Google RankBrain SEO is a machine-learning technology to filter and deliver search engine results, and marketers are wondering what this means for their current SEO efforts and their ability to rank in the future.
SEO has become more complicated and mysterious since the early days of simply using a few good keywords and getting any website to link to yours, and attempts to crack Google’s search algorithm in hopes of ending up on page 1 of search are still pretty much just that – best guesses to understand how Google determines results.
Now with the full-scale launch of RankBrain, SEO experts have more vague requirements to try to meet. But, as always in the ever-changing world of SEO, careful study and smart predictions can go a long way toward Google RankBrain SEO success.
After a slow and quiet launch in 2015, Google’s RankBrain is seemingly in active working mode and it is leaving marketers wondering again what it will take to show up in front of Internet users. That is how we are approaching the new piece of search science, as a test of our resolve to do what it takes to provide quality content where and when people are looking for it.
So, what is RankBrain and how much do we need to be concerned with it? Like other aspects of Google’s algorithm, RankBrain’s exact function is pretty nebulous, but the search engine giant did say RankBrain is the 3rd most important SEO signal in determining who gets placed where. That means, we absolutely need to be interested in the ins and outs of RankBrain, as much as is possible.
Making Sense of Google RankBrain SEO
Google says that RankBrain is a machine-learning artificial intelligence system that helps process search results. To begin to wrap our brains around RankBrain, we need to first understand what machine learning is and then comprehend the concept of artificial intelligence as used by computer systems.
Machine learning is a computer’s ability to teach itself how to do something. Instead of programmers feeding the computer raw data and results pertaining to that data, with machine learning the computer discovers new information on its own based data information given to it.
The idea of true artificial intelligence, known as AI, sees computers that are as smart as humans. But, this is not our reality. Artificial intelligence as related to computer learning means that computers can acquire knowledge by building on what they have already experienced. They make new connections between pieces of data on their own and they continue to perform necessary tasks based on self-discovered connections.
How RankBrain Fits in With Google’s Algorithm
Google’s search algorithm, called “Hummingbird,” is a proprietary computer program that sorts through billions of web pages it knows about and it tries to determine which are most useful to Internet users typing certain keywords into a search box. “Hummingbird” processes trillions of searches and it ranks pages based on several factors or signals.
There are more than 100 signals that “Hummingbird” uses to rank web pages. Links and content are the 2 most important signals “Hummingbird” relies on to give readers content they most likely want. RankBrain, in its short lifespan so far, has become the 3rd most important signal that helps filter web pages for users’ benefit.
RankBrain, from what we know about it so far, is simply a part of Google’s algorithm. As reported by Bloomberg, it handled only 15% of all searches in 2013, but now it is thought to process all of them.
RankBrain can be looked at as an extension, or natural progression, of the “PageRank” component of “Hummingbird,” which dealt with a specific method of crediting pages based on links pointing to them. It also evolved from parts of Google’s algorithm that stemmed searches so that a person typing in “shoe” could end up with results featuring “shoes” and even “sneakers,” without the user specifying those words.
It appears that RankBrain’s purpose is to bring more value to searches by connecting typed-in keywords, including long-tail keyword phrases, with similar keywords and phrases and therefore offering better and more comprehensive results.
As an example, someone typing in a rather strange search phrase like “I want to find where flowers are in LA” would actually be offered appropriate results like those given for a more common keyword phrase, such as “flower shops in Los Angeles.”
RankBrain is able to teach itself to make connections between similar phrases, and the goal is for it to be able to properly offer results even for search queries it has never seen before.
Do We Need to Alter How We Work SEO?
To stay on top of RanksBrain, SEO, and how you can continue to show up in search or show up when you were not ranking before, it will likely come down to providing what Google has been saying for years is the most important thing to give a user.
Good content that thoroughly explains a topic, offers great insight into the whats and whys of a subject, and disseminates information with the intent to be of value instead of just ranking for keywords. This is what it will probably take to get into RankBrain’s good graces.
As competition gets tighter on the Internet, any content that is not comprehensive and beneficial will begin to be ignored. Black Hat SEO techniques will not work much longer and spam will fall off of the radar. RankBrain will reward those who put the user experience first. Where will you show up as RankBrain explodes in 2017?
Google RankBrain SEO for Travel
After years of trying to hone in on the most effective SEO techniques, in hopes of becoming master of Google’s algorithm, travel marketers are again finding themselves searching for the right way to reach travellers as the search engine giant again makes changes to the ever-evolving world of rank.
Google’s RankBrain, the machine-learning artificial intelligence technology that so many marketers in the travel sector are trying to figure out, will as far as we know analyze data in effort to produce the information travelers want most.
What will Google RankBrain for Travel SEO Look Like?
Will we need to give up on the methods we’ve perfected for ranking in search, and start from scratch to try to appease Google? No, and no.
RankBrain isn’t going to completely alter the way travel companies attempt to show up in front of consumers. It won’t make link building and using keywords obsolete. But, it will force travel brands to focus more on what they should be doing already: providing quality content for readers and offering extreme value – across and throughout Google-defined micro-moments.
RankBrain’s Part in Google’s Algorithm and How it Affects Travel
As mentioned, RankBrain isn’t an algorithm and it isn’t anything that’s going to replace Google’s current algorithm. It’s a part of Google’s overall strategy to give users the results they’re looking for when they type questions and phrases into its search bar including queries about where to visit and at which time of year.
Instead of relevant results showing up for a user only when certain phrases are keyed in, which is what tends to happen now since companies optimize their content for phrases that have already ranked, Google wants travelers to receive helpful information even if they don’t explain their needs as we would hope or think they should.
RankBrain Gets to the Heart of User Search
Consumers who want to learn about travel, whether they’re wondering about the weather in Paris year round or food options near a specific New York City hotel, have many different ways of inquiring about the same thing. Five people living in various locations around the world might want to go on a vacation in 2017 and they may desire to visit the top place for travel according to other travelers.
But, imagine what these Internet users might type into their search bar. Their phrases would likely vary and they could look something like this:
- Best place to visit in the world
- Most popular travel destination
- Great places to travel
- Where is the top place to travel
- Popular travel locations
If travel companies were to continue to focus most of their SEO efforts on using high-ranking keywords in website and mobile app content, they might actually miss showing up in front of some of the users typing other words that essentially mean the same thing.
Try to rank for the keyword phrase “popular travel destination” and you may fail to reach consumers keying in “top place to travel.” Spread your efforts out over 2 or 3 keyword phrases and you might not show up at all, especially in a keyword-competitive industry like travel.
What RankBrain for travel SEO is attempting to do is to integrate search results that might have shown up separately for each of the queries indicated above. Because, if a travel brand is trying to rank for 1 or 2 phrases, it probably isn’t getting its content seen by folks typing in other phrases.
RankBrain is going to analyze trillions of searches, learn what content provides value for these searches, discover that people inputting various phrases essentially want the same thing, and then deliver useful information based on algorithms within an algorithm that zero in on what’s most beneficial.
Keywords will still matter and link building will continue to be significant, but invaluable content that can get to the heart of what readers want will transcend all methods of optimizing the web for the user. And, that’s the way it should be.
RankBrain for travel SEO will force travel companies and all companies to offer rich, deep, explanatory, content that answers users biggest questions, addresses their greatest concerns, and engages them in a topic in ways they can’t help but react to. Of course, the reaction that’s hoped for in the case of travel is a booking or a sale. With RankBrain, if you comply with giving great content the booking and sale success will come.
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