Google's RankBrain and the future of SEO
Remember that thing with the stuff? Or that restaurant around the corner with the great...What was it?
We've all been there.
You sit down to your computer to find a restaurant you keep hearing about, a product from that catchy advert (that you only remember the hook for), or that new business opening that you read about last month that sounds something like...magnet? No, magenta. Magnolia? I know they sell flowers...
No matter how hard you try, for the life of you - you can't remember it. So you start to enter as many keywords and phrases you can throw at Google at once in hopes it can magically read your mind and spit out the answer.
Think of RankBrain like a clerk at Bed Bath and Beyond. If you walk into the store and say that you’re looking for “that plastic doohickey that squeezes the juice from a lemon without getting any seeds in the vinaigrette,” the clerk -- or the AI -- will synthesize that string of words and respond, “Oh, a citrus squeezer? Those are in Aisle 11; follow me.”
Enter RankBrain - the answer to even the most ambiguous of searches.
As we move towards 2016, we are searching high and low for the latest and greatest in marketing tools. For SEO, we think it's RankBrain.
There's been some interesting progressions in the world of search and Google, one of the biggest corporate sponsors of artificial intelligence, is leading the way. Google's AI system, nicknamed RankBrain, was given the green light and gradually rolled out across all of Google search from early 2015.
RankBrain is Google’s name for a machine-learning artificial intelligence system that’s used to help process its search results.
RankBrain uses artificial intelligence to embed vast amounts of written language into mathematical entities -- called vectors -- that the computer can understand. If RankBrain sees a word or phrase it isn’t familiar with, the machine can make a guess as to what words or phrases might have a similar meaning and filter the result accordingly, making it more effective at handling never-before-seen search queries. - Bloomberg
Essentially, RankBrain helps makes sense of even the most ambiguous searches - so even if you have no idea what you are searching for, Google can help guide you in the right direction.
Google has always based algorithm updates on improving the user experience and this is no exception. The way RankBrain 'learns' is by using historical searches and their results, to make intelligent predictions for future searches. The adaptive learning of human search behaviour and improvement of search results over time indicates that we are moving towards a more ‘human’ approach in the world of search. This means smarter search engines that understand human search behaviour and can intuitively match search results to search terms - even when the search intent isn’t clear.
What this means for the average person searching online is:
a. Better filtering of results – where there is a word or phrase RankBrain isn’t familiar with it will guess what might be similar and filter the results accordingly
b. Answering our questions more effectively – and getting better over time with learning
The advancements in using human behaviour to aid in search can help SEO specialists and marketers reach new customers, or perhaps guide users who might not know exactly what they may be looking for.
As marketers, we are always trying to get into the heads of our consumers and find more effective ways to communicate - this is just one more step in the right direction and one way to cut through the noise.
We live in noisy world and having clarity about the simple emotional message and the experience you are creating is a powerful differentiator.
If you want to learn more about how to use the science of human behaviour to communicate your message and create better search results, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.