What is Google RankBrain and How Does it Affect Your SERP Rankings?

Google Rankbrain Feature Image

If you are a digital marketer or involved with SEO, then you know that Search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yandex etc.) use a complex algorithm to determine which page ranks in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Google search results have changed over the past few years. Rankbrain is Google’s latest algorithm announced in late-2015. And as a digital marketer, it is important to understand how Google Rank Brain works. It is a machine learning (AI) algorithm that uses to sort Google search results. It also helps Google to process and understand search queries.

Depending on the keyword, RankBrain will increase or decrease the importance of backlinks, content freshness, length of content, domain authority etc. In this article, I will tell you how rankbrain operates and propose a strategy to increase your SERP rankings.

How Important is Google RankBrain?

  • Better search results guarantee user satisfaction, which means that users are not browsing through a lot of results. To repeat, the first three results are going to be the most popular and often used. This means that the pages that rank on the top positions will receive the most traffic, making other entries less important.
  • Highly optimized search results also mean a more relevant page content. Less widespread website/result ranking will fall and will gradually lose its high ranking because only the best results are ranked.
  • Rankbrain is taught offline by Google, which means that it is provided with words or phrases that can be viral on the net. This special feature is helpful for website owners who have content with non-traditional themes or words. Rankbrain will immediately recognize those words and will make the results more relevant for the users.
  • Rankbrain is believed to make search results more relevant and user-friendly. Now we are in the habit of searching with long-tailed keywords because we want more accurate and specific results.

How Google RankBrain Works

RankBrain has mainly two parts:

  • Understanding search queries (keywords).
  • Measure how people interact with results (user satisfaction).

  1). How RankBrain Understands Any queries (keywords)

15% of the keywords searched in Google search were never seen before. Can not take 15% more But when you process billions of searches per day, then this is the amount of approx 450 million keywords that stumped Google every day.

Prior to RankBrain, Google scans each page to see if they have the exact keyword match that someone has searched for. But because these keywords were new, Google did not have any clue about what the searcher really wanted.

Today, rankbrain really understands what you are looking for and it provides 100% accurate results. In order to seed the algorithm and its machine learning processes, Rankbrain used a series of databases based on people, places and things. These words (questions) are broken into a vector word using the mathematical formula to describe the word “address”. Similar words share the same “address”. This means that rankbrain no longer only sees the keyword (and keyword density), rather it tries to understand the meaning behind your search. When Google processes an unknown query, it considers these mathematically mapped relationships as the most appropriate for the query and offers many relevant results.

  2). How people interact with results (user satisfaction).

The ultimate goal of Google is to show you the best possible set of result pages and user satisfaction at the core of the Google search.

If your web content does not resolve the problem of a user for a given question, Then you will not rank for it. It’s simple when it comes to SERP ranking, the content is king. If your content is not relevant, then you will not get traffic. You need great content that solves a user’s problem so well that they do not have to click on Google again for the next result.

Although Google has not officially released the actual Satisfaction Metrics, we can guess what they are:-

  • Organic CTR (Click Through Rate)
  • Time-on-Site (aka. Dwell time)
  • Bounce Rate
  • Domain Authority

How to Optimize Your Website for RankBrain

If you want to rank your website in Google SERP, you’ll need to optimize your webpage and the content of your website for the rankbrain. In the absence of these techniques, your website can quickly lose relevancy and you will see a drop in your page rank in the google search.

If your website’s CTR decreases, the amount of user data for the website decreases. When this happens, there are fewer data points to assess the relevance of Rankbrain. This means that your website does not appear in top results. Over time, your visibility will be very low.

Here are some ways to Optimize Your Website for RankBrain.

1). Build Your Website’s Reputation

You should spend some time to understand what your audience likes to read. For example, if your target audience is “Digital Marketers“, they are interested in topics related to SEO, PPC, Email Marketing. Understand what your viewers like, and create more relative content around such topics.

However, only creating content is not enough. To create a reputation for your website, you have to work on quality backlinks. You can post on high-authority websites, who have similarly targeted audience. This can give you more visibility along with more traffic.

Try making content that is attractive, feel free to embed video, pictures, GIF or any other media content. This can help you increase engagement that helps in building your reputation.

2). Optimize Your Site for Medium Tail Keywords

Earlier Google used to fetch results based on exact keywords used. So, you would get different results for “best speakers for computer” and “best computer speakers.”

Earlier Google used to display search results based on exact keywords match. So, you may get different results for  “Best Seo Service provider” and “Best SEO Company“.

However, Rankbrain understands that the meaning of the above two search queries is the same thing. So it gives similar search results.

The best way to optimize your website for RankBrain is to optimize it for medium-tail keywords. Medium-Tail Keyword provides for automatic optimization for long-tailed keywords.

3). Increase Your CTR (Click-Through Rates)

Google’s Quality Score algorithm rates your website based on the quality of your keywords and content. CTR is an important part of the Quality Score algorithm. It gives an idea to the rankbrain the overall user experience of the website. The higher the CTR, the better it will be for your website.

As Google Rankbrain learns from human decisions, So you need to make sure that users click on your links. A high CTR is important for the success of your Rankbrain SEO strategy.

A great way to get high CTR is to make sure your content is well written. You must customize your landing pages to increase your CTR.

4). Create content that addresses user intentions

Rankbrain concentrates on the content of the webpage. If you have written great content, you can easily optimize your website.

If your page content is not enough relevant, then your CTR (click-through rate) will drop. Readers will not come back to your website and as a result, there will be less ranking in Rankbrain.

You should focus more on addressing user intent through your content. This is because quality content is all that matters for readers. Quality content focused on user intent will bring in higher CTR.

You should focus more on solving the user questions through your content. This is because quality content matters to readers. Quality content centered on user intentions will increase your CTR. Since Google Rankbrain improves the quality of SERP results, it also collects information about user satisfaction.

For example:- If a user clicks on #1 for a query, but it does not seem useful. Then he clicks on the next result in the SERPs. And he continues to do so until he finds what he is looking for. When he finds what he looking for, he stays on that page for a long time. And this is the sign of satisfaction.

Therefore it is important to make your content informative, attractive and useful. Try to choose the topics that are interested in your target audience and write longer and useful content that will answer all possible questions about that topic.

5). Optimize Titles and Description Tags

There is no doubt: Great titles get more clicks.

This is known for some copywriter years. And in recent years this idea has been backed up with data. In fact,  CoSchedule found an explicit relationship between highly emotional headlines and social shares.

The description tags do not help directly in SEO. But, I have found that an optimized description can increase your CTR.

  • Add Brackets and Parentheses at the end of your title.
  • You can use numbers in your title… even if your content is not posting a list.
  • Make your description tag emotional.
  • Use words and phrases that PPC (AdWords) use.
  • Include your target keywords in description.

6). Use LSI Keywords in “Content Gaps”

LSI keywords (Latent Semantic Indexing) are keywords related to your main keyword. Many people think that LSI keywords are synonymous. But this is wrong. LSI keywords are the only words that are often found together because they share the same context.

For example, ‘SEO Tools‘ and ‘Google Analytics‘ are LSI keywords because they share the same context and are often found together. But they are not synonyms.


There is no question that Rankbrain will play a role in your SEO ranking in 2019 and will move forward. Rankbrain is a powerful algorithm that constantly revolves around providing the best search results based on user intentions. If your site is already full of quality, rich, topical content, then you are on the right track.

Knowledge of Google Rankbrain for SEO is essential in 2019. Keyword targeting is not a long tail game but it is a very intensely relevant fight.

If you want to rank on top in the Google SERP, you need to do the following:

  • Write great, intensive content
  • Include different variations of your keywords
  • Provide your readers a great content so that they stay on your site for a long time and keep coming back for more

If you liked this post, leave a comment and be sure to check out my SEO archives.


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