RankBrain: How a Search Engine AI Ranks Your Website

RankBrain: How A Search Engine AI Ranks Your Website

Anyone involved with website design or digital marketing wants to improve their website’s SEO to increase customer traffic. In late 2015, Google announced that their AI called RankBrain would henceforth be the third most important factor in their website rankings. In order to best ensure that you optimize your website’s position in search results, it is important to have a thorough understanding of this key element of the rankings. This article will explain what RankBrain is and how it works to evaluate websites.

What is RankBrain?

RankBrain is a machine learning system that sorts and ranks websites to help Google show users the most relevant results related to their queries. It does this by examining how users interact with webpages that show up as results of their Google search, and incorporating its evaluation of these interactions into the site’s rank within the list of results provided in future searches. Each time a user visits a website, RankBrain gets more information that it uses to evaluate the site’s quality and relevance. Websites that score well according to the RankBrain algorithm will rank higher in search results than websites that obtain lower scores.

How Does RankBrain Work?

RankBrain takes note of how users interact with search results, considering both individual behavior and the behavior of all users in the aggregate. These considerations are made using dwell time and click through rate.

RankBrain and Dwell Time

Regarding individual results, the algorithm records whether they spend a long time on a site or navigate away from it quickly. The amount of time that users spend on a website before returning to the search engine results page is called dwell time, and is one of two main elements of RankBrain website rankings.

Dwell time measures the time spent on the page, which has recently been recorded to be slightly over three minutes for pages in the top ten Google search results. That is quite a long time since on average users spend only around 30 seconds on most web pages. Dwell time is considered an important statistic when ranking websites because the assumption is that if users spend a long time on a page, that page must have information they find useful. Since Google wants to provide highly relevant search results, it makes sense to prioritize pages with information that users find applicable. You can increase the dwell time for your website by improving its content and design.

RankBrain and Click Through Rate

When evaluating the behavior of all Google users, RankBrain looks at the percentage of users that click on your website in the list of search results. This is known as the click through rate and it is the second key factor in RankBrain website rankings.

Click Through Rate or CTR is the number of people who click on the link to a particular website. RankBrain’s algorithm assumes that if many people click on a site, it is highly relevant, but if only few do, the site is not as relevant or does not contain high quality content. Google wants its searches to generate results people will want to look at. Giving your website a catchy and descriptive title can increase CTR.

For more information about RankBrain and how to improve your website’s search engine ranking, contact tekRESCUE, located in San Marcos, TX.

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