Less than a year ago, Bloomberg revealed a new component in Google’s significantly large search algorithm. This new component, however, has something special about it that has not yet been seen in the rest of Google’s search engine system. It’s an AI.
Yes, Google has begun incorporating artificial intelligence into its job of categorizing and ranking websites. While it’s interesting, the real question here is this: why does that matter, and why does it matter now?
What is RankBrain?
Before we tackle how RankBrain affects your company’s SEO and what you need to be aware of for future reference, it’s important to understand what it is and why it may be significant not just for the here and now, but for the future of search engines, search engine optimization, and marketing in general.
RankBrain isn’t true AI. Rather, it’s based on what is called machine learning. Instead of being self-aware, RankBrain is written to learn from mistakes and get better at its ability to rank search results based on Google’s other existing algorithms and parameters.
Although it had been in testing for quite some time, it’s only recently become a significant factor in search. Google first introduced it into their engine about a year ago, and have since then been increasing its influence. As per the Drum, it handled 15 percent of search queries last year. What’s more significant now, however, is that recently RankBrain has been involved in all of Google’s search queries, becoming the third-most important factor alongside inbound links and the quality of a website’s content.
What Does RankBrain Do?
No one knows exactly, but as per Search Engine Land, there’s speculation that it exists to handle new and long tail searches. These long tail searches are searches that are exceedingly long, incorporating a number of different keywords and often requiring specific context to be understood.
As Google has mentioned in the past, a significant amount of searches in a year – hundreds of millions – are entirely unique and never searched before. This presents a challenge to the search engine to come up with the best websites in a search result – and as a machine learning AI, RankBrain may be used to provide better results for such queries.
It can be that when people input queries that are similar to other more popular queries in every way, RankBrain automatically switches them out. What that means is that businesses can potentially focus their efforts on tackling the most popular search queries out there instead of trying to spread their keyword influence over various similar keywords in order to capture a wider demographic.
What This Means for Your Business
As always, SEO is changing. What does this mean for you? Well, in one way, you’ll want to focus more on long tail keywords and local SEO. Ranking for popular terms has just become a lot harder. The competition is extremely stiff, and paid search results dominate a large portion of the first page, especially in competitive industries like Forex. Now more than ever, reputation matters, as companies like SeoTuners can tell you. To get ahead, you’ll want the services of a professional and affordable SEO company.