The arduous engineers at Google are always finding out new ways to improve the search engine’s function and compatibility. Google recently introduced a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) program called RankBrain which has been deemed to be the third most important ranking factor in search queries. We may not have noticed any significant difference in the search results of our queries, but experts at Google claim that RankBrain will make web search even more efficient and easier. Let’s take a look at what RankBrain is and how it can affect your SEO strategy:
What is RankBrain
RankBrain is an artificially intelligent system this is being used by Google along with other SEO algorithms within its main Hummingbird system. It is rooted in the machine learning systems which Google has been building over the past few years and uses mathematical entities that the computer can understand easily. It enables Google to assess and interpret millions of searches made each day and make predictions about what people mean by a particular search. It is good at finding patterns related to a search and generates results accordingly.
For instance, if you searched for ‘Obama’ a few years back when Barack Obama wasn’t the president of America, you would have obtained results that displayed information, particularly related to the keyword ‘Obama. Today, if you search ‘Obama’ it will give you all the relevant results concerning the US president. The Google RankBrain interprets our queries and filters results in more efficient ways. It handles queries that are entered in Google like never before and makes it search with evermore increasing efficiency.
Keep in mind that RankBrain is not a replacement of Hummingbird (Google’s search algorithm). In fact, it is designed to be an extension to the Hummingbird to produce better and more meaningful searches.
Why have Google Done This?
Around 15% of searches google receives every day brand new. Now this is an astounding number as with a quoted 3 billion searches per day this indicates that 450 million searches are brand new.
It seems that Rankbrain helps with sorting out these new searches to return something useful. As mentioned on the Search Engine Land Blog Post Rankbrain is now the 3rd most important part of the overall algorithm. Rankbrain’s choices, of if your website is relevant or not to a specific search, are now a very important consideration
How it Affects Your SEO Strategy
If you are doing SEO in a White Hat and sustainable way then it doesn’t. What Rankbrain means for real quality websites is that their content may be found for searches or related keywords that it was not directly related to before now.
The basic SEO strategy is to aim for the top 3 searches as these are the results that people are more likely to click. If you find the right keywords and use effective white hat SEO strategies (fair SEO techniques that focus on a human audience), you will eventually find your way to the top three. Artificially intelligent, the RankBrain has the ability to change and adapt automatically which makes it easier to detect black hat SEO practices (techniques that only focus on search engines to improve their ranking). Eventually, making SEO practices more legitimate in the long run. Apart from this, it will make Google searches robust and rigorous which is good news for the users.
It is quite tricky to understand Google’s SEO algorithms. The ranking factors have always been a closely guarded secret but experienced SEO’s have a fairly good idea about what the most important factors are and the order you should concentrate on them. Effective use of the keywords with white hat practices is the way to go about understanding SEO algorithms and time and experience will let you know what is currently working well. With the introduction of RankBrain, Google’s ranking mechanism has improved and users have a better chance of getting their desired results. Google has always wanted to be a better place for users and RankBrain ensures that this is attainable. It may be the first step for Google to incorporate a true artificial intelligence in SEO algorithms, but it surely is not the last one. With time, these algorithms will become more and more advanced.
The main Hummingbird update, several years ago, was the first step to providing results based on user intent instead of just keyword content. Rankbrain does not replace Hummingbird but rather it is a secondary stage where the intent of a user search is learned over time. Each time a search is completed and a result clicked this is fed back into the Rankbrain learning algorithm and it gets iteratively better with each search and click.
Check out the Search Engine Land Rankbrain FAQ for any more info
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