RankBrain: the end of SEO?

Google launched RankBrain a while ago, and the artificial intelligence (AI) system has since become a key component in Google’s search ranking algorithm. Using AI, RankBrain is capable of figuring out questions regardless of how they’re phrased. So does this mean the end of SEO?

RankBrain: a key influencing factor

One day, it just appeared: RankBrain. While Google’s latest innovation is just one element in the complex algorithm used to optimize search results, and lots of factors determine final rankings, RankBrain has suddenly emerged as one of the most important. So what is RankBrain really all about?

Google’s AI system teaches itself to rank!

RankBrain understands more and more

RankBrain can interpret data, estimate outcomes, make connections. And as more and more searches are performed, RankBrain just keeps on learning. Before RankBrain, the Google search engine was already capable of searching for synonyms and “strings not things”, but the underlying search methods were all based on human input. Now that Google processes around 3.5 billion searches every day, reliance on human input is simply not feasible. Partly because certain search operations have never been carried out before, and partly because some questions are very complex – such as questions phrased as complete sentences, for example. Questions like that will become more and more common as people get used to performing searches via voice recognition systems such as those in smartphones.

Faster and better

RankBrain was developed to interpret questions and provide appropriate answers much faster – and more accurately – than was previously possible. But what are the implications for SEO? As already mentioned, RankBrain is one of the key tools used by Google to analyze content. This means that keywords, website structure, and page-based metatext will all remain vital factors for achieving a good ranking.

SEO stays

As RankBrain continues to develop, the importance of structurally embedding keywords multiple times in your online text is likely to diminish. As Google gets better at interpreting and interconnecting information, synonyms and descriptions may eventually work just as well. This is excellent news, because in many cases this should improve website readability. Even so, good SEO-boosting content will continue to play an important role.

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