How Rankbrain is changing SEO

Google Rankbrain is changing SEO (search engine optimization) and by extension the way you should approach it. The key to adapting to Google Rankbrain is to understand what it does and how it ranks results. With RankBrain, Google is moving beyond keywords to better understanding the intention and context of their user searches which allows them to better answer satisfy those queries. RankBrain helps Google understand questions better to provide better answers – it’s not a direct ranking metric and has little impact on actual rankings. If anything, it should hide lower quality results that were written for specific keywords and surface quality content that focuses on more in-depth content that better answers the users questions.

To summarize, Google Rankbrain makes use of machine learning to better understand what people are looking for when entering certain terms or sentences. This makes for search results that are weighted not towards keywords, but for content and overall context.

Four Steps To Create Rankbrain Optimized Content

  1. Phrasing Matters: the old practice of using precise singular keywords to improve search engine results has ended. With search engines getting smarter it’s about content not about keywords. Search engine tools such as Rankbrain look beyond the keywords and look for associated phrases and related content. This is because more and more search engine tools are making use of long-tail queries which are how people more commonly use search engines. To illustrate a user (in most cases) would not search “leaky sink” they would instead search for “How do I fix a leaky sink?”. So don’t focus on keywords focus on larger phases where these keywords would fit logically.
  2. The Value Of Quality: the best way to be noticed by search engines is to create material that is relevant to readers, that answers questions, informes, or solves problems. Good material is more widely read, shared on social media, and generates more feedback improving search results. Structure your work so that it reads well but also clearly states the content’s purpose, what it should be used for, and who the audience is so that ‘smart’ search engine tools list your content under relevant search phrases.
  3. Editing And Informing: aside from having high readability, proper spelling, and correct grammar you want your work’s content to have ‘weight’. That means it should have proper sourcing, links to relevant material, and educate the reader in some way. As noted above educating your readers can take many forms but no matter the goal it should be seen by the reader as having been worth their time.
  4. Structure Your Site For Mobile Platforms: Google Rankbrain also takes mobile optimization into consideration. Sites that are optimized for mobile platforms (such as smartphones and tablets) are ranked higher than those that are desktop only. Also, the types of long-tail queries used by Rankbrain are far more commonly used on mobile platforms. This is due to the use of verbal searching which due to be spoken results in more descriptive phrasing and complete sentences (commonly in the form of a question).