Julie Cave
Julie Cave 16 February 2018
Categories Content, Social Media

Google Rankbrain & Your Business

Why does Google Rankbrain even matter in the day-to-day running of your business? In the digital marketing world, something we focus a lot of attention on is helping your website to appear when somebody searches Google for a produce or service you provide. This is called search engine optimisation, and it changes all the time. Google is often very coy about these changes and what they mean, but one thing they have confirmed is the presence and impact of Google Rankbrain.

How Google has evolved

Google doesn’t work the same way that it used to. In the early days of search engine optimisation, you picked some keywords you thought people would search for in relation to your business. Let’s say you sell women’s high heeled shoes. Your website would have the phrase women’s high heeled shoes all through it, even if it didn’t really make sense.

This is now commonly known as keyword stuffing. It no longer works. Google search results are vastly different: it doesn’t just read your content and rank your website for keywords. They look at context now, which means that they can tell by your search terminology what you really want to see.

To assist with this task, they use Google Rankbrain.

What is Google Rankbrain?

RankBrain is a machine learning system that uses artificial intelligence to improve search results and interpret new queries. Machine learning is an application of artificial intelligence that helps existing computer systems automatically learn and improve the user experience without being told what to do. Machine learning takes user behavior and uses it to understand what works and what doesn’t. By using frequent patterns and behaviors, machines can predict and deliver content based on common history.

Last year Google announced that RankBrain was their third most important ranking factor:

“In the few months it has been deployed, RankBrain has become the third-most important signal contributing to the result of a search query.”

RankBrain focuses on two things:

1. How long someone spends on your page (Dwell Time)
2. The percentage of people that click on your result (Click Through Rate)

The head of Google Brain in Canada recently confirmed that Google uses Dwell Time as a ranking signal and a recent industry study by SearchMetrics supports this statement. They found that the average Dwell Time for a top 10 Google result is 3 minutes and 10 seconds.

How To Take Advantage of Google Rankbrain

Create a mix of high-quality content in both long and short form.

You may hear some people say that nobody reads or watches long-form content anymore, but this isn’t actually true. Instead, the best website pages cover an entire topic in-depth. In fact, in-depth content tends to rank best in Google. You may have also heard of cornerstone content, which is similar. Cornerstone content is the very foundation of your website that is typically long-form – a minimum of 900 words.

Publish content that’s at least 2,000 words. That way, you can cover everything a Google searcher needs to know about that topic. A ranking factors study found that longer content (like ultimate guides and long-form blog posts) outranked short articles in Google.

HubSpot also found that the more you post, the more traffic you get.

Fresh Content

This is one thing that has remained constant. If you want your website pages to be seen by prospective customers, they need to be fresh, original and relevant. Google and RankBrain are searching for new content. As a result, you want to be sure that your website content is updated frequently.  You can do this by creating new content regularly to consistently provide new and fresh content for your viewers and to achieve higher rankings. Don’t fall into the trap of publishing any old thing though; Google also looks for quality and context.

Domain Authority

RankBrain results will also be affected by the amount of authority your domain has in the eyes of Google. Domain Authority is essentially a score that predicts how well your website will rank on search engines.  There are various ways to increase your Domain Authority. For one, you can work to get quality backlinks from sites with established authority. Another way is to craft more quality content to generate links completely naturally.

Increase Engagement With Your Content

Another major thing that you are going to want to do in order to optimize your site for RankBrain is focus on increasing your engagement numbers. When a visitor visits your website, you want to make sure that they stick around and that they engage with your content. You can increase engagement in a variety of ways. One, you can focus on minimizing bounce rate by accurately tagging your pages and by providing high quality content. You can also encourage comments by either running contests or creating some sort of call to action (CTA) at the end of each post.

Machine learning may change the way Google crawls the Internet, but there are a few things that don’t change. One of these is having top quality content published regularly on your website. If you don’t have time to do this, or you find it hard to write, it’s time to outsource to the professionals.

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