In the past Google would treat similar search queries the same without applying context:
What exactly has changed?
Simply put, the search engine results pages got a lot smarter when BERT was introduced into the Google algorithm. Powered by AI learning, this change now allows Google to understand the “context” of a long-tail search query.
What does BERT affect?
Since BERT reads the entire sequence of words in a search query as opposed to the traditional directional models, which read the text input sequentially (left-to-right or right-to-left), it is safe to say this update will mostly impact “long-tail” search queries.