How To Rank Your Site With Googles RankBrain Algorithm

RankBrain

On the 26th October 2015, Google part launched a brand new algorithm. They called it RankBrain. This new algorithm was not implemented in full, but across 15% of search queries. Google wanted to test this thing out before it rolled it out across all search queries. In June 2016, Google was happy with RankBrain and applied it to 100% of all search queries.

Does RankBrain Replace Google’s Current Algorithm?

RankBrain is an add on algorithm to the current Hummingbird engine, and it is not the core processor, that would be Hummingbird. Hummingbird was launched by Google in August 2013, and it completely replaced Googles core algorithm at that time. Hummingbird was the core processor in effect, and encapsulated the other algorithms such as Penguin, Panda, Caffeine etc, and now encapsulates RankBrain.

Can RankBrain Give My Site A Penalty?

RankBrain has the much talked about algorithm, but most people don’t know anything about it or what it does. From an SEO perspective, RankBrain can’t and never will be able to put your site in to any kind of a penalty. It was not developed for that purpose. Google developed this algorithm to better understand and to develop an understanding about what people actually mean when they search for something.

What Does RankBrain Do?

RankBrain is a highly complex computer learning system. It actually monitors queries and assesses what people do with the search results they are given, and from the huge variations and combinations of people’s response / actions applied to the given query, RankBrain is able to learn and understand what people actually mean when they search for something.

Now, when Google bots crawl a page, they are not just picking up backlinks and your content details. That is what Google used to do. Google used to read your content and figure out you’re your page was about. Now, RankBrain has taken Googles ability to process and understand in to warp drive, and all of a sudden, we have a Google that is able “Really Know” what your page is about. Actually, Google now knows more about the subject you are writing about than you do. When the Google bots crawl a page, the content is fed in to the RankBrain algorithm which carries out the following processes: –

  1. It reads the content and understands what has been written. Very much like an intelligent person reads and understands. Previously, Google could only read, sort and apply, so if it read your article about the Australian Shepherds and your article went on to talk about a employment for sheep farmers in Australia, Google could sort that page and apply that as a relevant search result if someone searched for “Jobs for Australian shepherds”. If however, you included associated phrases such as “little blue dog” or “Blue Merle” Google could sort that and apply your page to search results looking for information about the Australian Shepherd dog. Now RankBrain is in operation, Google has the ability to understand and be an expert about the Australian Shepherd dog. The more information it processes about this dog, the more expert it becomes
  1. Google present the search results and analyse the effectiveness of the results. It assesses this by the length of time visitors remain on the pages they have clicked on from search. They also monitor the click through rate (CTR) and bounce rate where people leave that page without exploring the site further, and most of all, if searchers click and virtually immediately leave that site.
  1. Google assesses the data and learns (really learns like a human might) with understanding, and as it’s understanding increases, RankBrain orchestrates and determines with impressive accuracy which pages should actually be presented.

How Can I Influence RankBrain So That My Page Ranks Higher In Google?

RankBrain isn’t a ranking algorithm as such, so there’s no direct gaming of the algorithm if that is what you are looking for. As I have said, RankBrain is a computer learning system that enables Google to better understand what a searcher is actually looking for when they search for a specific thing. So what we can do then is position our page / post so that what we write shows that we have an absolute expert grasp of the subject we are writing about. This however, is just the starting point. Now that RankBrain has the ability to “really” understand what a searcher is searching for, Google can be very selective about the pages it serves in the search query, because with RankBrain, Google now “really” understands what your page is about, and what your competitions page is about. This means that if your content is too generic and or broad, it may be unlikely that you will rank for that phrase.

If your article is about how to fish, and you cover in that article sea fishing, pond fishing and river fishing, you will not rank for the search phrase “the secret to successful sea fishing”. The reason for this is because your content covers too many sub niches. That article actually contains the following sub niches: –

  • Sea Fishing
  • Pond Fishing
  • River Fishing

Laser Targeted Posts to rankGoogle isn’t interested in multiple sub niches in an article, they will only serve these results if there are no other results more focused. Google will take the section you wrote about sea fishing and will deem that to be low quality because the relevance will have been diluted by the other content.

Now although the river and pond fishing is associated within the niche of fishing, it is not associated to sea fishing itself. The way you become ultra relevant for the search is to write several articles about sub sub niches and even sub sub sub niches, so if we look at the structure of the niche. By doing this, you become ultra relevant for something that is laser targeted, and your chances of ranking for search queries that focus on that become huge. Now those laser targeted phrases might not have many searches, but on the other hand, you won’t need to do any or much backlinking, because you will have the best content, and RankBrain will be able to determine this.

The Best SEO Tip I Have For You

Google are saying that RankBrain is the 3rd most important ranking signal. They don’t say what the number 1 & 2 signals are, but we know this anyway – It is: –

#1 High quality / Authority Same / Similar Niche Backlinks

#2 High Quality Expert Content With Expert Phrases That An Expert That Knows His/ Her Niche Would Use

Now RankBrain isn’t going to be a direct ranking signal, and when Google say it is a ranking signal, they mean indirectly, but what is interesting is the level of influence they are saying it has. We can deduce therefore that the ultimate SEO strategy therefore is to do the following: –

  1. Make your site in to an authority in your niche (even if your niche is a sub sub niche – be an authority)
  2. Get high quality / authority same / similar niche backlinks pointing to the main pages of your site (home page & main parent pages / posts)
  3. Create high quality expert laser targeted sub sub sub niche content
  4. Inner link throughout your site from the pages / posts that have the powerful links pointing to them to the sub sub sub niche laser targeted pages
  5. Enjoy your rankings

…exactly as spelled out in step-by-step detail in the members area, here in SEO Breakthrough!

All the best,

Chris Cantell and John Pearce

 

38 Comments

  • Rod Dyquiangco

    Reply Reply September 28, 2016

    Doesn’t RankBrain also measure the user interaction of your site such as your bounce rate, time on each page, return visits, brand search, CTR, etc. to determine that your site is worthy to stay on the first page as long at it provides the best user experience? I’m curious to know how much of an impact do tools such as crowdsearch and rainmaker have in feeding RankBrain the data it needs to validate your site authority?

    • Chris

      Reply Reply October 22, 2016

      RankBrain dies factor all this Rod. If you use Crowd Search properly, then you get the CTR, brand search and dwell time, so it will help, but as I say, you have to use it as they teach in their training videos.

  • Adelaide Fiske

    Reply Reply September 12, 2016

    Eventhough I am a newbie at SEO I an grateful to be in good company Thank You to Chris and Johm.

    • Chris

      Reply Reply October 22, 2016

      Thanks very much Adelaide

  • Eric

    Reply Reply August 25, 2016

    Great post. You even give information how to rank better and easily with rankbrain.

    Thanks!

    • Chris

      Reply Reply August 25, 2016

      Thanks very much Eric

  • claude

    Reply Reply August 24, 2016

    Hi Chris

    nice work about google rankbrain algorithm

    thanks

    • Chris

      Reply Reply August 25, 2016

      Thanks Claude

  • Peter Balanck

    Reply Reply August 24, 2016

    HiChris, thanks fir the excellent info.
    If I want to target my home page for sea fishing, should put all the releveny sub sub articles on the home page or on other pages of my website?

    Regards, Peter Balanck (SEO Breakthrough member)

    • Chris

      Reply Reply August 24, 2016

      Thanks Peter.

      You should make your home page content relevant for what you want it to rank for. Bear in mind though, that RankBrain will mean that you probably won’t be able to rank a single page for as many search terms as you used to be able to (emphasis on probably, but not in all cases). You should therefore make each page you publish laser targeted to a sub sub niche or even a sub sub sub niche, and make each post an expert post as we teach in module 1 of SEO Breakthrough in the master content video.

      Don’t forget to inner link from your home page or other main pages that you are backlinking to so that you let the backlink power flow throughout your site

  • John OMara

    Reply Reply August 23, 2016

    Chris you are the Google Guru!!!

    Doing a search on What is Rank Brain only shows the Google explanation on mostly all the other sites that try to explain this algorithm.
    You not only tell us what it really is – in a nice 3 step manner – but you also explain the best way to make use of this powerful change that has already been made.

    Thank you for all your hard work and may God bless you both!

    • Chris

      Reply Reply August 23, 2016

      Thanks very much for that John – I really appreciate your comments

  • Moe Nelson

    Reply Reply August 22, 2016

    You are tha man! I’m glad I’m in your group.

    • Chris

      Reply Reply August 22, 2016

      Thanks very much Moe – Glad you are here too

  • Brad Blosser

    Reply Reply August 21, 2016

    Hey Chris,
    You guys keep amazing me with two things

    1. Your wealth of vital knowledge on the SEO industry and the monster known as Google.
    2. Your uncommon kindness and generosity in sharing this important information with us. I’m just blown away by what I’m learning from you guys. I appreciate you and John more than I can express.

    I am so excited about what I’m learning in my new passion and career. I can’t wait, I’m almost done with training and then I can go out and help small business owners increase their customer flow through SEO and help my family get out of poverty. I’m so glad that God brought me to you and John!

    • Chris

      Reply Reply August 21, 2016

      Thank you Brad for your kind comments. They really help motivate us to bring you content like this. I do wish you all the best with your SEO business

      • Brad Blosser

        Reply Reply August 22, 2016

        Anyway to make us American blokes look cool in sunglasses and speak with a smashing British Accent? If I can start making money and look cool and have a British accent I think I would feel fairly successful.

        🙂

        • Chris

          Reply Reply August 22, 2016

          That’s funny – Thanks Brad 🙂

  • Dilip Kumar

    Reply Reply August 21, 2016

    Interesting information. Its interesting to see how Google is trying to mould its search engine algorithm and rankings criteria in order to match the behavior of a real user. While algorithms will still remain algorithms and will not be able to emulate the correct thought process of a real person searching for information, this new algorithm is sure to impact how sites get ranked.
    Content will now have to be even more targeted and valuable. It will have to be created with the end user in mind, which was anyways what Google aimed at in their earlier updates as well. But this time, the content creation will have to be even more focused.
    It will be interesting to see how all of this comes through and what kind of impact it does for all of us marketers.
    Google seems to taking a lot of Psychology lessons these days. 🙂

    • Chris

      Reply Reply August 21, 2016

      It’s very interesting isn’t it Dilip. Thanks for you comments – Most appreciated

  • Tom

    Reply Reply August 21, 2016

    Great article! I made last week a blogpost with all Google updates the last few years and spent also some info about Rank Brain. On one hand its great that no ‘tricks’ can help you gain ranks (P.s.: For one particular keyword there is a competitor that is violating almost every Google update, but still on very high ranks) and on the other hand what always was the best thing to do: create great content people love or need…

    • Chris

      Reply Reply August 22, 2016

      There are always inconsistencies in Googles algorithm Tom, and you will always find some sites that rank and break the algorithm rules badly, but most of the time those sites get hit.

      You are right about dealing with good content and adopting the strategies we teach at SEO Breakthrough.

  • Barry Newton

    Reply Reply August 21, 2016

    Thanks Chris for another piece of awesome information, you’re like our Guardian Angel, always protecting our backs :o)

    • Chris

      Reply Reply August 22, 2016

      Thanks very much Barry – That is very kind of you to say that

  • David Stringer

    Reply Reply August 21, 2016

    Thanks for the info – very interesting!

    • Chris

      Reply Reply August 21, 2016

      Thanks David. It is interesting isn’t it. As Google narrows down and completely understands what the search is asking, Google will return the most laser targeted results, which means if your posts are more laser targeted sub sub niches, you become the most relevant search result as Google learns

  • Ryan David Dwyer

    Reply Reply August 21, 2016

    Really appreciate the article. Will try and apply the 3 ranking factors.

    • Chris

      Reply Reply August 21, 2016

      That’s great Ryan

  • adul maviya

    Reply Reply August 21, 2016

    Great communication, and easy to work! Thank you for the great article…

    • Chris

      Reply Reply August 21, 2016

      Thanks for your comments Adul

  • Gordon Lee

    Reply Reply August 21, 2016

    Thought you guys were going to hide this from us initially when we could not access it 🙂 This is very useful and great information. Keep sending out these goodies Chris and John. Thanks!

    • Chris

      Reply Reply August 21, 2016

      Sorry about that Gordon, we forgot to set the security access settings properly initially

  • Stephen Main

    Reply Reply August 20, 2016

    Wow, thanks for that information. you guys are the best.

    • Chris

      Reply Reply August 21, 2016

      Thanks Stephen

  • Saku Mättö

    Reply Reply August 20, 2016

    A really helpful article and will certainly help me forward. Thanks gyus!

    • Chris

      Reply Reply August 21, 2016

      Thanks for your feed back Saku

  • Bruce Wells

    Reply Reply August 20, 2016

    Good stuff as always Chris and John. Thank you.

    • Chris

      Reply Reply August 21, 2016

      Thanks for your appreciation Bruce

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