How To Respond To Google’s Rankbrain Update
Those who have experience with SEO might be aware that Google has shaken up the system many times over the years with its constant algorithm updates. For those who are newer to the field of search engine optimisation, Google’s algorithm is essentially what everyone is trying to please when they work on their SEO. Through a series of complex calculations, taking many factors into account, Google tries to determine the relevance of every possible search result for your query and ranks them in order. The page this creates is known as the SERP – search engine results page. In order for your website to climb the SERPs it helps to know what Google is looking for, and now we know this has changed in the last year.
Throughout 2015, Google was rolling out its so-called “Rankbrain” update secretly, and only revealed its plans when up to 70% of search queries were already being dealt with in part by Rankbrain. The search giant has always been secretive about the methods it uses to rank websites on the SERPs, but from experience we do know that back links and keyword relevance are the top two determining factors. Although Google didn’t confirm this, it did say that Rankbrain is now supposedly the third most important, which makes it a significant overhaul.
So what exactly does Rankbrain do? The purpose of it is to help Google understand the context behind complicated search terms. It has been likened to artificial intelligence, although in reality Rankbrain cannot think for itself and only updates its knowledge base after the new data has been verified by real human test users. Historical information about what results people were satisfied with when they searched for particular queries is input into the system, which in turn looks for similar connections for brand new queries and tries to make website rankings respond accordingly.
The point of Rankbrain is basically another step in Google’s mission to make its search engine think like a human. This means the best way you can respond to the update is to focus on your user experience, and providing written content that actually adds value. If you make your website content something people would actually want to read, that not only includes your keywords but also provides high quality information to support them, there’s a good chance Rankbrain will look favourably on you. High quality content is guaranteed not to go out of fashion, so it’s a great strategy to take moving forward and should help you climb the results pages faster than your competition.