How RankBrain is affecting your rankings in Google

Written on 26 September, 2016 by Karen Lam
Categories Search Engine OptimisationTags googlerankbrainsearch engine optimisationseo

If you've been trying to improve your website's SEO presence, you'll have come across the word 'RankBrain' during your research.

In this article, I'll discuss what RankBrain is and how it's affecting your website's Google rankings.

What is RankBrain?

RankBrain is Google's newest learning algorithm which is believed to change the way websites rank in Google. It was introduced in 2016 and many of its effects have been minor, but experts foresee it playing a huge role in ranking websites in search results in the near future.

RankBrain aims to refine search results for search terms that haven't been asked before on Google.

RankBrain is Artificial Intelligence

RankBrain is a computer which is fed batches of historical search data and makes predictions on what content is most relevant for the searcher.

These predictions are first tested and if proven right, they then go live. All RankBrain testing is done offline.

RankBrain is the only Google algorithm that isn't aided by human decision making. It learns all by itself.

A Google spokesperson had this to say:

“If you’re searching for an ambiguous query, or you’re using colloquial terms or talking to Google like it was a person, traditionally, computers will break down, because they can’t understand your query or they haven’t seen that phrase before. RankBrain can generalize it: ‘That phrase seems like something I’ve seen in the past, so I’m going to assume that you meant this.’ It’s much like a person hearing you talking to them in a crowded bar – they can’t hear everything you’re saying, but they still can guess what you’re meaning and have a conversation with you.” - Source

RankBrain is the third biggest SEO factor

Keep in mind there are over 200+ SEO ranking factors. In less than a year RankBrain has become the third most important SEO factor according to Bloomberg.

What are the first two?

Google confirmed that content and backlinks were considered the most important for ranking your website in the search.

How to Optimise Your SEO for RankBrain

To optimise your website for RankBrain you should do the following things:

Create long-form content – RankBrain focuses on optimising search terms which haven't been searched on Google before. Expand your keyword range to include a number of synonyms and variations of the word you're trying to rank for to get the most people to your website.

Creating long-form content (1,500+ words) will help you achieve this.

Make content comprehensive – For example, if you're writing an article about how to buy your first home, go beyond writing about what homebuyers ask and provide answers to questions that are useful but might not be asked as often. The goal of Google is to provide users with the best possible search result; the more useful information you can provide on a topic, the higher you'll rank.

Write for humans – In the Bloomberg video, the Google spokesman said RankBrain is like talking to a human, not a computer. Don't write an article thinking only about keywords; think about the person who will be reading it.

If you're looking to grow your business's presence in Google but don't have the time to manage your own SEO strategy, see how Netregistry can drive more people to your website using SEO.