How to Optimize For the RankBrain Algorithm

artificial intelligence
RankBrain algorithm
RankBrain infographic

What is RankBrain?

RankBrain is a machine-learning artificial intelligence algorithm built into Google’s core algorithm to improve the accuracy and quality of search results. It is Google’s third most important ranking signal behind content and links, and plays a key role in how well your web pages rank in the search results.

When processing search queries, RankBrain goes far beyond matching pages that have been optimized for specific keywords. It uses machine-learning artificial intelligence to search for authoritative pages created around a particular theme or topic that is related to the search query.

How RankBrain Works

When a user performs a search for a particular keyword, RankBrain presents a set of results that it thinks are the most relevant results for the search query. The algorithm then identifies the best pages for that search query by analyzing the following user experience signals:

  • Bounce rate: Bounce rate is not always a bad user engagement signal. If a user clicks through to your site from the SERP and spends 4 minutes on the page without returning to Google to search for the same keywords, this is a good quality signal because it means the page contained the answer that the user was seeking.
  • Pogo sticking: Unlike bounce rate, pogo sticking is always a bad signal that can affect your organic ranking for a particular keyword. It occurs when a user performs a search, clicks through to your page, but is not satisfied, and almost immediately returns to the search result page to conduct the same search.
  • SERP Clickthrough rate: RankBrain analyses clickthrough rate and determines whether users are satisfied with the result. If enough people prefer the content of the site that is ranked below your site in the SERP, RankBrain will promote a lower ranked site over a higher ranked site.
    Dwell Time: This measures the amount of time a searcher spends on your page before returning to the search results.

Ascribes quality score to webpages.

Based on the above signals, RankBrain analyses web pages for relevance by assigning a score of between 1 and 10, with 1 being least relevant and 10 being most relevant.

Uses emotional triggers & power words.

Using emotional triggers, power words and brackets in addition to relevant keywords in your title and descriptions can effectively increase your SERP CTR for RankBrain.

Use LSI Keywords.

Optimizing your content for LSI Keywords provides RankBrain the context needed to fully understand your page. As long as your page provides a lot of value, RankBrain will rank your page for different keywords.

RankBrain loves long form content.

Optimizing for RankBrain involves publishing long form content that comprehensively covers the topic you’re writing about.

Here’s an overview of semantic search.

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