There are over 200 ranking factors that Google use to determine the position of web pages in search results. You must have come across this statement million of times while reading about Google’s search engine ranking system. But Google has never revealed these. Yes, they often release blog posts about the primary ranking factors and their updates and tweaking in algorithms. You may also find some lists of 200 ranking factors circulating over web, but there is no proof of their authenticity. So, webmasters and SEO experts usually count content, backlinks and social signals are most important factors. But off lately, you get to hear about RankBrain as third most important ranking parameter.
Well, Google representatives never said that but there are many authentic sources that have confirmed and tested it. And, this includes some email responses from Google web help center.
So, what RankBrain is all about?
Artificial Intelligence it is. Yes, Google has rolled out an algorithm and confirmed this on 26th October 2015. It is a self help system which is programmed to deliver and learn to deliver relevant search results as per the user’s query. And, with learn to deliver, I mean that RankBrain actually guesses the meaning of query that it is not familiar with. And it deliver the results pertaining to its guesswork and ambiguity of words. And, some industry experts claim that it is the third most important ranking factor by now.
The most important thing to know…
RankBrain is a part of huge search algorithm. It has not replaced or altered the current algos, infact, it works hand in hand with them. It only filter the search results to present more meaningful results. It does not penalize the web pages or websites. It cannot promote or demote a website in search results. It just refine the results and throw the most meaningful results and never-seen-before results. And, last but not the least, it is almost impossible to trick this system. So, blackhatters may want to kill themselves now.
How to alter SEO strategies?
Every time there is major or even a minor teaking in the algorithms, we assume that this would be end of SEO. Well, even this time, there were many speculations. But after year long study and research, there are some conclusions that are worth sharing.
- It’s high time to put an end to emphasis on long tail keywords. Since, RankBrain is more about handling long term queries, you must now shift your focus on other things apart from long tail keywords as this algorithm has the capability to rank your pages for long tail keywords in spite of having short keywords in focus. RankBrain can break the long tail query into relevant keywords.
- LSI keywords is an important thing to implement. Stands for, Latent Semantic Indexing… These keywords will help the spiders and command the RankBrain algorithm to rank your pages for semantically correct and synonym words.
- Make your website technically sound. Work on your site speed, security certificates, microdata etc. need some focus. These things were always important but now have become more important as now you cannot trick the spiders, so start working in the best possible way.
To conclude this, I would advise not to put much attention to optimization. Because, in the end it’s the quality of content, your reputation on web is what matters the most. Though you cannot ignore important algorithms, but there is also no point in going mad about every small or big update.