Earlier this year, Google announced that they were developing important search and page rank techniques using an "AI," or "artificial intelligence," machine. The goal of this project is to improve the way data is analyzed, and search results are delivered to users. Dubbed "RankBrain," Google’s new AI computer has apparently been working better than even the scientists at Google expected it to, meaning SEO is going to see some interesting changes in the coming years. To keep up with current trends, the best SEO consultants suggest that website owners learn what RankBrain is, what it does, and how it is expected to affect SEO in the future.

What Is RankBrain?

According to Google, RankBrain is an artificial intelligence system that analyzes and interprets data to turn into search results through machine learning. Working in conjunction with the current PageRank system that generates Serp's, RankBrain interprets user based information and search queries, then processes it into data that PageRank turns into more tailored search results - fine tuning the entire search process. Google states that a large amount of their search data is currently being filtered into RankBrain, where the system is surprising even Google’s scientific researchers with how well it has been generating relevant, useful search results.

How Does RankBrain Work?

RankBrain works based on relationships. Using past searches and other information, it compiles all of this and looks for relationships between words and concepts to determine what it thinks the user is looking for. Based on past searches, the search results those searches generated, and how relevant those results were found to be, RankBrain learns what each user is looking for, and presents more relevant options. These associations also help RankBrain come up with educated guesses when it does not specifically recognize a term, based on the association with other terms submitted, and a user’s past search and viewing history. In this way, RankBrain defines and refines searches, and helps create more relevant search results and page rank for each user.  

How Will RankBrain Affect SEO?

Since RankBrain is new, and Google is just learning about how the system actually performs, it seems RankBrain’s affect on SEO is going to be a learning process as well. However, so far there are some implications that SEO consultants should probably pay attention to, as RankBrain slowly chugs its way through the millions of search queries that Google sees every day.

Of all the predictions about RankBrain and its effect on SEO, it makes sense that quality, relevant content, containing semantic and latent keywords, would be high on the list. Semantics help Google interpret not only single keywords, but related keywords and ideas. Along similar lines - where relevant - SEO for local search is also expected to become more important. Since the purpose of RankBrain is essentially to extract more meaning from websites and more correctly match it with search queries, focusing on content, good navigation, and other standard SEO practices that attribute to high quality websites, remain important. Sites that can be easily indexed, and provide the best user experience, while delivering best content, are still going to be interpreted before lower quality, less relevant sites.

The general consensus from numerous SEO experts seems to be that RankBrain, as far as anyone can tell so far, should be a help to SEO as it makes quality websites easier to find. To ensure that a website possess these important qualities, and will be ready for RankBrain, it is imperative to work with the best SEO consultants available!

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