What You Need to Know About Google RankBrain

As we’ve come into the age of voice controlled speakers, one cannot help but wonder what the world is moving towards.  A.I. is on the rise and even though we haven’t quite perfected the technology yet, it’s coming. With the inevitability of artificial intelligence, it falls on us to understand the world around us in a far more complex manner.  Especially for denver SEO professionals, we must learn what the impact of this emerging technology will have on our field. With adaptive learning, search queries will change on a daily basis. What is this technology exactly the Google is using to adjust it’s searches to better fit searchers? RankBrain.

What is RankBrain?  To put it somewhat simply. A few years ago Google based it’s search algorithm around the interpretation of literal strings of words and search terms.  For example: “denver web design”. From there it would present results that fell along these lines for what would match this literal string. Imagine something along the lines of “company with fruit logo”.  This term would be interpreted a little more ambiguously and probably come with a lot of far out results. Let’s say this search term was looking for the billion dollar tech company, Apple, but since the term search query was looking for a company with a fruit logo then there would thousands of results with other companies.  Now, imagine at the heart of this search someone was looking for a new iPhone. This search wouldn’t get anywhere near what they were actually looking for. This is the reason why RankBrain came about.

The point of RankBrain was to increase the likeliness of any search, meaning, over time Google’s algorithm would become self-adaptive in a sense.  Essentially, it would track which search results were clicked on more with each search and narrow search terms down to the results most clicked on.  This is the machine learning aspect of RankBrain because given a set of data it would start to learn from new information like unknown search terms and start to integrate the new data with the old data.  Going back to our example, “company with fruit logo” would turn up with the Apple store as a top search result (because it is the most clicked on) so now the people looking for an iPhone could now jump straight into the Apple store from their search result, making it so they do not have to click as many results to find what they’ve been looking for.  This is a bit of a crude synopsis of RankBrain but this is the idea behind it. Search queries become more adaptive over time to provide better results for your searches.

What does this mean for SEO professionals?  Quite a bit actually.

Ever since the late 90’s (remember way back when Google was first starting) the idea Google created was to deliver the best content to anyone searching for it by presenting the sites most referenced from other sites to indicate accuracy of their information.  Well, being that human beings are pretty smart, we slowly figured out ways to manipulate this system in our favor. Since then Google has made it their mission to find the most accurate results without manipulation. If you happen to be one of those SEO professionals that actually prefers things working perfectly well, then it’s time to rejoice!  The focus of RankBrain is actually on content importance. What this means is that instead of looking for the most linked content, it looks for the content that actually sounds like a human conversation (non-keyword stuffing algorithm) and is relevant to a search term. This is not to say that backlinks are not important being that they are still in the top three for authority score but it means that RankBrain is looking for worthwhile content to put at the top of the results for anyone searching.

From what most can tell, the best way to approach RankBrain is provide the most relevant content (the more words the better) and content that sounds like a natural human conversation (no keyword stuffing).