If you are new to the SEO world, then you may not yet be aware of Rankbrain. Seasoned SEOs and people in the industry have been working alongside whilst learning as much as they can about this technological wonder. While this article may not go too in-depth, it will provide a brief overview.

So, what is Rankbrain?

Rankbrain is Google’s very own Artificial Intelligence or, simply put, AI. Rankbrain relies on machine learning, meaning that instead of a human teaching it, it learns and teaches itself.

It was launched in 2015 and its goal is to help Google understand certain types of search queries, especially ones that Google has never seen before. It is designed to further understand natural human language and deliver the most relevant results.

With the rise of mobile and voice search, our searching habits are changing. Whereas in the past, searches would have been a collection of words, nowadays, humans are searching in a new conversational tone. Rankbrain has been designed to understand this tone and respond accordingly.

Rankbrain is part of the overall search algorithm and is one of Google’s many “ranking signals”. It has become so successful that it is the third most important factor when determining results for search queries- content and links taking the top 2 places (no, we do not know the order).

Optimising for Rankbrain

Whereas certain areas of Google’s algorithm allow you to directly optimise aspects, Rankbrain is a little different. A Google spokesman, Gary Lllyes (kinda of a big deal), said “that the only way to optimise for Rankbrain is by writing in a natural language“. This means creating content that is designed for humans with a human tone. Of course, as SEO specialists we should always create content that is a stellar read for our clientele and should have been doing this for years (wink wink).

We’ve seen before SEO’s new search landscape, the impacts of certain actions, and crazy farm animal-named updates, but Rankbrain is different. It is constantly learning and adapting, and, as a result, so must your SEO efforts.

Categories: GoogleSEO


My name is Thomas Matthews and I started my love of SEO in the little seaside town of Bournemouth. This was over 2 years ago and since then I have never looked back. SEO and marketing has become part of my nature and my future. I am passionate about everything SEO and love constantly learning, you will always catch me reading articles, experimenting in code, learning every aspect of the online landscape.