Google RankBrain – Artificial Intelligence for Search Queries

RankBrain is Google’s machine-learning artificial intelligence system that Google uses to process searches made on Google. RankBrain was setup to monitor search queries and find ways of improving their search engine ranking algorithm (code named Hummingbird).

Hummingbird aims to match a query with content on the web while RankBrain intelligently extracts the meaning from a query so Google’s search algorithms can then deliver optimal results. RankBrain is one of the hundreds of ranking factors that Google’s uses in their current algorithm.

These ranking factors determine where your website ranks in Google’s search results. RankBrain is the third most important ranking factors that help Google match relevant websites to your search query.

5 Key Facts About RankBrain

  • It’s Google’s artificial intelligence learning maching
  • Helps Google understand long complex search queries
  • Sorts through billions of pages to return the best results
  • Announced in the late 2015 as a core part of the algorithm

Why is Google RankBrain important?

About 15% of Google’s three billion daily searches have never been seen before. Some are simple and short like “running shoes” while others are specific, niche, long-tail, multi-word phrases. The point is that there are far too many to be analysed manually.

That’s where RankBrain comes in. It intelligently interprets the vast number of new queries, and translates them to other related queries to bring the best pages to the searcher – and can do it as naturally as a human could.

How? The system can see patterns between complex searches and tries to understand how they’re similar to each other. This learning also helps it understand future complex searches. And what’s more interesting is that it can then associate these groups of searches with results that it believes searchers will find most useful.

How will RankBrain affect your website?

When a search query is analysed, RankBrain asks: “What was the intent of this search?”

While Google’s Hummingbird algorithm first raised the question of the role of keywords in SEO, RankBrain reinforces the idea that exact-match keywords are losing importance in proper SEO. Sure, it’s still important to optimise content using keywords and phrases that users search for. However, it’s more important to have content and keywords that satisfy the phrases users are truly seeking, and not the exact they’re searching on Google.

That’s what Google RankBrain is looking to achieve – to understand what users mean by their specific search query and help Google find and deliver satisfying results. As you know, search algorithms are getting more accurate and more human. This rewards sites that are optimised using correct SEO techniques that go beyond link building.

Think about it. Informative, useful and interesting content is what people are searching for, and it’s what Google RankBrain is striving to deliver. If you keep on improving your SEO with great content, you’ll be in good shape as the machines begin taking over our searches.

It’s hard to say what kind of influence RankBrain will have to SEO if any, but one thing is for sure – it will continue to evolve over time and deliver better search results for Google’s users.

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

The goal of artificial intelligence (AI) is to mimic human cognitive functioning to solve problems. AI can perform many tasks that, until recently, required human intervention to complete, such as speech recognition or translation.

The interesting part is that Artificial Intelligence systems need to learn constantly in order to deliver the best results. So the more data an Artificial Intelligence system handles, the more it learns and the more effectively it can approach and solve new problems in the future.

When it comes to RankBrain, when it is presented with an unfamiliar word or query, the system will try to guess what the query was about and filter accordingly. So using AI helps Google to process and handle the increasing volume of search traffic and also to deliver users the information they’re searching for, only faster.

With the help of RankBrain, search results are bound to become more accurate as the technology develops and handles greater volumes of queries.


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