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What is Rank Brain?

rank-brainRank Brain, it’s most basic essence has one goal: to determine the quality of the search term and what the user wants how the pagesatisfied the searchers goal . It measures clicks. It determines what people want based on where they click.
Essentially it measures what happens from the point someone performs a search query to when they land on the page, and what they do when they get there.

With SEO becoming more and more important, search engines had to create a way to utilize it with greater accuracy. For Google, this came in the form of RankBrain. This program is actually not ‘software’ at all, but an artificial intelligence that tracks and processes search data through a learning system. This way, it’s able to continue to adapt and change its own algorithms in order to help provide you or anyone else with the information that they are looking for rather than filling their search feed with spam articles and useless content.

HOW IT WORKS

This system is not the entirety of the Google search algorithm. Instead, it is one piece of the overall ‘Hummingbird’ system that allows Google to create that list of websites, pages and information when you type something into the search bar. RankBrain, PageRank and a host of other factors and systems are used in order to create the actual ranking, but if you rank high in several of these systems, you’re going to rank a whole lot higher in the overall system, wouldn’t you think?

Some of these systems are more important than others, and Google’s Hummingbird gives them more power over other categories. When it comes to RankBrain however, the system is given a more moderate amount of power. It is, after all, capable of changing the way that results are filed entirely because it allows the algorithm to look at more than just the exact words that are put into the search bar. Instead, the system is able to look at what the individual searching might mean instead of just what they might say.

The only reason this works is because of the artificial intelligence and machine learning. But what are those? Well machine learning means just what it sounds like, the machine is learning on its own. Instead of someone having to tell it that one keyword search means the same as another, it manages to figure that out and put together its own algorithm. Artificial intelligence is the fact that the machine is actually able to learn and take in knowledge by teaching and working things out for itself, like a human does.

UNDERSTANDING THE SYSTEM

RankBrain is still a relatively new development for Google. In fact, they state right now that it is used in only about 15% of their searches because that is the rate of search terms that Google doesn’t really know or understand. It means that only a small fraction of people ever put something into the Google search bar that the system doesn’t already know and have a method of answering. When the system isn’t sure what the request means, however, that’s when RankBrain fills in. It uses the algorithm that it created to figure out what you’re really saying and what results you’re really looking for and then it gives them to you.

WHAT YOU SAY VERSUS WHAT YOU MEAN

How many times have you sat down at the computer and tried to think of the right way to phrase your question or your query before typing it in? And then when you do type it in you get results that weren’t what you planned. That’s where RankBrain comes into it. This system is designed to help the Hummingbird algorithm figure out not just what you said, but what you actually meant. It uses searches from you and everyone else to help create an additional algorithm that will combine different search results into one list. You may search ‘dog training leashes’ but RankBrain may realize that what you’re really looking for is information about leash training for your dog. Your results will reflect a combination of these things.

WHERE IT IS

RankBrain will continue to grow and develop on its own because that’s what it is designed to do. As it does, it will be able to provide better and better results for those who search uncommon words. Because it is so good at what it does, it’s actually being used by other search engines as well. Of course, each search engine has had to create their own system, but Bing, for example, uses RankNet. There is still not true method of comparing the two services to understand which is better than the other, but both are definitely still learning.

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