Rank brain and the Future of SEO
Which factors now play a major role in Google’s organic ranking?
A few weeks ago, Google’s Quality team collaborated with a few big names from the SEO world, including Rand Fishkin and Bill Slawski, to answer that question in an online video Q & A.
The first two factors are no surprise: content and links. The third factor, Rank brain, is a machine learning AI launched by Google last year.
So in this article, we will explain what Rankbrain is and how you can use it to further strengthen your SEO.
Machine learning AI
Google’s goal is to respond the user’s question as promptly and as quickly as possible. To improve its search results, Google regularly performs an algorithm update.
With the Hummingbird update, the search engine went more to look at the semantic value of the search and not necessarily to what was literally being searched. Google is going on even further. In order to ensure that search results are even better matched to the search, they have developed a machine learning AI.
This is a system that automatically learns from itself. As it better understands the meaning of the search, it also improves the relevance of the search results.
Why has Google done that?
15% of searches being run daily are never run before, making it sometimes difficult for Google to show the right results. Rank brain learns from itself and can adapted adapt more easily to new circumstances.
In addition, we notice that voice search is becoming more and more important. Think of new innovations from Apple with Siri, Microsoft with Cortana and Google with Google Now – personal assistants looking for the right information for you.
In fact, they’re just looking for your spoken searches through Google. This implies that the question will also be completely different and more natural. After all, users learned to use keywords on a computer, while voice searches use more natural sentences.
An example: Two people are looking for a pair of shoes. Person 1 is sitting behind his PC and typing “buy shoes online”, while person 2 is typing a search on his smartphone, “Where can I buy online shoes?”.
The last search is much more natural and therefore more complex for Google. With Rank brain, this is no problem anymore.
Influence on SEO
It’s hard to say what Rank brain’s influence is on SEO results. Unlike other Google updates like Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird, Rank brain did not lead to the situations that websites suddenly disappeared from the index or saw their rankings melt as snow in the sun.
What we can say is that the machine learning AI will be getting better and that the search results will better match the searches. This will increase the relevance of search results.
However, there are no tricks you can apply to use Rank brain for your benefit.
In future, this machine learning AI can be used to better determine which ad will appear in a search query. This, in turn, means that ads through Google AdWords will become more relevant. However, when this will happen, it is still a big question mark.
What is noticeable is that Google is increasingly focusing on the user and giving him the correct results as quickly as possible.
It also shows that SEO today is more than just rankings and keywords. It is about understanding and helping the customer. So, make use of the language your customer speaks and let it go through your broader marketing strategy.
SEO is increasingly becoming the starting point of online marketing, on which other disciplines can be grafted, but that is a feed for the next blog post.
If you have questions about Rank brain or about your SEO strategies for the future, please feel free to contact us!
Ashish Sharma is a Key Account Manager, and Content writer looking after Marketing Strategies and building new business tie ups at WeDigTech – A mobile app development company in India. Focused on helping enterprises StartUps from domestic to MNCs.