Google has always maintained that it uses about 200 ranking factors in its algorithm. However some time back, it had announced that the third most important factor after links and content as criteria for ranking is RankBrain. RankBrain is an Artificial intelligence program introduced by Google in order to help the search engine giant in processing search queries on its search engine.
It uses artificial intelligence to embed large amount of written language into entities called as vectors which only a computer is able to understand. It is also able to handle complex queries in case it comes across unfamiliar words. This is done by guessing the phrases which might have the same meaning and is able to filter the results accordingly which makes Google much more capable at handling such queries which it has not seen before.
RankBrain has the capability to learn new patterns and give out the results accordingly in the Search Engine Result Pages. Instead of being pre-programmed so that it responds to situations in a certain way, RankBrain can certainly update itself with time. It is just like a robot who can continuously search for improved parts in order to upgrade itself instead of depending on humans for maintenance, though it is not a robot but simply a series of mathematical equations.
How it has affected the SEO Industry
In the SEO industry, RankBrain has been considered as a crucial ranking signal and probably third in significance after content and links. By introducing this marketing indicator which is based on machine learning, it becomes possible for searchers to have a great search experience while searching for various key terms.
The search results basically depend more on the actual meaning of the query rather than the exact keyword. This has introduced a big change in the intent of search markets as they need to understand that there is a need to make content more meaningful and helpful instead of simply applying repetition of the keyword.
To understand the user content has become more important now than it was ever before. With the passage of time in the future, it is definitely expected that Google’s algorithm would become more and more dependent on machine learning and artificial intelligence. It is also very much understood that it will not be possible to manipulate search rankings for search marketers.
The reality is that the first and foremost step in developing any SEO campaign has always been developing a set of keywords. These keywords have always been relevant words which your customers or future prospects will be searching for. If you don’t create the campaign as per those relevant searches, then it was very much understood that the campaign would not be successful. RankBrain has changed all of that old school of thought.
Previously till any update was made Google’s algorithm would remain constant and work on the same principles as before with the previous criteria, while determining search rankings. However, with the advent of this Artificial Intelligence program called RankBrain, the algorithm is constantly changing and adding new data on an everyday basis.
This implies that your SEO campaigns will have to be more flexible and adaptable to the changes being made in the search engine rankings criteria. RankBrain is specially designed for helping interpret in a better way all the queries and translate them in a more effective way for finding best pages for the searcher on Google.
RankBrain and other constant changes which Google does in its algorithm are literally compelling marketing professionals to get much smarter about the type of content they create and optimize. Digital marketers must understand that in order to survive in this world of cut-throat search engine wars and competition, they must think and strategize beyond relevant keywords (old building blocks of SEO industry) and increase their understanding regarding context of the formulated queries. They should be able to create content that provides a satisfying solution to a query searched by any intended user. It is more important to serve the intent rather than merely satisfying those keywords which exactly matches the intent searcher’s keywords.
To conclude, RankBrain will continue getting developed with time. It is not necessary that every marketer must have experienced drastic changes in their campaigns or as a customer noticed something drastically different. However, they are crucial from the perspective of a search engine results page and could ultimately determine the future of search algorithm development. There is no need to make drastic changes to your SEO campaigns, however, continue your understanding of the new AI ranking signal and paying attention to your rankings. Judgment day will be the day when RankBrain becomes the #1 factor in search rankings.