What is RankBrain?
RankBrain is a part of Google’s algorithm which affects how webpages are ranked on the SERPs. It’s a form of AI that’s able to determine a user’s search intent from factors such as their location and the words they use in their search query. It’s a much more advanced way of delivering relevant results than search engines that don’t use technology like RankBrain. Therefore, it’s an important factor for SEO and content marketing executives to consider when optimising their copy to organically rank as high as possible.
How does RankBrain affect Google rankings?
Google has confirmed that RankBrain affects rankings by interpreting search queries and user interaction in order to determine the most relevant results. In fact, it is one of the most important ranking factors that Google uses. RankBrain can help to provide relevant results for more obscure or lengthy queries, using AI to determine what users want to see. Therefore, RankBrain should be incorporated into your SEO strategy. Discover how to optimise for Rankbrain below:
How to optimise for RankBrain
Ultimately, the more user-friendly a website is, the more relevant RankBrain will determine it to be. This means it is actually pretty simple to optimise for RankBrain, and if your existing content is written to a high quality, you may already be doing so. Here are a few top tips for making your website more accessible to RankBrain:
Create human content
RankBrain doesn’t like content that sounds like it’s written for AI – things like keyword stuffing and inarticulate writing can negatively affect your rank. So, it’s essential to write content for a human audience rather than attempting to appeal to Google, as this will backfire. Emphasise the readability of your page by keeping sentences short, breaking text into chunks, and including images. To ensure content is optimised for users and for Google, take a look at 11 content writing mistakes to avoid.
RankBrain takes into account how many clicks your search results get, so it’s important to optimise for the best click through ratio (CTR). The easiest way to earn more clicks is by writing outstanding title tags and meta descriptions that will make users want to find out more. It can also help to play on emotions in your titles, and try to make it stand out as much as possible. If you’re unsure about optimising for clicks, take a look at our quick guide to meta descriptions.
Prioritise user experience
User experience is very important to RankBrain, so you want to do all you can to keep users happy and on your page for as long as possible. Create high quality long form content that answers users’ questions to the fullest extent, which should (hopefully) prevent them from leaving your site in favour of another. You should also focus on the user’s search intent when writing your content. When users search for your keywords, are they looking to make a purchase, or for information? Be sure to take this into consideration when creating the best possible user experience for visitors to your website.
Improve old content
Improving old content is a step that many may overlook, yet it is very important for general SEO purposes as well as appealing to RankBrain. If your website has lots of relevant content on it, this is great, however you also need to regularly make sure that this content is still fit for purpose. Improving old content can involve doing new keyword research, updating relevant facts and figures, or simply rewriting the piece from a fresh perspective. This will ensure that all of your content will be favourable to Google’s algorithm, rather than leaving older content to sit miserably on the 10th result page.
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