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Optimisation With RankBrain In Mind

RankBrain was initially launched by Google in 2015 as a way to help Google process search queries. Though RankBrain is used to help with a number of different ranking factors and can’t be optimised for directly, RankBrain can definitely be taken into mind when optimising for search.

What Is RankBrain?

For those who don’t already know, RankBrain is an artificial intelligence program that was created by Google in order to help process a number of different factors that help Google to choose rankings for search results. RankBrain doesn’t target one specific ranking factor, but it instead helps Google to process all search queries by converting search data into mathematical entities called vectors that the AI is able to understand, and then helping to shift rankings based off of the findings.

RankBrain is a learning AI, and as it gathers more and more data it becomes more effective in helping to rank pages in search results.

What Can You Do To Optimise For RankBrain?

Though it’s technically impossible to optimise for RankBrain directly, it’s not impossible to optimise your website with RankBrain in mind, and doing this can be extremely beneficial to your search rankings.

 So what exactly can you do to optimise with RankBrain in mind?

Create Faultless Search Snippets

The technology used to create the RankBrain AI program was derived from the software used for Google AdWords’ Quality Score. This program doesn’t need to use external signals like links to determine the relevance of search snippets, and instead ranks pages based off of the snippet and its content directly.

If you want your website to perform to the best of its ability, you need to ensure that your search snippets are faultless. RankBrain values high quality snippets and it knows that searchers do too, which is why it’ll help you to rank higher if you make sure the content in your search snippets is well optimised and well written. Not only will snippet optimisation help you to rank higher, but if your content is well written and informative you’re likely to draw in more searchers – improving your CTR.

Optimise Each Page Of Site Content With Multiple Keywords

The days of ranking each page with a specific individual keyword are over. If you really want to succeed with optimisation, you should start optimising each page of site content and each blog/news article you put out with a number of different relevant keywords.

RankBrain is capable of finding words that have the same meaning and pairing these with each other to help rankings based on relevance, so by adding in a number of different but similar keyword terms, RankBrain will find all the relevant terms based off of one keyword in a search query and bring your page closer to the top of search results.

Write For Your Visitors

An important thing to do when optimising with RankBrain in mind is to write for your visitors, not for Google. With such a big deal being made out of keyword optimisation in the past, there are too many marketers and webmasters who write their content for Google, stuffing it full of keywords and not actually focusing on how it naturally reads. With the introduction of new technologies and programs like RankBrain, keywords – while still important – don’t need to be incorporated into content so heavily.

Even Google’s own Gary Illyes stated that you should write your content to appeal to humans not algorithms:

“Try to write content that sounds human. If you try to write like a machine then RankBrain will just get confused and probably just push you back.”

So while you should definitely still make sure to include an array of keywords in your site content, it’s recommended that you lower your focus on keywords and shift it towards ensuring your content is written as naturally and conversationally as possible.  

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