Google has created yet more waves in the world of search engine optimisation in the past month as a result of announcing the existence of RankBrain. And many businesses may have scrambled to get in touch with Cheltenham web design experts to find out exactly what this term means and how it might impact their site’s positioning in Google’s organic search results.
On the surface, RankBrain is yet another algorithmic update which Google has deployed to make sure that its engine can answer user queries as accurately as possible while sifting out poorly designed or actively malicious sites in the process. But underneath it offers something that has never been seen before: RankBrain is based on machine learning, meaning that in a small way it can think for itself and get better at its job over time.
Unusually for Google, the confirmation that RankBrain had been rolled out earlier this year was delivered along with a decent amount of information about what it is and what it does. Normally, the firm stays quiet about what its algorithm updates do, but it is clearly proud of what it has achieved with this product.
RankBrain is capable of dealing with vague, non-specific queries where the words used are not focused enough to deliver a relevant result using older algorithms. In short, when someone enters any phrase or question into Google which is ambiguous and rambling, RankBrain should be able to guess what they are really asking.
In this sense, it is an attempt to make Google more human and able to recognise semantic quirks, colloquialisms and syntax that might have stumped it in the past. This also feeds into its efforts to improve voice search functionality, catering to mobile users.
The arrival of RankBrain is not the death of the keyword, but rather the dawn of a new age in which content can be less restricted by the rules of the past. Sites will still need unique, well-written copy on each page, but they will now also need to think about how to target potential customers based on sentences that are less specifically related to a product or service. And advice from firms such as http://www.ma-design.biz will be especially important.
RankBrain is now Google’s third most important ranking signal, and the full extent of its impact is still being discovered.