RankBrain: What do we know as 2016 gets under way?

Q4 2015 saw Google launch its latest development, RankBrain. This is a system based around machine learning that helps with search result sorting. As we move into 2016 and it becomes more embedded, here is some useful information about how the system works.

No massive changes

First, it is important to understand what RankBrain isn’t. Google hasn’t introduced a new algorithm and this isn’t a refreshed way of results sorting. Instead, it is part of the overall jigsaw that is Google’s Hummingbird algorithm, and it is really only one piece of that puzzle.

Nevertheless, RankBrain is important. Google uses more than 200 major “ranking signals”, to produce search results and RankBrain has overtaken all but two of them. Given its importance, it is imperative that you and any website team give it the correct consideration in any SEO strategy. You can speak to your web designer in Cardiff if you’re not certain what this means.

The nuts and bolts

RankBrain interprets searches so that pages are returned that might not include the search terms actually entered. Whilst this ability has been around for a while, including developments such as “stemming” and synonym interpretation, RankBrain means Google can circumvent any human involvement in enabling database connections or linking stemming lists. It also ensures prediction regarding how complex searches might relate to certain topics, meaning users will get the most appropriate results for them as a result of search association.


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Have a clear idea of how you will work with RankBrain

The available information is still relatively scarce, but it is generally believed that the best modus operandi is to make sure that designers such as ambercouch.co.uk web designers in Cardiff ensure there is proper context in the mark-up of website body copy. This ensures marketers aren’t singularly reliant on keywords and are effectively informing Google in advance regarding the topic in question.

Given the development history, it would appear logical that the latest progression is for sites to work with an AI algorithm to inform it precisely what is being read, but it is important for marketers to understand that Google is now accounting for un-stated context within a user’s search.

Factor RankBrain into your SEO plans and you can ensure you stay ahead of the game with this increasingly important ranking signal.

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