Google RankBrain: The Impact of Machine Learning on SEO

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the art of using organic search rankings to drive traffic to a particular website. RankBrain, part of Google’s page ranking algorithm, has been out since 2015 and its influence on page ranking has proven it to be a powerhouse in the world of SEO. But what exactly is Google RankBrain?

google rankbrain seoThe History of Google RankBrain

In October 2015, Google confirmed its launch of an artificial intelligence system called RankBrain. In its first three months of operation, RankBrain quickly became the third most important factor in determining relevant search results. As a result, the introduction of RankBrain sent shockwaves to digital marketers everywhere and changed the SEO game forever.

Before Google introduced RankBrain, software engineers would manually change Google’s algorithm based on what people were searching for and how relevant the results of these searches were. In between updates, the algorithm would remain unchanged and continue ranking pages according to the latest version of the software. 

The launch of RankBrain was a game-changer for page ranking. How do we know? We, like other SEO professionals, had to adapt to it. 

Unlike Google Software engineers, RankBrain has the ability to perform experiments and analyze the data in real-time. This allows the system to notice patterns, make associations between keywords and related topics, and make alterations to the Google algorithm in real-time.

RankBrain’s success speaks for itself. When it was introduced, RankBrain was only used for certain queries. In 2016, Google announced that it had begun using RankBrain in all searches. Fast-forward to 2020, and we can confirm that machine learning for page ranking and Search Engine Optimization is here to stay.

machine learning seoMachine Learning and Google RankBrain

Google RankBrain is one of many parts of the Google algorithm. As a search engine, Google’s overall goal is to eliminate search results that don’t serve the purpose of their searchers and ultimately provide the highest quality content. 

Where does RankBrain fit in? RankBrain was specifically designed to sort through pages of results when a user enters a query and choose the most relevant content using machine learning.

Machine learning is a form of artificial intelligence (AI) that allows a computer system to teach itself without the assistance of a human being.

RankBrain is a unique platform, as it possesses the ability to teach itself without human input, build on the knowledge gained and reference back for use in future queries.

SEO with a Mind of its Own

The introduction of Google RankBrain had an enormous impact on digital marketers and subsequent SEO strategy. 

Google RankBrain thinks like a human, not like a computer. Before RankBrain, SEO experts put emphasis on the importance of keywords and while RankBrain still loves keywords (is an artificially intelligent system capable of love?) its capabilities stretch beyond matching just keywords or phrases. RankBrain’s ability to take keywords and reference other searches containing those keywords and other related topics is truly what makes the system remarkable. 

Since it’s been operating for approximately half a decade and has learned a lot about its searchers, RankBrain can now interpret a searcher’s intent based on a simple query. This gives Google the ability to serve the highest quality content to that searcher.

what is google rankbrainSEO Meets Content Marketing

RankBrain has actually been utilized by Google since 2015 but at its inception, it put some business owners on edge. The secret to surviving the switch to RankBrain? Investing in a strong content marketing strategy.

Building content for your business is crucial for your online rankings. The key question: what is your audience searching for? The content being published to your site should provide information of the services or goods that your business offers. 

This algorithm may have the ability to think like a human but it cannot figure out which services your business offers unless outlined somewhere in the content on your website. For example, a landscaping business does not have content on their website regarding power-washing homes or decks. Though this business does perform those services, RankBrain cannot draw that conclusion since the content does not exist.

Light the Signals

Google’s overall algorithm contains hundreds of signals. These signals are different characteristics that affect rankings. When RankBrain compiles a search results page, signals such as bold letters, mobile-friendliness, back-links, social media, structure, etc. are instantly calculated. All of these signals impact the results.

If your business has a proper SEO strategy in place, RankBrain isn’t something to worry about. Posting content on a regular basis is a huge help to Google RankBrain. Relevant content sends the system signals it then connects to create a clear picture of the business as a whole, which is ideal for those searching for a business like yours – especially in 2020. If you have been hesitant to jump into the world of SEO, there is no better time than the present to begin!

Creative Click Media specializes in customized SEO strategies that get results. Our mission? Find the keywords for your business and take aggressive action to get your business on the first page! We know 2020 has been a tough year for many businesses but implementing your own custom content marketing strategy can help make up for lost time! Contact us today to see how we can help your business!

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