RANKBRAIN: GOOGLE'S MACHINE LEARNING (SEO) ALGORITHM THAT MAKES ROOM FOR ONE LESS HUMAN.
Can we just have an open conversation here, human to human? Even as a long time digital marketer with SEO chops, sometimes I just want to throw my hands up when I learn about Google's latest and greatest. The machines are taking over- this is some sci-fi shit right here. Are you aware that Google now has a machine learning algorithm? Yep, you heard that right. Welcome to the scene: RankBrain. Whatever happened to the good old days when some keywords and backlinks made you soar to the top of Google?
Before RankBrain, Google would scan pages to see if they contained the exact keyword someone searched for. Also, Google would try to match the words in your search query to words on a page. Today, RankBrain tries to actually figure out what you mean. You know, like a human would.
For example, Google says that this technology “understands that Paris and France are related the same way Berlin and Germany are (capital and country), and not the same way Madrid and Italy are”.
According to Backlinko: "Depending on the keyword, RankBrain will increase or decrease the importance of backlinks, content freshness, content length, domain authority etc. Then, it looks at how Google searchers interact with the new search results. If users like the new algorithm better, it stays. If not, RankBrain rolls back the old algorithm."
So, here's the thing: backlinks, keywords and other traditional signals are still important. But it's less about the words and more about the intent of the user. How on earth does RankBrain figure out what the best search results are when a user types in something like, say, "best digital marketing in Tacoma"? Well...it’s paying very close attention to how users interact with the search results. Specifically, it’s looking at:
Time on page
These are known as user experience signals (UX signals). Google has announced that RankBrain is now its third most important ranking signal.
Also? Google asked a group of Google Engineers to identify the best page for a given search. They also asked RankBrain. And RankBrain outperformed brainy Google engineers by 10%!
So, what’s next? Well, it’s still all about optimizing for keywords. More than likely, medium tail key words are your best bet. Also, title tags continue to be important (maybe even more so than before). So make them interesting, use numbers in them, and make sure there’s an emotional punch that gets your user engaged. And, finally? Make sure you’re putting meaningful information on your page for users. Questions? Please, contact us. We’re here to help!