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What does the Google BERT update mean for small businesses?

As the biggest search engine globally, Google is continually finding ways to make search results more relevant and useful for users. This is what keeps them at the top of the search engine industry. But this also means that for SMBs, updates to the search algorithm can be important to research and understand. Essentially, Google uses the algorithm to determine which search results provide the best quality for the searcher, depending on the algorithm settings. So while one of Google’s algorithms might have placed your company top of the search results, an algorithm change might see your website demoted. One huge update that Google are working on is the BERT update. So what is this update? And what does it mean for small businesses? Well, here at Pumpkin Web Design, we are Preston’s leading web design and web marketing professionals. We provide valuable web design, SEO, and marketing solutions to a range of clients, across the North West, including Southport and Wigan, as well as Manchester. As a result, we have produced this guide to everything small businesses need to know about the Google BERT update.

What is the Google BERT update?

The Google BERT update has been in development for some time, and has now been rolled out for 1 in 10 searches in English, across the US. Updates for other countries, like the UK, can be expected in the future. However, for now, the BERT algorithm is so complex that it is pushing the limits of Google’s hardware!

The Google BERT update is being touted as one of the biggest advancements in the history of search technology so far. So what does it do? Well, essentially BERT is used to understand search queries, interpreting the appropriate meaning of words, due to the context that they are used in. This means that in comparison to processing words one-by-one in order, BERT will instead process words in relation to other words in the search query. This can make a dramatic difference to the search results, helping users find results that are relevant and helpful.

What does the Google BERT update mean for small businesses?

So, what does this update mean for SMB’s in the UK? Well, currently, this update is not a problem for companies only working in the UK, but if you also provide products and services in the US, this update could be relevant to your SEO performance in the US. Even if this update isn’t relevant right now, it certainly will be in future. BERT could have an impact on:

  • SEO performance- because this algorithm can understand the context of a search, the chances are that for some search inquiries that might be more complicated or ambiguous, search results and rankings could change.
  • Featured snippets-  Google is using a BERT model in all of the countries where featured snippets are available, with the aim of improving results. This means that you could lose out on featured snippet places, and the traffic that they bring.

What can you do to get ahead of the BERT update?

To make sure your company, and all of your content, is ready for the BERT update, yous could consider:

  • auditing your website content
  • making changes to any ambiguous content that is appearing for irrelevant search terms
  • being more considerate of language choices

For more information or advice, or for professional web marketing and social media marketing, get in touch with the team today, here at Pumpkin Web Design.

Pumpkin Web Design Ltd is a small and highly results driven digital agency working for like minded clients in Preston, Manchester, Chorley, Southport, Blackburn, Wigan and the UK. Our services include web design, SEO, content marketing, video production, brand design and much more.