What Do Business Owners Need to Know about Google’s New “RankBrain” Algorithm?

Google is constantly working on improvements to its algorithm, in order to deliver the most relevant results to searchers. Your job as a business owner is to get your business found online by people who are looking for what you do, so you need to be aware of what Google is up to.
This time, Google has a big change up its sleeve. The new algorithm is called RankBrain – and is a primitive form of artificial intelligence (AI), or, machine learning technology. RankBrain teaches itself to become better as it processes more search results.
Google is now running 100% of search results through RankBrain. It is the third most important ranking signal for determining which webpages are displayed in the results (the first two signals remain inbound links pointing to your site, and your site’s content).

How Can I Help My Website Rank Better with RankBrain?

RankBrain is smart and always learning to better understand searchers’ queries and which webpages are the best to show.
While we don’t have a clear cut, straightforward answer to optimizing for RankBrain (because exactly how it decides which items to rank is not, in itself, straightforward), we can give you a few tips:

  • RankBrain is not about being literal, it’s about being contextual and interpretive; therefore, don’t put all of your effort into single keyword phrase optimization. Instead, make your content as comprehensive and useful as possible to potential searchers (as you should already have been doing!).
  • Check out the search results for the searches you’re hoping to be found for. Google has already figured out what the searchers “intend” when they do a search. They could intend to buy, to learn, to compare, or to be entertained. Make sure your content matches up with the intent of those searchers.
  • As always, quality over quantity. You will be rewarded if visitors to your site stick around because they found what they were looking for.

Have Questions about RankBrain?

If you want to learn more about Google’s new algorithm factor, we encourage you to check out an FAQ article from Search Engine Land. It gives a great breakdown of what RankBrain is and how it relates to the rest of Google’s Hummingbird algorithm.
Click here to read the article.
Remember, search engine optimization (SEO) is, and has always been, about creating value for your target audience. If you can do that, you’ll make a good impression on prospects and on Google.


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Ben Molfetta

I co-founded Core Online Marketing (formerly Core Marketing Strategies) after more than twenty years of marketing, sales and general management experience in a large corporate environment and with start-up technology companies. I use my expertise in business and marketing strategy development to assist small and mid-sized businesses grow through effective use of online marketing.
Ben Molfetta