Last update: 07/13/17
RankBrain is definitely the future of SEO and especially Google. In this short time of its existence, it already managed to stir the pot causing all sorts of speculations within SEO community.
There are many misconceptions regarding this system so we made an article to point them all out.
RankBrain – What is it?
When it was first introduced, many experts believe that the RankBrain was new algorithm meant to replace Hummingbird. That wasn’t the case as it turns out. RankBrain is a completely separate machine learning system that works within Google Search Engine.
It is important to note that RankBrain is not artificial intelligence. This is a sci-fi term that still doesn’t exist in reality even with all the progress within the IT and robotics. However, it is something close to it.
According to people from Google, RankBrain is a machine learning system that should process some of the Google queries. It is able to learn on its own, without human assistance but it doesn’t have consciousness (thus, it isn’t AI).
How Do We Use RankBrain?
This is the question most SEO experts are interested in.
Basically, RankBrain is a part of Google Search Engine and it processes a small fraction of total results. It is meant to give results to ambiguous queries.
So far, Google struggled a lot with such type of questions. Previous algorithms could completely understand the true meaning of the question so returned results tended to be irrelevant.
Do not misunderstand, though. RankBrain is also unable to understand such queries. However, RankBrain is able to monitor human behavior after returning results for certain queries and learn from this experience.
Basically, RankBrain has some similarities to Hummingbird being able to connect the dots within a text. It doesn’t cling to a particular keyword but article as a whole. On top of that, Google engineers added the ability to observe human behavior after returning results for a query. This feedback is a crucial part of the learning system as every link, click, time spent on a website are indicators of content relevancy.
How Do We Use RankBrain?
As mentioned, RankBrain processes a small portion of overall queries. That being said, it would be really counterproductive to do research looking for these keywords. Most of them do not have much volume to justify invested time.
However, whether you are an SEO expert or a blogger, it is necessary to prepare for a future with RankBrain in it. Based on everything we’ve seen so far, Google will most likely implement this system on all search results if the initial testing proves to be positive.
Based on that, here are some of the things you have to keep in mind if you ever start optimizing for RankBrain:
- Users are the key
RankBrain determines relevancy and quality of the article based on user experience. We are not sure what this UX includes but it is safe to say you have to do your best to impress website visitors. Everything that leads to more shares, links, and lesser bounce rate with higher time on your website will prove to be beneficial.
- Titles will be much more important
According to what we know, all of the content will need to pass some sort of an initial phase. During this phase, RankBrain will likely judge whether users click on your article or not. Titles will be very important as a way to lure people to your content.
- Articles will be built around general topic
Things such as keywords and links will likely lose some of its power. Instead, Google will focus on general meaning behind the text and UX.
There are still many things we do not know. One thing is for certain. There is an interesting future ahead of us, a future where SEO will morph but will not perish.