RankBrain was the hottest topic within SEO community during the last year. As something that might revolutionize SEO as a profession, it caused a lot of stir. Many experts believe that this is the end of optimization as we know it. But, what have we seen so far?
Google is still reluctant when it comes to implementation of RankBrain. This is understandable – given how impactful this system is, it is much better to take it one step at a time.
Let’s check all the things we know about RankBrain and what can we expect from it in future.
What is RankBrain?
For those who do not, RankBrain is a machine learning system meant to help with Google search results. It is far more dominant than its human counterparts – in a research performed by Google, the company has discovered that RankBrain is outshining their top engineers in every sense.
Plainly put, it is the next evolution of their search engine. In a way, RankBrain represents the culmination of all their previous work. This machine learning system should be able to discover the true purpose behind the queries and instead of focusing on particular keywords; it will focus on providing the most relevant answers to a question.
How does Google use RankBrain?
Here is the main reason why many experts are skeptical.
According to Google, at this point in time RankBrain processes only a small fraction of general queries. In other words, its main priority is to give results for ambiguous and poorly defined queries. Although this kind of query is small in terms of percentage, it is rather high in terms of actual numbers. Something we might consider odd or ambiguous can amount to several million queries per day.
Some SEO experts believe that RankBrain is already being used for a bigger number of queries that the one Google reported. Even more frightening is the fact that Google will one day implement RankBrain on all the results which may represent the end of SEO profession as we know it.
For now (seemingly) this system is in its trial phase. The future results will determine its destiny buy according to what we’ve seen so far, the company will probably keep it and continue developing it.
How to optimize for RankBrain?
Based on current state of things, there is no point in optimizing for RankBrain.
The system processes only a small fraction of overall results; if you invest time in optimizing for those results you will only lose time and money. Instead, you should focus on more general keywords.
Nevertheless, it is only question of time until RankBrain goes full-force and is implemented for all queries. When that time comes, here is what you have to do:
Create high-quality, informative articles
RankBrain compiles user feedback. If users heavily shared and liked an article and if they spent a lot of time browsing that website, system will see it as relevant and increase its position in Google search engine. This is why in the new era, bloggers need to cater to visitors and create content that will satisfy their needs.
Be careful when using the keywords
The system doesn’t assess individual keywords. Instead, it focuses on content in general. Best way to create articles for RankBrain is not by focusing on one phrase or word but by focusing on all related phrases and synonyms.
Make your website more responsive
As mentioned, user experience will be crucial in future. That being said, not only should you create article that satisfy visitors’ needs but you should also improve your website so they can easily browse it. Links will no longer be as important. Instead, things such as time spent on website, bounce rate and click-through rate will be paramount.
This is a short look into the future. There are still many things we do not know about RankBrain. Furthermore, in this point in time, this machine learning system shouldn’t affect your overall SEO strategy. Nevertheless, it is better to prepare in advance because sooner than later, you will have to optimize for it.
Author’s bio: Nikolay Stoyanov is the CEO of NikSto.com – an SEO company that offers SEO outsourcing services, consulting and white hat link building services to clients all over the world. Nikolay is a huge Brian Dean fan and a proud graduate of his SEO That Works course. He’s a contributor to many of the most reputable websites about SEO.