Google has recently produced a computer program which won a series against the Go World Champion. As always when it comes to Google, this isn’t altruistic. This is to help improve their artificial intelligence and machine learning systems so they can improve their search results.

RankBrain has been added to the 200 ‘signals’ used by Google to rank web pages. Apparently it has been introduced a high level of importance – perhaps third on the list.

Search engine experts are trying to see exactly what impact this will have on search results. We suspect Google will be working out what is the likelihood of your website being clicked, depending on what position it appears in the search results. If your website has an anticipated click through rate is which lower than other sites, then it may lower your rankings. This is just one theory and ties in to how Google uses Quality Score in AdWords to help provide the best adverts higher up.

If this does prove to be correct, then what you write in your Title and Description meta tags will become even more important. Remember, that these are what people actually read and click on in the search results. It’s a chance to make your site, or marketing message, stand out and get people to click your entry before the entries above or below you.

Up to now, Google’s rankings have been determined by what Google programmers decide are important ranking factors. These are changed over time, with updated algorithms often named after black and white birds (Penguin and Panda for example). If Google’s algorithm now includes a level of artificial intelligence, then their servers are learning what people are searching for and which websites are popular results for those searches. Then by analysing those websites and searches, being able to apply that learning to other websites and rank them accordingly. Essentially, the Google servers can work out for themselves which results are proving to be better for search users and reorganising the search rankings based on that. Clever stuff!

It all boils down to the basics of search engine optimisation:

Having a product or service that people will want
Finding out what those people will type into a search engine when they are looking for your product or service
Optimising the content on your website so it includes the phrase people are searching for
Ensuring the title and description tags on your pages encourage people to click on your website in the search listings and are relevant to your website
Having a landing page that is well laid out and encourages visitors to buy or enquire from you

If you’re looking for search engine advice or a free consultation please contact us today.