Google's Rankbrain and SEO: Everything you need to know

Google Rankbrain and SEO

It has been known for years that Google has been working on machine learning and artificial intelligence to organize the world's information in a better way. Finally, the time has come. It's now official that Google has adopted Rankbrain algorithm in its web search.

This algorithm makes use of machine learning and A.I for organizing the web's content in a better way.

A.I stands for artificial intelligence. It's a way of replicating human intelligence using computers.

So, what is machine learning?

Machine learning

The machine learning is a subfield of the science of artificial intelligence. The machine learning algorithm enables Google to train itself without the involvement of any engineer. It is better itself on auto-pilot. Google is now planning to implement this machine learning across all its platforms from Android to the web.

Let me explain you what machine learning is, in simple terms. Let us take Google image recognition as an example.

If you have used Google image recognition recently, you may have noticed that the image recognition algorithm is not so accurate. Googlebot can't identify the images, as we humans do. Adopting machine learning algorithm to this, makes image recognition easier.

Let me take an example of a fish image. Once we feed the algorithm some images of fishes, it computationally records the patterns of fish like eyes, shape of an object, gills, fins, etc. Now the machine learning algorithm has learned the ability to identify the image of fish. Now, as it comes across more images and more patterns that make the image of a fish, it turns out to be more accurate. Like this, the accuracy will be increased on autopilot.

Aims of Google A.I and machine learning:

  • Better rankings based on the quality of the content.
  • Better natural language query or keywords processing, using neural networks (part of A.I)
  • Better reasoning and analytical thinking.
  • Betterment of Google Now and voice search.
  • Improvement in email spam detection. Machine learning plays an important role here.
  • Improvement of Google Translate.
  • Better image recognition.

What is Rankbrain?

A.I. brain

Rankbrain is an algorithm that makes use of Google's artificial intelligence and machine learning to accurately rate the quality of content, and rank them. In fact, a report from Bloomberg mentions that the RankBrain algorithm is smarter than an average engineer.

Rankbrain is already in action. It is affecting your SEO efforts. It was officially announced on October 26, 2015.

This algorithm helps Google in improving its voice assistant Google Now. And also, it's Google search. Google will be able to answer much more complex, nested queries like "Should I carry an umbrella on 2nd of January in the seventh most populous city in the world". Results will be more accurate for long-tail and natural search queries.

Googling will be more fun. It can answer every question you imagine. It returns accurate results to your query.

Bottomline: Google's A.I gets the ability to understand the content. Algorithm becomes better after subsequent updates.

All learning that RankBrain does is offline, Google told us. It’s given batches of historical searches and learns to make predictions from these. Those predictions are tested and if proven good, then the latest version of RankBrain goes live. Then the learn-offline-and-test cycle is repeated.

– Search Engine Land

Along with Panda, Penguin, and other updates. Expect Rankbrain updates periodically.

For more details on Rankbrain – FAQ: All About The New Google RankBrain Algorithm

How Rankbrain affects SEO?

The introduction of Rankbrain algorithm can be regarded as one of the biggest revolutions in SEO history.

Rankbrain is now the third most important Google ranking factors.

As Google A.I. can actually understand the content.

Google collects data from all of it's products like Android, Chrome, Gmail, and makes machine learning even faster. More data means more effective machine learning.

Rankbrain algorithm combats blackhat SEO and normal link building in very good ways:

  • Spun content can be detected super-easily.
  • The value of backlink building will be less. Nowadays content is being ranked higher with zero backlinks.
  • Ability to detect guest posts.
  • The death of PBNs is near.
  • All the black hat SEO practices eventually come to an end.
  • Niche and micro niche blogs, find it hard to rank high with only 2-3 pages of content.

Things in SEO that gain importance:

  • Topical optimization gains importance over keyword optimization.
  • Ranking for long tail keywords which have exact intent becomes a trend.
  • Writing semantically rich and relevant content gains importance.
  • Content that covers every possible thing about the particular topic gets rewarded greatly.
  • Schema markup on web pages plays an important role and helps Google in topic modeling.
  • The quality of content will become one of the most influential ranking factors.

What should be your content strategy?

You may be wondering, what all these big changes in SEO mean to us.
Here are the takeaways. The ways in which you should think of putting your content in place.

You have now realized that Rankbrain is the algorithm that is meant to put quality results on the first page.

  • Always target for a higher word count. Long articles rank well for long-tail keywords which is important for ranking well with Rankbrain algorithm.
  • Write in detail about the topic. Answer every question that may arise in people's mind. Showcase your expertise in a niche.
  • Google, now stresses on topic authority than ever before. Because it wants to deliver highly accurate results for the search queries. So, focus on building long-term authority sites.
  • Publish lots of content on a particular topic. Establish an authority over a narrow topic, rather than just widening it out. Include the LSI keywords in your article, headings, and alt tags. That's where topical optimization comes to play.
  • Always earn backlinks by producing great content.
  • Focus on building personal brand awareness. If someone searches for your blog or brand name in Google for your article, it carries great trust to your site. A.I can determine who is behind what content, by using Android, Chrome and other surveillance techniques.
  • Make your pages load at a faster speed, especially on mobile devices. Google AMP project aims at that.

If you are someone who is not ranking high in Google in spite of epic content, Rankbrain algorithm may reward you. As I've said earlier there will be Rankbrain update periodically as like any other updates. And it will be displayed in – Google Algorithm Change History by Moz.

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