What Does RankBrain Mean for Content Marketing?

The purpose of a Google search is to find information about a specific topic. When you type “Chicago parking garages” into the search engine, you want to get a list of Chicago parking garages. Google uses algorithms to search through the trillions of web pages to find matches to your search. You want a list of relevant links, and Google wants to provide relevant links. One algorithm used by Google to make sure links are relevant is RankBrain. In order to make sure RankBrain ranks your website for relevant searches, it is important to provide meaningful content on your site.

What is RankBrain?

Google uses algorithms to narrow down all the websites into a few helpful links. Algorithms are programs and formulas that they have created to choose the most helpful content. Their main algorithm named Hummingbird uses over 200 factors or signals to select the most relevant websites. RankBrain is an artificial intelligence program that adapts and learns. According to Google, 15% of searches each day are new. RankBrain interprets these never been seen before searches so that it can return relevant sites for the search. RankBrain is an algorithm that is also the third most important factor or signal used by the Hummingbird algorithm. With RankBrain, Google can determine whether the content on your site matches the search criteria even if the specific keyword isn’t on your page. It can tell that a page about the Bulls, is a page about basketball, even if the word basketball is never mentioned. Essentially RankBrain determines how relevant your site is to the search, and over time it can learn so that it provides the most relevant sites in the results page.

What Other Algorithms Does Google Use?

Google uses many algorithms together to return the most relevant websites for searches. Some of the algorithms are:

  • Panda. This algorithm focuses on quality. It drops low quality content lower, and brings high quality content to the top of the search.
  • Penguin. The Penguin algorithm attempts to prevent spamming sites that have bad links, either from buying the links or using a link network. Removing bad links can help your site regain rankings if Penguin has dropped it.
  • Payday. This fights spam.
  • Pigeon. This is used to improve local search results. Google updated the distance and location ranking parameters.
  • Top Heavy. This algorithm demotes pages with a lot of ads.
  • Mobile Friendly. Mobile friendly sites are rewarded by moving up the rankings.
  • Pirate. Pirate prevents sites with copyright infringement reports from ranking well.
  • PageRank. This gives sites credit for having other sites link to them.

What are the Most Important Signals?

Of the over 200 factors or signals used by Google to determine which pages make the search results page, the top three most important signals are:

  • 1 & 2. Content & Links. In a Question and Answer session, Andrey Lipattsev, a Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google, revealed that the top two signals are content and links pointing to your site. He didn’t specify which is number one and number two, just that those are the top two.
  • 3. RankBrain. Bloomberg Technology was one of the first sites to release the information about RankBrain, and revealed that RankBrain is Google’s third most important signal for ranking sites on the results page.

How Does RankBrain Affect Content Marketing?

Since it is the third most important factor used to display results, it is important to take RankBrain into consideration when determining your content marketing. The good news is, if your are already using Best SEO (search engine optimization) practices for content creation, you should be just fine. Continue to use:

  • High Quality Content. High quality content is important for SEO. If you are providing engaging, interesting content that consumers want to read, your page will do better in the search results. Google is looking for and rewards quality over quantity.
  • Keywords. Though the purpose of RankBrain is to determine relevant content even if keywords are missing, keywords are a great way to ensure that searchers are finding the information they want. Don’t cram keywords onto the page, but use them authentically in the text, and it is much more likely that your page will be found when someone does a search for that keyword or subject.
  • Accurate Information. Part of high quality content is that it is accurate. If you provide accurate, detailed information, your site will start to get recognized for providing well-detailed, and correct information.
    User Friendly Format. Providing information in a user friendly format is one way to get searchers to return to your site.
  • Relevant Information. If you want to appear on the results page, you need to provide the information for which consumers are searching. Without relevant information in your content, you can forget appearing on the results page. People search to find information, and your site must share that information if you want to be found.
  • Answers Questions. Many times people search the internet for answers to questions. Make sure you have the answers to some of those questions.

Using high quality, relevant content on your site, is an important way to get ahead on the search results page. Over time consumers and Google, will recognize that your site is a great place to find accurate information.

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