Google and the BERT Algorithm Update

If you’re an attorney, and you’re looking to get leads from your website, you better keep up with Google and the BERT algorithm update. Search Engine Journal just published its own opinion on this groundbreaking update. How big is BERT and will it affect your website? Well, Google themselves is claiming that this is their biggest update in half a decade. So, yeah, it’s going to be a big thing.  So, what the heck is BERT, how does it work, and how can you utilize it to your advantage? Were going to discuss that in this article.

First and foremost, let’s start by identifying what BERT means. The acronym stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representation from Transformers. Okay, so, what does that actually mean? At first read, it may sound like this algorithm update is related to Optimus Prime and a new weapon to beat the Decepticons. Where is Sam Whitwiki when we need him most? Come on Sam, go storm Google, obtain the all-spark, and deliver it to the SEO world so we can once and for all solve the never-ending enigma that is organic search. Okay, enough fun, let’s get back to business. So, what is BERT and what does it mean for your law firm? As always, grab a pen and paper (and for this one you may want to pour a pot of coffee or snag yourself a BANG energy drink cause this one is going to be a doozy) and let’s dive deeper into this.

What is the BERT Algorithm and How Does it Affect Your Organic SEO Rankings 

BERT, so as it does what it has set out to do effectively, truly is the biggest thing to happen to organic SEO in a very long time. The article by Search Engine Journal goes into extreme detail, and we do suggest you read it. For the point of this post, we want to dive right into what this is and how it will affect your website. Remember, Big Bang works primarily with attorneys. So again, for this article, we are going to talk about how the update from the standpoint of managing an attorney’s web presence. So, what is the BERT algorithm and how does it affect your organic SEO rankings?

BERT, in a nutshell, is an “intelligent” algorithm update. It deals with language and the understanding of words. Simply put, a signal word may have different meanings in one language. Take the word “rose” for example, in English its meaning is dictated by how you use it. In addition, a single word may have a cross-over meaning, this has to deal with dialects. In the United Kingdom, they speak English, but it’s a different dialect with different meanings they say someone speaking English in the United States. You can go even deeper with this, like someone speaking English in California may differ from someone in Green Bay, WI.

However, BERT goes way beyond just simple word meaning and context understanding. This is where we are going to shift from BERT to how BERT affects law firm marketing campaigns. BERT is a “learning” program, meaning it will adapt and evolve over time. In addition, and to us this is the biggest thing for our attorney clients, is that BERT is attempting to source data from a “natural laguange” standpoint. Okay, so once again, what does this mean for lawyers looking to get new leads from their website? Well, for starters, BERT is aiming to understand full questions and provide specific answers. Essentially, this is the birth of actually “talk to search capabilities, which is something we’ve been preparing for throughout 2019. So, how can you prepare for this update, what are the benefits of BERT, and can your law firm utilize this to get more leads? Let’s find out, shall we?

3 Ways the BERT Update Can Get You More Law Firm Leads

Yes, you knew it was coming. Can you blame us? This is HUGE, BERT is HUGE, of course we’re going to try to use it to land some new law firm clients. Don’t get mad though, we’re about to identify 3 ways the BERT update can get you more law firm leads. BERT is essentially making search better. I know, you’ve heard that before. However, this truly is a major update and it’s more than a game-changer. So, how do you harness BERT and use it to drive new clients to your law practice? Simple, you hire Big Bang. Okay, no, that was a joke (unless you want to hire us, as I am typing this post I am eying a nice new watch on eBay so hurry up and buy). Okay, all jokes aside, you harness BERT through quality content. Here’s how.

Would you ever speak to someone in a robotic tone? Would you try to use “glued together” words to get your point across? If you’re shaking your head wondering why we are asking assinine questions, check this out. Up until today you may have thought that a GREAT keyword phrase to rank for would be “personal injury attorney Elk Grove” or “car accident lawyer Elk Grove” (yes, we have a major client there so we’re using this one as an example, if you don’t like it than take your ball and go home, you don’t need to play with us). Guess what, that doesn’t actually make any sense. In REAL English we would say “contact a personal injury attorney in Elk Grove” or “who is the best car accident attorney in Elk Grove, CA” in order to obtain an informative answer. Check out the image below, the better organic result, the better ranking that will lead to a better quality call, is the one asked in a natural way. BERT aims to do this.

Google and the BERT Algorithm Update



As you can see from the image above the client ranks number one for the natural language search. This is not only important from a keyed in search query but most of all, for talk to search quires. As voice-activated searches and voice command options become more advanced, the need to keying in search questions becomes obsolete. Short-handed search terms will no longer be utilized as often. As potential clients opt to search with their voice their questions become more complex, specific, which may yield better client calls. Look at it this way, someone who looks for a “personal injury attorney” may be a real client, it may be a bot, or a marketing agency trying to pour salt on your wounds because you rank on page 5 instead of page one. However, if someone searches for “what car crash attorney has won the most money for traumatic head injury victims after an accident?” that call is most likely a real viable client and one you WANT calling you. Here are the top 3 the BERT update can get you more law firm leads.

More specific searches will lead to better client calls 

As we identified above, BERT should help with higher quality clicks and inquires. More specific searches will lead to better client calls. Someone who is searching for a specific type of legal assistance, should they find you high in the SERPs and land on your page, should convert more often than not. How many times have you wasted money on a marketing campaign only to receive robot calls or inquiries from other SEO firms trying to sell you services? You need REAL client calls, and BERT may be the biggest thing in five years to help increase quality inquires.

Higher Quality Content 

Have you ever read SEO content? While we love to pat ourselves on the back for our amazing content (okay this is where you send us flowers and chocolates and tell us how wonderful our writers are) we know that old school SEO content sucks. Now, we’ve been preparing for BERT for a while, which is one reason why our content actually ROCKS. However, other SEO agencies create crap content. Part of that is their fault, for being lazy writers or outsourcing your law firms’ content to someone living in a cave on Mars. However, part of the problem is trying to fit a focus keyword like “DUI attorney Los Angeles” into a real freaking sentence. BERT aims to help writers create higher quality content. We can now write for how we actually use language.

Understanding Law Firm Focus Topics 

BERT also learns and understands. It knows the meaning of your words based upon how you use them. This means it should help increase the understanding of your law firm’s focus topic. So if we are trying to market employment law and workplace discrimination cases, BERT and the ability to publish natural language content should significantly help increase the way the search engine understands the message your page or post is trying to get across to a potential client.

Law Firm Marketing 

Big Bang ROCK at law firm marketing. You know it, we know it, and all of our clients know it. While BERT is huge, we’ve been preparing for this for nearly a year. No, we did not have a cheat sheet or a magic crystal ball. BERT is actually not new, it’s just that Google is now “enforcing” it. If you’re an attorney, and you are tired of being ripped off by shady SEO agencies and marketing firms, click here to contact us. While are believe we are the best Attorney SEO Marketing company around, we truly are not an SEO firm. SEO simply implies that we only focus on digital marketing, we don’t. We are a full-service law firm marketing agency. Big Bang takes SEO, Paid Search, and Digital Marketing and blends it with traditional marketing such as television commercials, radio ads, and print campaigns. If you’re looking for the best law firm marketing company around, call us and launch something today. We are the spark your law firm needs.