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Google rolled out its “RankBrain” search engine algorithm update back in april 2015 but were characteristically vague about what it did and how much impact it would have on the ranking of webpages. I think, however, that the fact that they decided to call it “RankBrain” speaks volumes about that, of course it has an effect on webpage and website rankings – we just don’t know to what extent.

More recently, snippets of information have come to light and it now seems that RankBrain is playing a part in most, if not all, searches carried out on Google. It appears to be a method for refining searches and improving accuracy when it comes to showing the person carrying out the search the most relevant results for his or her purposes.Word is starting to spread around the Digital Marketing community that Rankbrain cannot be optimised for. Actually, I think that is at least part of the point – you shouldn’t be able to manipulate search results into showing anything that is not the best and most relevant result for the search that has been carried out.

Google is definitely getting cleverer but it is still incredibly stupid when it comes to showing the best results. Why should I get results from the USA when I am searching for something here in London? But I still do!

Google still isn’t smart enough to work that out in every case but it gets it right most of the time which makes it acceptable. Rankbrain will probably make things better but we don’t know for sure. In the meantime make sure that your webpages are well-written and clearly about something, preferably one thing, not too many things! Make sure that the content is of a reasonable length, is multi-media, (text, image, video, audio), as far as possible and updated frequently. That should give RankBrain something to chew on while we get to know a bit more about him, or her!