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Google RankBrain – SEO and Artificial Intelligence

Google’s RankBrain algorithm is actually an artificial intelligence (AI) program that is used in order to help process Google queries

A relatively new component of the overall Google search engine algorithm is RankBrain, which is an evolution of Google’s “Hummingbird” SEO algorithm. RankBrain was gradually rolled out in 2015 and has been fully active for a few months now. In March 2016 Andrey Lipattsev, a Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google confirmed that links and content are joint first in terms of determining how Google rank websites, however RankBrain is the third most important factor.

Google’s RankBrain algorithm is actually an artificial intelligence (AI) program that is used in order to help process Google queries. Artificial intelligence is used by RankBrain to embed a huge amount of written language into mathematical entities; that can be understood by computers, and which are known as vectors.

If RankBrain is not familiar with a phrase or a word that it sees, the machine has the ability to guess as to what similar meaning that particular phrase or word might have, and it filters the result accordingly. This way, the derived results are much more effective and can easily satisfy the person who is searching something on Google. Some FAQs are discussed below in order to help you understand Google’s new RankBrain algorithm.

What is RankBrain?

In order to help process its search results, a machine-learning artificial intelligence system is used, that Google has named RankBrain.

What do you mean by Machine Learning?

When a computer educates itself on how to do something, it is called Machine Learning. In this process, the computer neither follows any detailed programming, nor is it taught by any human.

What do you mean by artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence, (abbreviated as AI), is a capacity by which a computer can be as smart or as intelligent as a human being where it concerns acquiring knowledge from being taught as well as from building on what it knows and creating new connections.

Of course, true artificial intelligence exists only in science fiction stories or novels. In reality, AI generally means the computer systems that are especially designed to learn and make connections.

How does RankBrain work?

RankBrain is a section of Google’s overall search “algorithm”, which is a computer program, used to sort through the millions and billions of pages it knows about. This program helps find the ones that seem most relevant for a particular query and is part of their algorithm to determine which order to display results in.

Google are keeping it a closely guarded secret how it works, however it’s fair to speculate that RankBrain learns based on user signals, for example if a user visits a website, doesn’t like what they see, clicks back immediately and then clicks another search result and spends a lot of time on the second website, that the first site would receive a small negative mark for SEO and the second one would receive a boost, either for the site as a whole or for the particular keyword being searched for.

Google process around 3.5 billion searches a day so RankBrain could potentially make these tiny adjustments to search results billions of times a day.

If RankBrain is the third most important signal, what are the first and second signals?

Google said that this new system has become the third most important factor for ranking Web pages, however webmasters and SEO companies alike will obviously want to know what the first and second signals are.

Google actually haven’t said! However it’s likely that the first and second signals are 1. On-Page content and 2. The number and quality of links going to a website.

What is the total number of signals?

Google have said that there are more than 200 major ranking signals that they evaluate and over 10,000 sub-signals. These include where the keyword is used in Metatags, titles, links, bold text, the order keywords appear on a page, site design, quality of images and a myriad of other on-page SEO factors.

It also includes how varied the link profile is to a website, social media signals, whether the majority of links to a site are from high quality articles or if a site has 100’s of links but all from the same source, etc. etc.

The difference between RankBrain and other SEO signals is that RankBrain is designed to constantly evolve and learn, whereas the other 10,000 signals are essentially a formula, albeit a staggeringly complex one!