Recently, news emerged that Google had launched a machine-learning technology called RankBrain to rate and deliver search results. Google began working with this artificial intelligence several months ago. This new system is already being used for a large fraction of search queries.
What Is RankBrain?
RankBrain is one of the hundreds of ranking factors that go into the current Google algorithm Hummingbird. According to Google, RankBrain was introduced in the beginning of 2015 and is currently the third-most important ranking signal. (Unfortunately Google does not reveal the top two.) The most significant difference with the previously existing technologies is that RankBrain has the capability to learn. RankBrain was introduced to improve the handling of previously unknown and of ambiguous search queries. RankBrain can see patterns between complex search queries and understands how they are related. Based on this experience, the system can better understand future complex search queries and provide more accurate search results.
Impact of RankBrain on SEO
So far there is no known implication for search engine optimization. RankBrain will primarily lead to more accurate search results. As a result it can be expected that click and conversion rates will improve with RankBrain, whereas there could be a decrease in impressions. If you continue focusing on high-quality content that is relevant for your target group, your website is likely to benefit from RankBrain. In addition, it can be assumed that RankBrain will support the evolution from keyword-based SEO optimizations to a holistic content approach.