Artificial intelligence is feared by some, deemed an inevitability by others, and has seen increased use online within the last five years. As one of the biggest tech companies in the world, Google has sought to find innovative ways to build and implement AI into its existing products.
RankBrain is a unique development to the world of Google search engine optimization. This AI is designed to learn about websites, take in new information, and assist in ranking it on the platform’s search engine. With more than two hundred different factors that affect search engine rank, RankBrain is the third most important – this is behind only strength of content and backlinks. Since 2015, this AI has been in place on Google search engines and since then, engineers have constantly been seeking to improve RankBrain. In getting to know RankBrain, it’s important to understand how it may impact your search engine ranking and how it works.
RankBrain is not an Algorithm
First things first, this is not an algorithm – it’s an AI. RankBrain does not replace any current Google algorithm but what it does do is that it influences the search process itself. Prior to RankBrain, a user would enter their search into Google and algorithm bots would then crawl sites looking for that specific search term. Now that the internet has developed to the size it has and search requirements have expanded, the algorithms are limited in terms of what they can accomplish.
This is where RankBrain comes in as this AI has no limitations when it comes to searches. When it receives a search query, it finds exact matches to the query in addition to alternative meanings. What RankBrain does is try to interpret the information you are giving Google and it provides more relevant search results than an algorithm can – at least when it interprets correctly. Admittedly, yes, this is a little futuristic but Google engineers have been refining RankBrain for a few years now and throughout this time, it’s been more effective than any algorithm engineers have been able to come up with thus far.
AI is Re-Designing the Way Searches are Done
RankBrain is an example of an AI who is able to interpret information in a way that no algorithm can. For example, when you ask Google a question based on algorithms alone, the search engine does not know context nor can it interpret what you might actually mean. RankBrain may not provide a perfect match every time but right now, it’s the best thing Google has to provide an accurate match.
Evidently there may be some concerns of AI’s such as RankBrain becoming hacked or manipulated to serve up specific search results as opposed to others. There’s also some apprehension of using AI’s in search engines. In large part, there’s no way around it. Google’s RankBrain is here to stay. It’s most certainly been a part of searches you’ve done in the last few years and there’s no reason to believe it won’t continue to refine the search process. As it learns, adapts, and continues to see upgrades, RankBrain is one of the first widely accepted forms of AI on the internet.