Google was using a machine-learning artificial intelligence system called “RankBrain” to help sort through its search results. Wondering how that works and fits in with Google’s overall ranking system?
Google has announced RankBrain, a new artificial intelligence that is now processing a “very large fraction” of searches each day. This new system was reported to Bloomberg and has been implemented, in part, to help Google better understand deal with the amount of ambiguous queries that they receive each day.
What Is RankBrain?
RankBrain is basically a way for Google to understand more ambiguous queries better. It uses artificial intelligence to try to guess what your query is referring to, like a human would. Greg Corrado, a senior research scientist at Google, said it kind of uses a human “gut feeling” approach, to interpret the hard to understand searches. The artificial intelligence of RankBrain comes in the form of mathematical entities called vectors that can be understood by computers. When presented with an unfamiliar word, RankBrain will help formulate a guess at what the query was about and filter accordingly
So RankBrain Is Part Of Google’s Search Algorithm?
Hummingbird is the overall search algorithm and RankBrain is only one part it. Hummingbird also contains other parts with names familiar to those in the SEO space, such as Panda, Penguin and Payday designed to fight spam, Pigeon designed to improve local results, Top Heavy designed to demote ad-heavy pages, Mobile Friendly designed to reward mobile-friendly pages and Pirate designed to fight copyright infringement.
And RankBrain Is The Third-Most Important Signal?
That’s right. From out of nowhere, this new system has become what Google says is the third-most important factor for ranking Web pages. From the Bloomberg article:
“RankBrain is one of the “hundreds” of signals that go into an algorithm that determines what results appear on a Google search page and where they are ranked, Corrado said. In the few months it has been deployed, RankBrain has become the third-most important signal contributing to the result of a search query, he said.”
How can we optimize for RankBrain?
RankBrain targets non-understandable or complex queries and those using colloquialisms. Therefore, just as it’s not very useful to create specific pages for every single long-tail keyword, it’s even less useful to try targeting the queries RankBrain targets. What we should do is insist on optimizing our content using semantic SEO practices, in order to help Google understand the context of our content and the meaning behind the concepts and entities we are writing about.
RankBrain, then, may not mean that much for our daily SEO activities, but it is offering us a glimpse of the future to come.
Reference- MOZ, Search Engine Land