RankBrain: Not Just Science Fiction

Published by Allison on

Google’s machine-learning algorithm, RankBrain, sounds like something out of a science fiction movie. But, by producing results that would make even Skynet proud, it helps make all of our lives easier. RankBrain is a core component of Google’s algorithm, which is constantly at work, delivering scary-accurate search results.

The term ‘machine learning’ in a general sense means that the search engine takes into account many different elements of a user’s search behavior, such as relevant prior searches. This can be good news for your business, but only if you are one of the search results that Google funnels to top of the search results page for the user. It can be really good news, given that the search engine aggregates searched data, not just from the current user in this scenario, but across all users. It then takes all of that data and takes its best guess (yes, we’re still talking about a machine here) at what the user most likely intended to look for. So, it’s basically teaching itself to figure out what users really mean when their keywords don’t match prior searches.

Not to oversimplify it, but think of your site as a job candidate and the user’s search as the hiring committee. Any small variation in the actual search can seriously impact the search results, just as the mindset of anyone on a hiring committee can change how a set of candidates are ranked against each other. It is not a static event, because not only are the algorithms themselves constantly changing, but the search results (decisions, in this analogy) are evolving every minute.

Your job as your firm’s marketing professional is to understand your potential customer’s intended search and present yourself as a solution. It’s important to think in theory and not just in keywords. For example, (for those of you in the senior care industry) would a user know what ‘respite care’ was and type it in the Google search bar? Or would they search for advice for overcoming the fatigue of caring for both their children and their parents at the same time? Mind reading isn’t just for gypsies anymore.

As an SEO expert, Guardian Owl has years of experience in determining how best to position companies in both keywords and intuitive search results. Contact us today to use our expertise to your advantage.


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