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What is RankBrain?

On October 26TH 2015 Google announced a new ranking factor called RankBrain, which now and in addition to backlinks and page content, is considered one of the three most important ranking factors any SEO strategy should consider.

RankBrain is an AI (Artificial Intelligence) powered algorithm that uses a combination of data from the web and past search behaviors to rank websites. When Rankbrain encounters a new search term that it hasn't seen before, Google tries to guess what the phrase intention is and, based on that, filters out irrelevant results and ranks more relevant ones.

Similar to most other AI algorithms, there is a process of training and verification to make sure the algorithm is working correctly. In other words, RanBrain is a supervised AI that is trained by the Google search team.

Based on the latest data available, RankBrain is used for less than 15% of queries and primarily for queries that google does not already have a clear understanding of the query.

How can we use RankBrain to our advantage?

We believe the are two approaches that should be considered to benefit from this advanced ranking factor.

The Same page may get affected by different ranking factors based on the query

Depending on what Rankbrain considers to be relevant to the current query and the context of the query, it might give different priority to different queries. It is important to keep different pages up to date with overall world events.

An optimized website should cover similar phrases to the target keyword

It is essential to have different versions and variants of the keyword on each page and all over the website and, most notably, in the incoming backlinks.