The Year of BERT – Why 2019 Was the Year of the Big Updates

The Year of BERT

If there’s one thing experienced companies helping businesses and institutions by offering Long Island search engine optimization solutions always keep their eyes and ears open for, it’s algorithmic updates.

Google’s algorithmic updates keep striking every now and then, more frequently in the past 5 years, making search engine optimization (SEO) more dynamic now than ever before. While most changes are minor, some are major and affect the core algorithm. All algorithmic changes could bring about ranking fluctuations, but core algorithm changes could cause significant dips. But Google doesn’t suggest any drastic measures for sites affected by such ranking dips caused by core algorithm updates. So let’s take a look at the major updates this year.

The Valentine’s Day Update

On the 13th of February 2019, the day before Valentine’s Day, there was some discussion in the webmaster forums about some ranking changes that were noted all over the world. It was concluded that there was some unconfirmed update around the 13th. And since it was noted the day before Valentine’s Day, it was christened the Valentine’s Day update. But what pleased webmasters was that most of the ranking changes noted were positive.

The March 12 Update

On March 12, 2019, we had Danny Sullivan of Google Search directly confirming that a global broad update to the core algorithm was released. The update was confirmed by SEJ as one of the largest updates it had made in years. Sullivan’s advice to deal with the update was to follow the guidance it had provided for the update on March 9, 2018.

The June 3 Broad Core Update and How to Deal with Such Changes

Google’s Search Liaison Danny Sullivan informed in advance on the 2nd of June of a broad core update to the algorithm that would be released on the 3rd of June. Google then confirmed on June 3 that the update would roll out to the various data centers in the days to come.

When it comes to broad updates, Google has always been saying that there really isn’t anything specific you can do to fix any ranking changes, since there are many factors that come in an update. All you need to do is keep adopting Google-recommended best practices for SEO, and any ranking drops will get balanced and rectified. That’s the advice Google gave following this June 3 update as well.

September 24 Update Announced Just Hours Earlier

Twitter is Danny Sullivan’s favored announcement platform. On September 24, 2019 he again announced that in just a few hours a broad update to the core algorithm would be released. It certainly didn’t give webmasters much time to get prepared, but at least they could expect something to happen. The update would, Sullivan said, take some days to fully roll out. Again, Google had the same guidance to offer as with the other core updates.

BERT Update – Machine Learning to the Next Level

The BERT Update has been the latest big update. In fact, Google classified it as the greatest change in 5 years! BERT is powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and uses those machine learning models for understanding the intention behind the search queries better. BERT is the acronym for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers – the technology that makes Google understand user queries better. Google also announced that only 10% of English searches in the US will be affected by BERT for now.

Google Algorithm Updates 2019: A Quick Recap

Google Algorithm Updates 2019

Changes Continue through November

The whole of November witnessed ranking changes and suspected algorithmic updates. By November 9, Search Engine Journal reported that a major update was underway, affecting sites in various niches.  Many top quality sites reported ranking losses. Strangely, SEJ reports that there were some winners particularly for among sites that could be classified as belonging to the spam category.

With advanced digital marketing Long Island services, businesses can stay prepared for such changes and also adopt best SEO practices that emphasize content quality, relevance and comprehensiveness so that they aren’t significantly affected by what Google brings about.