If you’ve been on the Internet at all within the past week, chances are you’ve heard about RankBrain, the newest part of Google’s search algorithm that uses machine learning to interpret online queries. It sounds pretty complicated, right? I thought so too, which is why I did some research of my own. Here are a few facts about RankBrain that provide a basic understanding of what it is, how it works, and most importantly, how it will impact your SEO.
What is RankBrain?
RankBrain is an artificial intelligence system designed by Google to strengthen the accuracy of their overall search algorithm. Basically, it is one part of an intricate computer program used to sort through every page on the Internet and rank each one according to relevance. RankBrain is able to pick up on various search patterns and store them in its memory to use as a reference for future searches.
Ok. But Google seemed to be doing fine before. Why do they need RankBrain?
According to Search Engine Land, 15% of all search queries have never been seen before. Google processes over 3 billion searches a day, which means more than 450 million of those searches are brand new. Many queries are long and complicated in wording. RankBrain was designed to help Google translate lengthy, unfamiliar phrases in order to generate a list of pages that are most valuable to users.
The vast number of daily searches will only continue to increase, and up until now, the page ranking process has largely depended on human work. Computer systems can not only work more quickly than humans, but are often more accurate on a large scale.
Bloomberg reported that Google search engineers who helped design the algorithm were asked to glance at a few web pages and guess which would rank the highest. The engineers guessed correctly 70% of the time, while RankBrain had an 80% success rate.
How does RankBrain work?
RankBrain finds patterns between searches to determine how they’re alike. It uses these learned connections to understand similarities in future searches. Basically, it groups various complex queries together and associates them with the most valuable search results.
RankBrain can connect long, complex queries with shorter, more common ones, so that even unrecognized searches can yield valuable results. According to Search Engine Land, RankBrain is used to process a “very large” percentage of all Google searches, and is now the third most important signal of the search algorithm.
When did Google start using RankBrain to generate search results?
Although Google didn’t announce the exact launch date of RankBrain, Bloomberg reported that it has been an active part of the search algorithm for the past few months. It would be difficult to trace search results and attribute any substantial changes solely to RankBrain, given that it’s one piece of a huge and complex puzzle.
Google is always experimenting and updating the page ranking process, so you can expect it to keep evolving as they find new and better ways to generate the most valuable search results possible.
What does RankBrain mean for SEO?
Google frequently makes changes to their algorithm to improve search results for users. The announcement of these updates is usually accompanied by an abundance of blog posts claiming that SEO will become irrelevant. But the truth is, SEO is still very much alive and well. Think about it.
Google wants to provide their users with webpages that satisfy the purpose of their searches. If you are optimizing your online presence by offering quality content and reliable services, you will be ranked higher on Google search results.
Google only updates their algorithm for one purpose: to become a more effective search engine. If you become an online authority in your industry, Google will want your website to be accessible to users. It’s a win-win situation.
Need Help Improving Your SEO?
It’s important to establish a strong online presence so Google sees you as a valuable contender in your industry. Blue Corona can optimize your website to make sure you are reaching potential customers. To find out how your business can benefit from online marketing strategies and data-driven decisions, get in touch with one of our SEO specialists.
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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