, it understands the purpose of a user’s query better and is able to answer a query more specifically. BERT is therefore a logical update in view of the increase in the number of voice-guided searches.

BERT algorithm update

BERT stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers and was developed by Google to better understand our natural language . The better Google understands our language and the underlying meaning and question of searches, the better it is able to provide targeted answers and search results. BERT has now also been introduced for Dutch.

Voice search

An important reason for better understanding our language is that we are increasingly looking for voice-activated mobile devices. Where we used to type literal keywords, we use voice search to ask Google natural questions: “What is …”, “Who is …”, “How should I …”, etc. Because our language can be ambiguous, search engines must do their best to understand what we ask or want. When I ask “Where can I find a bank?” Do I mean a bank to withdraw money or a sofa?


What does the arrival of BERT mean for (on-page) SEO ? To stay in the previous example, if you are a bank where you can withdraw money, make sure you list financial services on your website, and if you are a shop of sofas, make it clear on your website that it is about sitting and home furnishings. This makes sense, but if you put yourself well in the minds of your target audience, think again if the content on your website is comprehensive with regard to your keywords and all possible synonyms, combinations and variations with which your target audience can search.

Question and answer

Voice search will lead to more and more searches in the form of a question. And a question asks for an answer. So try to answer logical questions about your products or services on your website. You can do this by including the question on the page in the page title and H1 header, and giving the answer in the meta description tag and the text on the page. Also an FAQ page (frequently asked questions) fits well with this.

Website structure

The structure of your website is also very important to BERT. If your website is built in a logical structure , where visitors and robots are logically redirected to other pages with important and related information, this will help you better understand and understand your website.

All in all, the Google BERT update is a logical and expected update given the developments in search engines and the way in which we as users search for information. By going along with these developments in your website, you will be permanently found good.

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