How will Google’s RankBrain Impact SEO in the Future?

How will Google’s RankBrain Impact SEO in the Future?

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Over the last decade, there have been many orderly changes brought by Google in the search arena. Most of them have been aimed at offering relevant results to the end user. However, as the technology is evolving, several transformations are coming in.

Many technology evangelists have the view that in the next few years, artificial intelligence will alter the way we look at technology. One of the areas getting affected by machine learning is SEO. Last year, Google confirmed a machine learning artificial intelligence system called Rankbrain. This system has been put in place to help the search engine process search results and provide relevant information to users.

SEO Is Changing For Good

The vitality of RankBrain in search results is evident from the fact that after links and content, it is the third most important factor in ranking algorithm. So what does this mean for Keywords?

Well, as the trend is emerging keywords will become less effective over time. Yes, they will.

Google has already hinted at the move away from keywords with subsequent algorithm updates of Panda and Penguin. The fact of the matter is that within Google, several algorithms exist. The main aim behind the conception of RankBrain is to learn to mix these core algorithms in the best possible way to give most relevant search results. For example, in some search results RankBrain might give META Title the highest preference, while in others it might give PageRank an upper hand. This means that search results will never be the same again.

There are many verticals at play here and Google is making it even harder for SEO managers to manipulate the system. In order to understand the approach being taken by RankBrain in a particular search result, one needs to carefully measure Google Algorithmic Shifts. With careful analysis of this, a pattern might emerge, which could throw some light on which particular algorithm is being promoted or demoted. This knowledge would help you focus on that part of SEO for a particular search result.

It’s All About Relevant Content

Nowadays, rather than looking for relevant content, users are being fed content through respective recommendation engines. Social networks like Twitter and Facebook are also employing the same strategy, where they are highlighting content in accordance to the user preference. As more and more users are going online and accessing information on a larger scale, big data is helping data scientist formulate better machine learning algorithms to find out the next article or video the users would like.

Currently, RankBrain is on a learning spree, going through hoards of data, observing and responding to user behavior when they interact with the SERPs. Google wants to limit the fluctuation of website ranking after every algorithm update. It has always said that website should just focus on serving useful and relevant content, instead of just SEO focused stuff.

Also Read: How to Repurpose Content to Maximize SEO Impact

Nowadays SEO managers are focusing more on long tail keywords, but soon even those will become redundant. Machine learning will give Google a better idea about the authoritative sites for a particular search phrase, regardless of whether that website uses that specific phrase or not.

Bottomline: Stick To Niche

As already discussed, RankBrain is learning what good sites are for a particular search phrase and which are the bad ones. It is learning the ideal setting for each search environment, which will allow it to tweak the prominence of each algorithm. These settings will be unique for each vertical. This means that the parameters for a health-related search phrase would be different from that of technology related search phrase.

This is where niche websites will get benefitted the most. For websites, which work across a range of sectors, only time will tell the way RankBrain affects them. This is where content creators and webmasters need to alter their approach. When the last major algorithm update came from Google, it created huge ripples across the search arena, with many web properties losing their search rankings overnight. The next big change will soon be upon us and we must be ready for it beforehand.

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Comments (4)
Ozair Akhtar

I have read the last paragraph and for sure RankBrain targets relevant queries and business to rank better on SERPs which helps Searchers over Google to see and click through their desired results.

But, some people are also discussing that now with RankBrain, negative queries will have their own results rather than showing up similar results for negative and positive queries.


Hi Ozair,
There is a huge ambiguity about Rankbrain as it is just in the learning phase. Even Google does not fully understand the effect of Rankbrain on SEO. The focus on RankBrain currently is just on understanding queries, not on crawling, indexing or replacing results. As far as positive or negative queries are concerned, Rankbrain has a long way to go, before it fully starts to be operational. Google is looking at Rankbrain with an open mind as it has the capability to revolutionize search as we know it. So anything is possible.

Arti Kadu

The article gave incredible insights on Rankbrain and its importance in the present day Digital marketing strategy. Loved the content. Thanks.