An update on RankBrain

We always like to follow and report on the progress of new inventions and changes to the digital marketing world. One such recent one is that of the new Rank Brain system.

What is it?

This was introduced towards the end of last year and its purpose was clear. Essentially RankBrain is known as an ‘artificial intelligence system’ and it flows from this that the aim is to bring more relevant and targeted search results based on people and their intentions.

You could almost think of it as bringing ‘humanity’ into searching and searching results, rather than a machined, computer or automated approach.

Whilst RankBrain has nearly been in existence for half a year now, not much is known about it or what it does. In this article we will try and explore in a little more detail.

The first thing to look at is what precisely it is. Many think RankBrain is an algorithm. It is actually not an algorithm in its own right, yet it is used as a signal factor for an algorithm. The shortcut of what we are trying to say here is that it is important! Infact with numerous ranking signals in existence we know that RankBrain is in the top three of importance. Clearly then, we know at least one thing about it!

The important main concept about Rank Brain is simple. Instead of Google constantly trying to work out the difference between good or bad links / content, it is ‘educating’ the algorithm about how it should read these signals in the future – in a similar way to how a person would.  The result is time saved and a more accurate search result. They key to this is how words or statements are interpreted. Instead of Google viewing words as single terms, Google now tries to find the meaning of their use. You may be aware that single words can have different meanings separate from a bigger context, statement or sentence that they are used in. This is because human language is so complicated and situationally dependant. Essentially RankBrain is a step towards this.

The effect on the future (and more particularly the future of SEO and search) is what is relevant and important. RankBrain represents a big change in this. No longer is it sufficient to solely optimise keywords (for example) and think this is sufficient to increase rankings, but now there is a focus on pages that people actually want based on their own (or generalised consensus) search habits, and the consequences of this.

The results have already been evident, and as RankBank continues to evolve and fine tune, so it will be able to learn better the needs of searchers and to boost those pages and domains accordingly with higher search positions.

We have always said that the digital marketing and SEO industry is constantly changing and requires a need for implementation of these continual updates. In our view we welcome a procedure with apparent human influence, as after all, it is people that will be doing the searching!

While you are here, visit our SEO page to find more details about this topic area.