QUICK HIT: Understanding Google's RankBrain

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Ever since Google notified the Web world about its move to RankBrain, question after question has been asked about how it works and what, precisely, it will impact. Let's try and clear up at least a little of the confusion.

RankBrain is essentially a method used by Google to understand more (through artificial intelligence) about the queries it receives. Often, the search terms and phrases entered by end-users are quite ambiguous (there are even search queries that Google hasn't ever seen before if you can believe it) and it can be difficult to understand what the user really, actually wants. 


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The introduction of RankBrain however, which is now used on a large percentage of search queries the engine sees each day, aims to correct that rather significant problem by using artificial intelligence to well, guess what searchers mean - just like a human might do.

What does this mean for your search engine optimization campaigns?

Know that RankBrain doesn't necessarily add any new ranking signals but, depending on the query, it may weigh the existing signals differently (so it won't impact crawling or indexing).

As always, if you're focused on providing content to users that fulfills their information, education or entertainment needs, not much needs to be done really. 

 

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3 comments

KenV 03-22-2016 6:05 PM

If RankBrain is used to guess what searchers mean, it must "learn" some how and this human (me) would guess it would be by following a search and see what the searchers determine is a "successful" landing page (using metrics like bounce rate, session times, etc.). By putting search terms together with content on successful landing pages, RankBrain can "learn" what search terms mean.

So with this new knowledge, wouldn't this also mean that RankBrain can "train" Google's algorithms to find the language patterns in webpages that most closely match keywords that are matches? You might think you optimized for certain keywords only to find RankBrain told the algo differently based on its findings.

Now the ranking of pages that have the kinds of words expected to be on a page about a keyword or set of keywords receives better ranking than a page that may have the exact keyword used over and over. So "not much needs to be done really"?...hmmm...really?

Pete Prestipino 03-23-2016 7:20 AM

Well, not much needs to be done if "you're focused on providing content to users that fulfills their information, education or entertainment needs" - the part right before "not much needs to be done really." RankBrain is essentially the AI component of Google's algorithm and it will weight signals differently (and on top of the personalization capabilities already included), but that certainly doesn't mean websites should do anything but create content that is useful to the consumer.

website design company in hyderabad 04-01-2016 12:28 AM

Google's using a machine learning technology called RankBrain to help deliver its search results.

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