Google RankBrain shows search results.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the backbone of a successful online presence. While the concept might seem daunting or mysterious, it’s really just about ensuring your customers can easily search for and find you online. Google is one of the biggest search engine players, which means if you can make it easy for them to rank your content higher in search results, you’re already ahead of the curve. Specifically, it’s about making Google RankBrain—the technology used to enhance search results—happy.

So, how do you do that, and why does it matter so much? SAUCE Advertising dives into the answer below.

What Is Google RankBrain and Why Does It Matter?

RankBrain is an advanced form of artificial intelligence (AI) that helps Google sort and rank search results. It’s constantly studying, testing, and implementing new algorithms to help users find the best possible content according to their search.

Let’s say you want to start grilling out more often, but don’t know much about the subject. You hop on Google and search “how to grill the perfect burger.” Like everyone else, you click on the top result first. But instead of giving you the step-by-step directions you’re looking for, the article discusses the best types of burgers.

You go back to the results and try the second link. This one’s a little better—it explains the best tools to use for the job—but still doesn’t have your instructions. As it turns out, the third search result is the one you want. Unfortunately, you had to waste time with two other sites before you were finally satisfied.

RankBrain helps cut out that waste. It senses when a set of search results has low user satisfaction or interaction and gets to work creating and testing a new algorithm to display better results.

In the above example, RankBrain would see that the first two links you tried weren’t relevant to your intent, and with a Google algorithm update, reorganizes those results so that the third link—the one you were looking for—moves to the top. If that algorithm change causes better user interaction, it permanently implements that change for people everywhere. If not, a new algorithm is created and tested.

How Does RankBrain Work?

It’s all about figuring out what your intent is. In the past, human engineers would test out algorithm changes by hand. However, these tweaks were based on frequently searched keywords instead of concepts.

Going back to the “how to grill the perfect burger” example, the Google RankBrain algorithm would have displayed results by finding articles with any of those keywords in it. That means that instead of finding grilling instructions, your result would be an article simply containing the word “burger.” Not very efficient.

But with this newer technology, you can search for something as vague as “grill burger” and Google will understand that what you really want is directions for creating a juicy dish.

How Does It Know What Results Users Are Looking For?

RankBrain uses a few key factors in finding the best search algorithm:

  • Organic click-through rate: the percentage of users who visit your website based on ranking position, title tags, meta descriptions, and more.
  • Dwell time: how long users stay on your site before heading back to the search results.
  • Bounce rate: the percentage of users who click through to your page but “bounce” (or leave) rather than browse other parts of your site.
  • Pogo-sticking: the number of users—like the ones in the above example—who jump from one search result to the next until they find exactly what they’re looking for.

How Can I Use It to Improve My Search Rankings?

SEO is a simple enough concept, but with a practiced hand and serious expertise, you can turn it from a must-have into one of your business’s greatest strengths.

That’s where the experts at SAUCE come in. Our crack web and SEO team knows ranking factors, Google analytics, and how to optimize for RankBrain. We have a proven track record of helping boost our clients’ web presence in powerful and sustainable ways, and we’re eager to put that knowledge to use for you.

Maximize the return on investment of your SEO by calling us at 262-650-8300.

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