What is Google RankBrain and How You Can Improve Your SEO Ranking

Oct 2023
What Is Google RankBrain And How You Can Improve Your SEO Ranking

Are you endlessly tweaking your website, hoping to see a change in your metrics, yet still struggling to see a difference in your SEO rankings? The solution may be understanding and optimizing your site for Google’s RankBrain algorithm. Unlike traditional SEO factors like backlinks and content, RankBrain leverages machine learning to gain deeper insight into users behavior and preferences. By the end of this blog post, you’ll understand what RankBrain is and gain practical strategies to make it work in your favor for improved SEO performance.

What Is Google RankBrain?

RankBrain is Google’s machine-learning algorithm designed to understand search queries and deliver highly relevant results. Its machine-learning nature means it becomes more accurate over time, making optimization for RankBrain increasingly critical.

Before RankBrain, Google algorithms were manually coded by engineers. Although effective in the early days, it wasn’t a sustainable approach. RankBrain changed the game by outperforming human engineers by 10% in delivering search results that factor in user satisfaction, going beyond merely scanning for relevant keywords.

“Understanding how search engines work is vital to getting effective search results. Simply trying out SEO tactics won’t be as effective without knowledge of the algorithms that are deciding the rankings.“
– Matt Enser, Website & SEO Specialist, KWSM

How Does Google RankBrain Measure User Satisfaction?

RankBrain is constantly monitoring how people are interacting with the search results they are provided. If it notices a specific trend, a considerable number of people interacting with a specific page from related search queries for example, it’s going to give that page a boost in rankings. 

However, if it is seeing the opposite trend, it’s going to do the opposite and move another page into this spot then closely monitor how it performs the next time a user searches for that keyword (or a similar term). While Organic Click-Through Rate is a well known factor for rankings, there are 2 other factors – Dwell Time & Bounce Rate – that weigh heavily in RankBrain’s User Satisfaction Measurement.

Related Article: Driving Web Traffic & Leads: An SEO Agency Case Study

Boosting Your Organic Click-Through Rate

Click-Through Rate (CTR) is a very important part of Google’s Quality Score Algorithm as it gives an idea of a user’s overall experience on a webpage. With RankBrain learning from human interactions, higher click-through rates are critical when it comes to achieving your best possible ranking. 

To optimize CTR, focus on delivering high-quality, compelling content on your landing pages. Also, add an emotional element to your titles to encourage clicks and sharing. While this doesn’t provide any value to RankBrain at face value, it certainly does to users as titles that incorporate an emotional trigger have been proven to get more clicks and help promote sharing, indirectly boosting your RankBrain score.

Maximizing Dwell Time & Minimizing Bounce Rate

Another factor RankBrain monitors very closely is how long users are staying on a webpage, or their Dwell Time. If RankBrain recognizes that a user is staying on a webpage for a long period of time it perceives the content on that page as being valuable and will potentially rank the page higher. Conversely, when RankBrain sees a user click a link only to leave the web page immediately, this is called a bounce and something you want to avoid at all costs. This essentially is telling RankBrain that this content is bad and does not provide any valuable information to the user.

Optimizing for RankBrain-Compatible Keywords

Remember when you used to make different web pages for each little variation of a keyword? Like one for “How to Improve SEO Ranking” and another for “Tips to Improve Your SEO Ranking”? Well, Google has gotten smarter. With RankBrain, Google knows those are pretty much the same thing. So now, medium-tail keywords are your new go-to for better SEO.

Related Article: 3 Common SEO Keyword Mistakes

Striking the Right Balance with Medium-Tail Keywords

Two to three word medium-tail keywords strike a happy medium between long-tail and highly competitive keywords. They typically garner more searches than obscure long-tails but aren’t as fiercely contested as the popular shorter terms. In essence, they give you a competitive edge without driving you into the ground.

RankBrain plays a big role in determining which pages appear in search results. By focusing on user behavior metrics like Dwell Time and Bounce Rate, you can influence how RankBrain perceives your page’s relevance. After all, high-quality, readable, and engaging content is not only good for your audience, it’s a surefire way to make RankBrain work in your favor.

Keep these key points in mind when fine-tuning your site’s SEO strategy. With RankBrain in the mix, it’s crucial to develop a content strategy that satisfies both human readers and machine algorithms.

Interested in Improving Your Website SEO?

If you’re looking to optimize your website’s SEO for the best possible rankings, Google’s RankBrain is not to be overlooked. By using the tactics listed above you’re guaranteed to see a considerable increase in your website’s metrics. However, if you are still having issues or would like to further increase your SEO Rankings, Fill out the form below and talk to a member of the KWSM team today.

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