On October 26, 2015, Google unveiled the latest update to its highly effective and secretive search algorithms. It's called RankBrain, and it uses artificial intelligence to handle our most ambiguous searches and find exactly what we want.
In typical Google fashion, the update has been handling a portion of search results for the better part of a year. Now that the update is official, the tech world is going crazy.
RankBrain works in conjunction with Hummingbird, a fast and precise algorithm that was released in 2013. Here are the key facts.
• RankBrain processes ambiguous long-tail searches to deliver more accurate results.
• The system interprets search patterns and includes results with closely related words.
• About 15 percent of daily searches include phrases that the search engine has never seen before. That's where RankBrain excels.
• RankBrain uses machine learning to determine the intent of the search and make accurate inferences.
• In some cases, RankBrain will substitute words, such as changing home to house, to pull up the pages that we want to find.
• RankBrain isn't a new algorithm. It's a new search signal that influences the ranking of results.
• In tests, RankBrain identified top results more accurately than Google's human engineers.
• RankBrain is already the third most important search signal out of some 200 vectors and countless sub-signals.
What RankBrain Means for SEO
Experts are simply guessing how RankBrain will affect SEO since Google is notoriously hush-hush about its methods. Based on what we know, content quality and authority are still the most important elements that determine your ranking within search results. By lowering the rank of sites that use keyword stuffing and black-hat tactics, Google is rewarding sites that create user-friendly content and use SEO techniques responsibly. The idea is that search results filtered by RankBrain deliver a better experience for consumers. This approach will help guide SEO and marketing strategies in the future.
The Rise of AI
Google isn't the only company using artificial intelligence. Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, IBM and the Chinese mega-corporation Baidu are using machine learning to improve the performance of search tools, translation programs, voice recognition applications and supercomputers.
With deep learning advancing so rapidly, RankBrain is one more way that Google is attracting investors, keeping pace with the tech world and improving next-generation search technology. Thanks to the adaptive design, RankBrain should keep getting better at what it does.