Google RankBrain is currently the third most important factor in the ranking algorithm, and it has been in place for a little over 6 months already. Although many web developers may think that this is another passing fad, this is by no means the case. In fact, it has become more important than ever to pay attention to RankBrain and its effects on SEO.
How it Works
The point of RankBrain is to take the term a user enters into Google search and interpret what the searcher actually means. Instead of formulating content focused on just 1 keyword phrase, it will now be beneficial to create content that focuses on the main keyword phrase as well as phrases related to the original keyword. For example, when compiling a basic post on goal setting in previous SEO efforts, you would have had to focus purely on that phrase. However, to gain RankBrain approval, you would now need to create content that covers various goal-related aspects – from setting them to achieving them.
Creating Awesome Content
To create awesome content that will gain RankBrain approval, you will need to implement these 4 steps:
- Start off with the Google AdWords keyword Planner
- Move to Google Search
- Direct your focus away from keyword stuffing
- Ensure that pages pass the people test
1. Start off with Google AdWords Keyword Planner
Don’t only look for 1 keyword phrase for a page – search for multiple keyword phrases for a single page. You can either browse the full list online or download them to a spreadsheet to review later. This will help you find numerous phrases pertaining to goals that can be used throughout your post or article.
2. Move to Google Search
After finding keywords and phrases, it’s recommended that you search for them in Google search. On the bottom of the first page of search results, there are normally other phrases related to your original search. If these are applicable to your content, add them in as naturally as possible. Doing so could provide you with insight into how RankBrain works.
3. Direct your Focus Away from Keyword Stuffing
The focus used to be on using keywords/phrases a certain number of times. However, RankBrain has changed this in that it is now more important to focus on creating high quality content that incorporates a range of keyword phrases as naturally as possible instead.
4. Ensure that Pages Pass the People Test
Content needs to pass the people test if it is going to be helpful to your business, website and SEO. The reason for this is that in some cases, Google could offer searchers and opportunity to provide feedback about your website content. You certainly don’t want to claw your way up to the top of page 1 of search results, only to lose this valuable position at a later stage because site visitors didn’t think that your content was of a high enough quality.
RankBrain is not only learning about how machine language or artificial intelligence (AI) works, or about trying to find ways to manipulate as many ranking factors as much as possible. It is imperative that we developers and content creators be focused on the same end goals that Google is focusing on – namely, providing the best quality content in search results for searchers.
After you have created your piece of content on whichever topic it needs to be about, it is crucial to ensure that you study the analytics of it afterwards. This will enable you to determine how the content was viewed. Was it shared on social media? If so, how often was it shared? Have any comments been left on it? Is it able to convert visitors to paying customers? Do visitors stay on one page for a short while and then leave or do they spend a while perusing the rest of your site? It is not only essential to focus on actual rankings – you also need to focus on what takes place after visitors have clicked on your page or content.
As with all of the other Google updates that have been done over the years, RankBrain focuses on providing the best possible quality for end users of Google – in other words, the searchers of information. This means that if you are able to focus on what is best for the audience that visits your website, then you will be on the same page as Google (no pun intended).