The place of Google Rankbrain in seo and how to adjust to it

In this post, I’ll be talking about the place of google Rankbrain in SEO and how to adjust to it.

If you’re into internet marketing and specifically SEO knowing about Google Rankbrain is important, because it can have a huge effect on your rankings.

I’ll be showing you:

  • What Google Rankbrain is?
  • How Google used to work
  • How Google Rankbrain changes the way you do SEO
  • How to become Rankbrains best friend
  • A final suggestion that could be handy.

What is Google Rankbrain?

Google Rankbrain is a part of the Google algorithm that decides where to rank websites and their content into the Google indexes. It uses machine learning to evolve the process of finding out what people like to see on the platform. Since its emergence in 2015, it has been used, but January 2018 its been announced that it’s now the third highest ranking factor for Google. This changes some things when it comes to the process of ranking content on your website.

How Google used to work

To fully understand the changes in how to approach SEO now I want to talk about how Google used to work.

Every keyword on Google produces a list of results on google your content can get ranked for.

When what I call “Google bots” find these keywords in your content it places you under the list of results that show up when these keywords are typed into the google search engine.

Whenever someone types a sentence in Google it tries to find out what you mean by taking every word apart and looks for content having these words and shows it to you.

The separation of sentences typed in Google made it possible to use keywords like Making money online using drop shipping, Earn an income online using drop shipping and get different results. People all type different variations, but might mean the same thing. This makes it possible to rank under two different keywords and get traffic from both.

How Google Rankbrain changes that

RankBrain uses machine learning to try to understand the intent behind what you typed instead of matching the keywords to keywords used in your content.

Through machine learning, it tries to create general concepts the keywords fall under and based on that it shows you results.

For example, let’s say you use the keyword:

Fitness meals you’ll probably also rank under other terms that fall under the concept it created which might be keywords like food, health, recipes, weight loss etc.

After that based on the performance of the website, it will help with determining which rank your content should have under the keyword in google.

From a user’s perspective not much has changed except you’re getting better results, but from the perspective of people trying to rank their websites, this is definitely a huge change.

First of long tail keywords are officially dead. Now that Rankbrain is geared towards looking at the intent of what users are typing instead of just the words using synonyms and other small variations in your long tail keywords will no longer produce different results on Google.

That low competition variation of that keyword you were using will direct you to the results under the original keyword.

How to become Rankbrains best friend

So how do we deal with this change? Instead of targeting long tail keywords we target medium tail keywords. No more full sentences, but keywords that talk about one thing explained in 2 or 3 words.

Example. Australian Vegan Recipes, Trimmers Apron, Social Media Tools etc.

It might look like the pool of low competition keywords for people just starting their website got infinitely smaller which is true, but don’t worry there are so many keyword combinations that you won’t ever have trouble finding good keywords.

As I said before your ranking on Google is based on the performance of your website which is measured by Rankbrain. Google wants to give their user’s the highest quality content it can offer its user’s so it values user experiences. So by the performance, we mean the user experience of your website.

The factors that come into play to determine the user experience of a website are Bounce rate, organic click-through rate, dwell time & Pogo sticking.

How to boost your CTR by optimizing your title & meta description.

People click on the links that give the impression they are going to gain something. To get more clicks to make sure your main benefit is presented in your title and meta description.

Be precise, by including odd numbers in your headline. When you put in your title and/or meta description “..(benefit) in 52 minutes..” instead of “…(benefit) in less time..” it sounds less random as if somebody actually got this benefit within that exact time span which makes it more believable.

Invoke curiosity through creating the need to get a question you put in your title answered.

Example. Using long tail keywords for your SEO doesn’t work (do this instead).

Use brackets. According to HubSpot after doing an analysis of over 3 million headlines they found that headlines that use brackets had their CTR increased by 38%.

How to reduce bounce rate & increase dwell time

The bounce rate is made of how many people go to your website and immediately leave and the dwell time is determined by how long people stay on your website.

  • Make sure the title & description are relevant to the content. This is the most logical thing to do, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t do it. The last thing you want is people expecting something that isn’t being portrayed in your content. This will raise your bounce rate quick.
  • Immediately mention what people can gain when they read your post. People value their time so if they aren’t sure if reading your content will help them the chance is high they’ll move on to another website.
  • Break up content by using sub-headlines, pictures & quotes. People aren’t going to read your content if it seems like a chore to get through. By interrupting your text with things like quotes, sub-headlines & pictures the text looks less intimidating to read which enhances the user experience
  • Use internal links to connect to other content on your website. By getting people to read other posts on your website the time they spent on your website starts to add up. As a result, the average dwell time on your website will increase which is a factor for Rankbrain to measure the user experience of your website
  • Use open loops to keep people engaged. A great way to make sure people stay longer on your website is by keeping people engaged through the use of open loops. Open loops are basically cliffhangers. They use them a lot in TV shows to get you to watch the next episode, but they’re just as effective when using them in your own content. Just announce that you’re going to talk about something that’s beneficial for your reader later in your post or give them a sneak peek.

A final suggestion

Just because they just started this year with using Google Rankbrain as the third highest factor for ranking content doesn’t mean only your new content has to be optimized. Go to your old articles and start optimizing them for Rankbrain too. Maybe those old articles on your website that never ranked as high as you wanted them can finally get a boost by doing this.

2 thoughts on “The place of Google Rankbrain in seo and how to adjust to it”

  1. Thank you for this great article on Google Rankbrain. I actually had never heard of this before. Machine based learning really does make sense as the way of the future.
    I was just wondering what does Bouncetime (is this the same as BounceRate?), dwell time & Pogo sticking mean? These are new terms for me. I had not tried your brackets tip in the headline before. I will give that a go and see what happens.
    Thanks for the tips to go back and freshen up old content. I think that will also give me a traffic boost as well. I was just wondering what your #1 favourite method to use is?

    • Hi Glenys.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Yes, I meant to say Bounce rate. Thanks for mentioning it I’m going to correct it right away. Dwell time is the time they spend on your website and Pogosticking is continuously jumping from one website to another within the same search engine results.

      I don’t really have a favorite method when it comes to boosting traffic but I’m experimenting a lot with YouTube at the moment trying to figure out what works.


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