2018 is set to be a busy year for Marketers and Google RankBrain is the next development that Marketer’s need to be aware of. RankBrain was first introduced in 2015 but the algorithm is constantly growing and is predicted to be one of the most important ranking factors of 2018.
RankBrain is a machine learning artificial intelligence system which turns text and information into a mathematical algorithm. Whilst that sounds very technical what you really need to know is that Google is now using machine learning to improve search results and this goes beyond just looking at the keywords that are searched for.
Using artificial intelligence, RankBrain is able to examine how and why people carry out searches, aiming to deliver better search results by focusing on user intent. Taking into account factors such as the location of the searcher, personalisation and the words within the query Google aims to find out exactly what the searcher is looking for.
According to Google, RankBrain is the third most important factor in determining which search results will appear in queries. However right now, RankBrain affects less than one quarter of all search results
How will RankBrain affect my content marketing?
With RankBrain, like LSI Keywords, context is key. When writing your content, you need to consider associated keywords and synonyms to help search engines to make sense of your text and put it into context.
When producing content, Marketers should no longer focus on a single keyword but instead select a main phrase and supplement it with some related or similar search terms. One keyword per page is dead, modern SEO needs to reflect the way in which humans actually speak. RankBrain favours content that goes more in-depth and that is targeted at real people. Localising content, aiming keywords at a specific audience and making your text an engaging read will all help you when it comes to reaching the top of Google.
Understanding content, clear purpose, topics, use of keywords
With RankBrain, Google wants to gain a better understanding of your content and so the best thing a Marketer can do is to help Google to understand. Have a clear purpose for your content and provide a wealth of information, including from external sources. Moving away from a single keyword and having a topic will help make the context of your writing much clearer. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t use your main focus keyword a little more frequently to help to boost your rankings.
Do not take a one size fits all approach to queries
Some queries require short and concise answers whilst other require an in-depth analysis. RankBrain means that there will need to be some alterations to standard best practices in order to gain the most from your content. RankBrain, like many recent Google updates is focused entirely on the quality for the end user. This update means that Marketers need to focus on what is best for the audience of their websites rather than what Google would prefer.
Don’t forget about links
Links are a tried and tested way to climb up the Google rankings and this is no different with RankBrain. Links help to provide independent complementary signals for RankBrain giving your pages relevancy and trust.
Refine existing content
Existing content provides a golden opportunity to optimise your website under Google RankBrain. Using the machine learning that the algorithm provides you will be able to gather much more data about how your content is performing and how your audience are engaging with it. Analysing new posts will help you to edit your existing content and give it a new lease of life, all to help your SEO. RankBrain gives content writers and marketers an added incentive to get to know their target audience, refine the content being created, and ensure that content has depth of value and a purpose.
In 2018, voice search is one of the biggest threats to SEOs. When creating content, you have to consider the way in which people actually speak and how they would search using voice commands. Voice searches create more varied, vague and challenging queries for search engines and this is what RankBrain has been designed to tackle. Therefore as voice searches rise so will the use of RankBrain.
As this algorithm develops, it is expected that it will enforce many changes to both SEO and content creation. RankBrain will continually grow and Marketers need to be prepared for the challenges that it will bring.
For advice on how to optimise for RankBrain of if you have concerns about how it will affect your current digital marketing strategy contact our team on 01482 3338333.