Google RankBrain: Effective Ways to Adapt Your SEO


Google is an extremely powerful search engine. Its complex algorithms are tirelessly working behind the scenes to bring the most relevant content for each search query, of which there are about 40,000 every second. Google RankBrain is a part of these algorithms. In fact, Google has stated that RankBrain is one of the three most important ranking factors, along with quality content and links. So, what is Google RankBrain? And how can it affect your digital marketing efforts? Read on to find out.

What is Google RankBrain?

To put it simply, RankBrain is a part of the main algorithm that Google uses to show you the most relevant information possible. If you found this blog post through organic means, you have this same algorithm to thank for that. Introduced back in October 2015, its sole purpose was, and still is, to process search queries that Google had never seen before – about 15% of daily searches, or 4.4 million searches. Nowadays it has been applied to every search query.

Google RankBrain

RankBrain is unique in the fact that it uses machine learning and complex artificial intelligence to more accurately determine the user’s intent. This, in turn, provides more relevant results, helping you to find the right answers to your questions faster than ever before. Its machine learning capabilities allow RankBrain to learn from past search queries and, over time, teach itself to provide even more accurate results.

How is Google RankBrain Affecting SEO in 2018?

RankBrain is on the top of the list of the hundreds of different ranking signals. It’s safe to say that it will indeed have a major effect on your SEO efforts. But how exactly can you optimise your site with RankBrain in mind?

You Need to Rethink How You do Keyword Research

Google has changed the way it thinks about keywords so you should too. With RankBrain, Google understands more about the intent behind a keyword, focusing on the topic presented more so than the specific keyword itself. Gone are the days where you would create a landing page, or content, tailored to exact keywords. If you’re still doing this, it’s time to stop now.

You can start by erasing the use of long tail keywords completely. It simply doesn’t make sense to use them anymore, especially if you’re using similar ones for different pages. Using medium tail keywords instead, combined with awesome content, will automatically allow you to rank for thousands of similar keywords.

Start Optimising Your Pages for People, Not Google

This one’s a no-brainer. Create amazing content that people want to read, and will continue to come back and reference for a long time to come. By doing so, you will unknowingly be optimising your content for Google too. How? It’s simple really. Have you ever found yourself searching Google for an answer to a specific question? Of course, you have. Now think, what do you do when you find a page with the answer you’re looking for? You stop bouncing back to the search engine results page and spend time reading through the content. Satisfied with what you find, you search for knowledge ends.

Google RankBrain

RankBrain’s machine learning capabilities are learning every day that sites that are providing the content that people are looking for are much more valuable to have at the top of the SERP. It considers the search terms people are using, the sights that are not suited for these terms and those sites that people are staying on, among other things. So, what does this mean for you? It means you need to start answering people’s questions and doing it well. That way you can significantly increase your organic rankings.

Be Creative With Title Tags and Description Tags

Optimising title tags and description tags used to be all about keywords. You can probably guess by now that this is something that needs to change too. Although including your keywords is still important, it’s even more important to entice people to click on your content. Organic CTR is key here. Put yourself in the user’s shoes and think about what will influence their decision to spend their precious time on your site.

This can be challenging, especially seeing as you have a very limited character limit to do this in. One thing you can do is pack these tags full of emotion and benefits. The use of power words and numbers can also have a big impact on what is clicked on and what is not. Once you have devised an attractive title and description, work your keywords into it. Make sure this appears natural and fits well into the sentence.

Overall, you should consider optimising your website with RankBrain in mind, rather than optimising for it. Like most things with Google, it’s impossible to predict exactly how anything will affect your website. The best you can do is make informed, logical decisions and keep producing top quality content. If you’re looking for more insights into increasing your rankings on Google, ICON’s dedicated team of digital marketers can help you become more proficient at SEO. Get in contact with ICON today.