If you are interested in improving your SEO practices, then you need to know what Google RankBrain is and how it can affect your placement in search engine results for certain keywords or keyword phrases. As a component of Google’s core algorithm, RankBrain utilizes artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide the most relevant search results possible for a given query.

Initially introduced in October 2015, Google RankBrain has grown to become the third most important ranking signal the platform uses to determine the placement of pages for keyword phrases. The only ranking signals that are known to have more credence are content and links. However, the RankBrain approach to deciphering queries that users submit to the search engine gives this technology a very important role.

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There are seemingly limitless ways that you can phrase a simple question and the most recent statistics show that nearly 15% of daily queries submitted to Google are phrased in ways that no one has ever used before. The primary goal of RankBrain is to process these queries that are unknown to Google with machine learning and find the search results that most closely match. For this reason, RankBrain will typically not have much impact on the other 85% of queries that are submitted daily.

How Does Google RankBrain Work?

Now that you know what Google RankBrain is and have a general idea of how this advanced system works, let’s take a more in-depth look at what triggers it to take over for a given search engine query. Say you are planning an upcoming barbecue and want to find a seasoning that will wow your guests. Your search phrase may be something like “what season is best for chickens?“. Because that search phrase can be interpreted two different ways, RankBrain will take over and give you a variety of results that fit each interpretation.

For instance, while you will get answers to what seasonings would kick your chicken up a notch, you will also get results on the best season of the year to raise chickens. This happens because, although fairly long, the search phrase was still a little too vague for Google to determine what your intended search meaning was. Google RankBrain then takes over to decipher the query and relate it to previous searches to provide relevant results.

Can You Optimize For Google RankBrain?

Now that you have a firm understanding of how Google RankBrain deciphers hard to understand queries to provide relevant search engine results, you may be wondering “how does this apply to SEO?”. According to recent statistics, Google receives 3.5 billion searches each day. Since RankBrain is responsible for 15% of those searches, that’s 525,000 unknown or unique queries each day that it has to process.

To capitalize on this and expand your SEO offerings it is important to understand that most of the search phrases that get redirected to RankBrain are written, or spoken through voice search, conversationally. Old methods of content writing relied heavily on creating content for search engine crawlers that index websites; however, this is no longer relevant. For modern SEO, it is important to ensure that you are writing for actual people and providing content that they will want to read.

If you are already writing conversationally, then chances are you are already optimizing your content for Google RankBrain as well as traditional search engine crawlers. Ensure you are using natural language and writing for your actual target audiences to see the most positive impact. This can also improve the user experience your guests have when spending time on your website, further improving organic search engine ranking.