Google Rankbrain: Everything You Need to Know

Posted by Sanket Patel

April 05, 2021

SEO 24 min read

Have you ever wondered how Google manages all its searches? About 70,000 of them per second! It’s a machine-learning artificial intelligence system known as the “Rankbrain” that helps to segregate searches in a systematic manner.

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence:

As the term suggests, machine learning is something that the “machine”, i.e. the computer does; rather than being directed by a human. The computer follows a pre-planned program according to which it executes actions.

Artificial Intelligence is like literally replacing a human being with a computer. The machine being used here is as good as (or even better in some cases) than a human being. Be it staying up to date with the latest technologies or creating newer concepts

Previously, AI was a concept for sci-fi novels and stories; however, with constant tech discoveries happening, computer systems now are designed to learn and establish connections that make it easy to automate several processes.

With regards to Rankbrain, you can often hear both these terms being interchangeable that makes them sound pretty similar to one another. You may also hear machine learning, as a term to describe several kinds of artificial intelligence technologies.

What is Rankbrain Algorithm?

A few years back, Google encountered a problem. About 15% of the keywords typed by the searchers were the ones that the search engine giant had never come across. This 15% amounted to around 450 million keywords as it processed billions of searches every day.

In order to crack a solution, Google scanned pages to find a match with the newly searched keywords. This is where the Rankbrain algorithm helped big time. It is mainly utilized to sort out searches that people submit to find pages that might not have the exact keyword that was primarily searched for.

What is Rankbrain and why does it matter?

It was at the beginning of 2015; Google started using Rankbrain. Google Rankbrain uses solutions to refine queries that involve human work. Of course, there is some automation involved, but most of the process like creating stemming i.e. synonym lists or establishing database connections requires human interference.

In the case of multi-word or complex queries which are also known as “long tail” queries, Rankbrain is handy for better interpretation of these queries and decode them effectively. This allows in providing the best of result pages for the searcher.

Rankbrain allows Google to better understand complex- unrelated queries and connect them to actual simpler ones with similar meanings.

The use of Rankbrain Googletech can translate a confusing search term into a much specific search topic to which the search engine giant can provide satisfying results; allowing successful answers for the search queries.

A particular page with a set of search results that is clicked by the majority of searchers is given a rankings boost and this is displayed by Rankbrain.

What does RankBrain observe specifically?

RankBrain is paying strict attention to how the searchers interact with each and every search result.

It looks at:

These parameters are also known as User Experience Signals or UX Signals.

Did you know: RankBrain is the world’s 3rd most important ranking signal 

Why did Google introduce Rankbrain?

Google rolled out Rankbrain to sort search results by understanding the search terms (keywords) better. However, the process has been undertaken by brainy human engineers at Google Inc but still, the tech company decided to gauge the outcome in a competitive manner.

Prior to the use of the Rankbrain algorithm, all Google algorithms were 100% hand-coded. With the introduction of Rankbrain; there is minimal involvement of human coding and it is primarily assisted by software coding.

Basically, RankBrain tweaks the complete algorithm and takes care of the changing trends all by itself. It increases or decreases the backlines essentially, keeps up the fresh content factor, content length and domain authority among other aspects required for the proper ranking process.

It importantly records how Google searchers interact with the latest search results whether the users like the new algorithm and if that’s likable; it stays. In case of a dislike, RankBrain pulls back and replaces the algorithm.

Just as an exercise, Google once asked it’s expert engineers the best result page for a particular search and assigned the same page to RankBrain as well for comparative analysis. It was found that the outcome from the Rankbrain algorithm excelled the human results by 10%.

How do I optimize for Rankbrain?

As we know by now, Google understands the true intent behind a keyword search. That does not mean that the organic keyword research is dead, but you need to tweak your keyword research just to make it  “Pro-RankBrain”.

Tips to Optimize for RankBrain:

  • Avoid Long Tail Keywords:

These are absolutely dead. In the initial days of the internet; it made sense to develop 100s of separate pages; each of which optimized a particular keyword.  For instance, one page optimized for “Best Coffee in Amsterdam” and another for “Best Amsterdam Coffee”, Google would rank each of these keywords as respective long-tail keywords.

Thanks to RankBrain today, it understands that each of these keywords belongs to the same subject hence it displays identical search result pages in both cases. In short, stop optimizing for long-tail keywords as they won’t make a difference.

  • Optimize for Medium Tail Keywords to make THAT DIFFERENCE:

Medium Tail Keywords are the middle of the pack terms that receive maximum search volumes; especially when compared to the old school long-tail keywords.

As you optimise a medium tail keyword; you are unknowingly making the page quality enhance as RankBrain will in auto mode rank that particular term and all the other relatable keywords that are similar.

So, just pick a popular keyword on a page, qualify it to be a medium tail keyword, and let the Google RankBrain do the rest.

  • Optimize Titles and Descriptions Tags for greater CTR:

Create Title tags that evoke emotions

Ex: How to get more things done within minimum time and resources?  OR

Achieve your ‘ to do list’  with these effective self-organizing tips

  • Keep Brackets at the end of the titles

Eg: My SEO Case-Study ( Learn how I attained proficiency)T)

  • Use numerical within the titles (Super effective)

Eg: 9 Tricks that can get you up to 270% more traffic 

  • Optimize Description tag and CTR:

    • Keep the descriptions as emotionally powered as the title tags.
    • Convey WHY a searcher should choose and click your result.
    • Use words and phrases similar to those used in the Paid Ad campaigns.
    • Don’t fail to include all the effective keywords that create the actual wonder.

Depending on an individual’s SEO experience and work patterns; there may be several effects of RankBrain Google. However, in this constantly changing scenario and the impact of modern practices in the SEO industry coupled with the applier’s skill set also plays a big role in determining the changes and their effectiveness.

Ultimately, for all of us, the uncertainty is the same as we wait for the next Google RankBrain update with true eagerness.


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