Bloomberg press agency in cooperation with Google has announced the new system of machine-learning AI called RankBrain. The role of RankBrain is simple – help to understanding ambiguous queries better. Recently something about 15% of queries haven’t been seen by Google. RankBrain that works already for months, will be able to help in answering these queries.


How does it work in practice

As I mentioned about 15% of queries lost in depths of the Internet. For many years, starting from 2007, Google tried to reduce number of missing queries. They managed to reduce it from 25% to 15%, but it’s still 450 million queries daily missed. Most of them are based on long-tail keywords. RankBrain can see correlation between apparently unconnected searches. As a result, it learns how to understand correlation, connect them with relevant topic to provide better results in the future. In simple words, through the use of AI RankBrain try to figure out what can refer the complex query. Or even simpler: „What you had in your mind?”. Greg Corrado, Senior Research Scientist at Google, said that RankBrain works a little bit like the human hunch and is now the third-most important signal contributing to the result of a search query (being honest it isn’t).


Third-most important signal?

RankBrain isn’t the new way of Google ranks search results. It’s a part of Google’s overall algorithm called Hummingbird. But RankBrain isn’t the only part of Hummingbird. It includes such SEO celebrities like Panda, Penguin or PageRank. Nice folks, right?

RankBrain - Google Hummingbird logo

What does it mean that RankBrain can be a third-most important signal? There are more than 200 signals that Google use to determine web rank pages. For example, if some page has a valuable, well edited and shared content than Google consider this as a signal. If some page is spamming and violating copyright laws than is a signal. Negative, but still signal. All these signals have an impact on which pages appear in response to specific query in search results (SERPs).


Is it going to kill SEO?

Not at all – says Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google. In his opinion the magic of SEO can collaborate with RankBrain. SEO specialists who base their capmaigns on long tail keywords can certainly gain the most. Of course there is also the question: “What if Google misunderstands queries?”. We can only hope that RankBrain is well prepared to not turn SERPs upside down.

According to a study by Stone Temple Consulting, number of rich answers returned by Google increased by 31% in the first half of 2015. Coincidence? Or maybe RankBrain has been running for months?