We cannot ignore the changes Google RankBrain is bringing to organic search. Are we prepared to keep up with this new landscape and act upon the data it provides?
Some aspects of SEO remain true even in a world without 10 blue links. People are still typing or saying search queries. They continue to be presented with choices.
Therefore, consumers will choose your listing over the competition, regardless of where your website ranks.
The position of the keywords on the SERPs dictates an SEO’s campaign success. These positions are the lifeblood of the campaign.
Regardless, Google’s search algorithms have been incorporating more significant factors that make it harder to precisely ascertain how high up in the search ranks a URL may be.
As a mobile search, local results and paid listings grow in popularity and search rank data has become more obfuscated.
Ad dollars spent and the return on investment are causally linked in the case of Google advertising, which continues to be successful.
In contrast, the SEO ranking picture continues to deteriorate as Google’s RankBrain Algorithm becomes increasingly sophisticated. That brings us to the million-dollar question:
What is RankBrain Algorithm?
RankBrain Algorithm employs artificial intelligence and machine learning to take people’s search queries and learn about them.
Still, it is a sophisticated digital entity that takes what the user typed into account and how they respond.
The AI watches and learns from how the user interacted with previous search results and continuously updates what the knowledge graph shows when querying it with new content.
Since it was introduced in October 2015, RankBrain has risen to become the third-ranked signal that guides the selection of sites in the ranking process.
It now processes nearly 15% of queries entered into Google’s search engine daily. As of now, most of Google’s queries are affected by RankBrain.
Despite the many things attributed to RankBrain without a warrant, we know that it attempts to interpret queries beyond their keywords.
A clear example of this would be Google’s understanding of the words cab NYC.
Before RankBrain, and certainly afterwards, Google can comprehend this phrase in context to synonyms and related terms, like taxi, sedan, and New York City.
Google can expand a query to incorporate these synonyms, and consequently, the search has more relevant pages to ponder – more applicable words results in more relevant pages.
As we move on to the next section, let’s examine how RankBrain works.
How Does RankBrain Work?
There has never been a clear explanation from Google about how RankBrain works. However, we know what it means. As time passed, RankBrain’s purpose became clear.
The RankBrain works in three unique ways, as shown below:
• It is a new algorithm developed without the use of hand-coded formulas which developers and testers have been using up in the past
• RankBrain adjusts its Algorithm based on user engagement from searches.
• The updated Algorithm is implemented for future searches if it leads to higher engagement results.
To learn from historical data, Google’s RankBrain learns offline. When it generates possible search results, it tests them and launches them if they are found to be relevant.
Read on to find out how RankBrain can update its Algorithm.
The Impact of RankBrain on Search Results
RankBrain is a type of artificial intelligence algorithm that affects all queries on Google, and it is advantageous when processing queries that Google has not seen before.
It is not yet confirmed whether RankBrain is part of the Hummingbird algorithm, but it is part of a broader movement toward conversational search and natural language processing.
RankBrain can help Google deliver the right result to the right user at the right time, satisfying that eternal but elusive marketing goal.
Even though this technology is untapped and not that often utilized in a given user’s search result page, there are indications of improvements, and the indication is there in what appears on the ‘People also ask’ section, which can contract or expand as the user sees fit.
Although relevant content can now appear in different places and at different times, it can be harder to predict exactly when, where, and how frequently our informative content will occur.
You will see in Google’s search results that the most relevant articles for this query are on sites like Ahrefs.com and Moz.com.
It is not surprising that RankBrain identified these articles as relevant to the topics of keyword difficulty and keyword research.
So, the phrase appears to be more competitive than it truly is due to adding generic content into the top 10.
Moz or Ahrefs can show artificially high keyword difficulty scores when RankBrain interprets a query and finds authoritative sites.
As part of a broader and interconnected ecosystem that includes mobile-first indexes, local search, and voice-activated queries, we encounter a constantly shifting landscape that doesn’t satisfy the needs of digital marketers.
Below is more information on How RankBrain updates the Algorithm.
How Can RankBrain Update the Algorithm?
Consider ranking factors such as content, authority, backlink profile, keyword optimization, and content length.
Let me give you an example:
When RankBrain figures out that the user is dissatisfied with a web search that returns long content with many backlinks, RankBrain might favor shorter content and fewer backlinks.
As a result, fresh content, search volume, etc., will become increasingly important. In general, fresh content seems to be an important signal for RankBrain.
At the same time, many search engine result pages have outdated, irrelevant information just because the relevant sites have many quality backlinks.
Next, let’s learn how RankBrain understands keywords.
How Does RankBrain Understand Keywords?
Back in the day, Google algorithms attempted to find search results with the exact keyword you were using, which rarely led to relevant or related search results.
Users began entering new queries, resulting in Google’s Algorithm being unable to guess what they were searching for. RankBrain solves this issue.
In essence, RankBrain’s AI will do this in addition to interpreting keywords, determining a searcher’s intent, and then choosing an appropriate set of ranking signals to measure.
Using long-tail queries to your search will produce a list of search results that are all somewhat similar.
Although it works well for major languages, search results are not yet available for languages outside the English-speaking sphere.
I guess it may be because RankBrain needs more data, or it may just take Google developers more time. Either way, I’m not too sure.
Keep reading to find out keyword research tactics.
Keyword Research Strategies for RankBrain
The process of keyword research is extensive, but it’s only one aspect of SEO.
Now, the intent of this article is not RankBrain keyword research, so it would be unfair not to cover a strategy such as a keyword optimization, but it is possible to do this for RankBrain?
That depends on what you mean by yes.
Strategy 1: Keyword Research
We should therefore optimize for these shorter keywords (for RankBrain) first. This is called “topical keyword research.”
RankBrain allows us to rank on similar terms because it has a sophisticated understanding of keywords.
My advice would be that if the site doesn’t contain satisfactory content or if the website’s not optimized, you won’t achieve a satisfactory rank for such a search term.
Having a few quality backlinks will be most helpful, which remain a major part of search engine algorithms.
When we look at middle-level keywords, there is a usually higher difficulty when it comes to ranking than a high-volume, the high-difficulty keyword would have.
That said, when you look at a long-tail phrase, you see a high average volume.
Use of Long Tail Keywords
When you define a long tail keyword as a phrase with six or more words, it is easy to say that they are dead.
However, a long tail keyword refers to phrases with three or sometimes four words.
Long tail keywords, sometimes called LSIs, related keywords or semantic keywords are still important.
They offer value especially when the focus keyword (which is usually short) is highly competitive.
As a result of long tail keywords, search engines can crawl your site and find out what the post or page is about.
In the event that authority sites rank for the highly competitive focus keyword, your site will rank for related keywords.
Way back in the day, it was better to make many pages with a different keyphrase focus.
A good example would be to create a page optimized for the “best keyword research tool”. And another page optimized for “best keyword research tool”.
Years ago, Google ranked each of their respective long-tail keywords.
The RankBrain algorithm understands that these two phrases are equivalent and will display the same search result. To put it simply, you shouldn’t optimize for long-tail keywords.
Optimizing Your Keywords Vs. User Satisfaction
There’s lots of talking about this one tactic. You have to optimize for both search engines and users. Excessively optimized texts will reduce interest unfavorably.
Strategy 2: User Experience, Optimized Content and Engagement
The content you create should be relevant and engaging for users as well as search engine-optimized.
Instead of considering the quality of the content, its optimization, or the quality of backlinks the website has, this tool analyzes the results.
Briefly, it does the following:
• Figure out which keywords are needed
• Determine whether users are satisfied with the search results they see.
Optimize Around Medium Tail Keywords
In my opinion, the best thing to do is Medium tail keywords optimization.
There is more search volume for medium-tail keywords than for long-tail keywords. Despite that, they don’t have an insane level of competition.
By optimizing your page for a medium tail keyword (and making it awesome), you can rank for thousands of related keywords.
To summarize, it’s important to make sure that your page is optimized around one specific keyword.
So, let Google’s RankBrain optimize your single page for numerous, highly related search queries.
RankBrain automatically ranks your page for a medium tail keyword (and thousands of similar terms) if your page is optimized around that term.
Strategy 3: Use of Numbers, Questions & Special Characters
By using specific keywords like numbers, questions, top lists, case studies, and special characters, you will optimize the titles and descriptions.
Always keep your main keyword in mind while writing your titles and descriptions so you don’t end up with titles that are sensible, but descriptions that don’t explain what the listing is.
Use emotional expressions when creating engaging and inviting titles and descriptions. Don’t repeat the same common title tag mistakes.
Make sure to include enticing subtitles, facts, videos, and success stories in order to stand out and increase popularity.
Incorporate details about your target audience in your content, so it’s easy for them to find what they’re looking for.
How to Measure User Satisfaction?
There are many different misconceptions and views, but no one can be certain!
A lot of blogs discuss dwell time as one of the factors RankBrain considers when ranking websites.
All these said the relevancy of a given search result is not defined by this metric alone.
Even if a visitor browses through a site and returns to a SERP (Search Engine Result Page), this does not indicate that he or she was not satisfied.
It could be that they were curious about other search results but returned to see what Google thinks is a relevant result. The relevancy of a search result depends on so many factors, but RankBrain does not seem to be among them.
RankBrain is a form of machine learning used to optimize Google Search for long-tail queries, never-before-seen queries, and queries that incorporate qualifiers like with or without.
It does this by evaluating past searches for the same intent and will switch to a new result if it deems it better for the context.
In addition to learning something new, I hope you learned something useful that will assist you in optimizing for your audience. RankBrain is a useful tool for both SEO specialists and users alike.
A successful site in today’s SEO requires a user-friendly experience, whether it’s a question answered, a product they requested, a guide to guide them, or something else.