How the BERT Update Affects Content Marketing

BERT has arrived.

No, we’re not talking about the famous Muppet character, but rather Google’s latest update that has been launched.

Google has a tradition of coming up with numerous updates throughout the course of a year. And although BERT was released towards the end of 2019, its impact is likely to be felt in 2020.

So, what is BERT? And how is it going to impact your business? It’s being speculated that BERT will have a lasting effect on content marketing. But in what way?

These are some of the many questions that we are going to tackle in today’s discussion. So if you are serious about taking your content marketing efforts to the next level, be sure to stick around till the end.

Let’s begin.

What’s BERT?

As can be easily understood, BERT is actually not a name but an acronym. Once expanded, it stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers.

The purpose of the BERT update is to allow Google to better understand natural language queries. This is expected to help the search engine respond more intelligently to search queries posed by users.

Also, the age-old strategies of worrying about particular keywords and their densities are no longer going to be relevant. This means businesses are going to have to rethink their SEO strategies to remain relevant.

As it is, Google is particularly notorious for rolling out major updates which send digital marketing professionals into a tizzy. And BERT is expected to be one of the major ones that can have a significant impact on your online marketing strategy.

Well, now that we have a clear understanding of what BERT actually is, let’s take a look at the algorithm from the perspective of content marketing.

How BERT Will Impact Your Content Strategy

As explained already, BERT is targeted towards making natural language processing easier for Google. This means it’ll be able to make better sense of search terms and provide users with more relevant and targeted content.

Keeping this in mind, the following are some of the ways in which BERT is expected to affect your content marketing efforts. Be advised: these are only the initial expected impacts. Google’s algorithm updates can have far-reaching consequences than can be initially understood.

A Tilt Towards The  Informational  

The BERT update is expected to impact how Google interprets informational queries. Informational queries have a tradition of being more ambiguous as compared to transactional or navigational queries.

BERT can help users by presenting them with better results that conform to their intent. This means that even if the users don’t specifically mention their intent in the search query, BERT will try to glean the meaning and present them with more targeted results.

Which means?

Focus On Focused Content

As the BERT update essentially allows Google to better understand searcher intent, this will allow the engine to serve users with content that directly relates to their queries.

This means content creators and strategies will need to focus more on providing direct and to the point content that resolves user problems immediately.  Instead of focusing on keyword metrics and SERP rankings (though these aren’t going to be thrown out the window just yet), content creators will need to turn the spotlight on answering user queries.

And which brings us to our next point.

BERT Favours The Short

Nope, this is not related to Muppet heights in any way. It simply means that the update is expected to create a shift from long-form, keyword-oriented content towards shorter content.

In effect, this means that the previous notion of longer is always better is no longer relevant. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should stop creating long-form content. It simply means that the length of the content you create needs to be aligned to the depth of the searcher query.


The above are only some of the many changes that BERT is expected to bring about. As time passes, more insights are bound to come to the fore.

And OKdot can help you navigate them successfully. With our dedicated team of professionals, we are ready to empower you to remain on top of your game.


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