Google RankBrain and your site

Google Algorithm Ranking Factors

(Number 165 of the 200)


Author: Dr. Manus Ward │Head of Digital Strategy and Data Protection │ is a qualified and experienced former hotel manager, culinary Olympic team manager and hospitality Head of School who is passionate about passing on the knowledge he gained from one of the few hotel digital strategy doctorates in the world to you the hotelier. Bonus: If you have any problems with this contact me (100% free) at or 086 8185829 on this or any aspect of your hotel’s digital strategy.

Why do we have to do this

Google has developed a self learning artificial intelligence that compares results rated by humans and attempts using mathematical reasoning, patterns and associated words to provide more relevant search results than the regular Google algorithm.

What is it: Rank Brain is an artificial intelligence (AI) program used to help process Google search queries. RankBrain uses artificial intelligence to embed vast amounts of written language into mathematical entities, called vectors, that the computer can understand.

What does this mean: 15% of all searches on Google are brand new and have never been entered into the search engine before. Many of these searches had none-understandable queries and especially with verbal searches becoming more mainstream also had colloquialisms and the algorithm struggled to return relevant searches. This was a major issue for Google and essentially an artificial intelligence with a learning algorithm was required.

How does it work: Google Quality Raters (humans) examine websites and rate them. RankBrain uses as it is stated in Google’s patent “Written language embedded into mathematical entities” in order to figure out why sites were rated by humans as excellent or poor. RankBrain had glitches initially with one much publicised example of the coupling of France with Tapas when it should have been Spain. In brief RankBrain seems to group closely associated words (e.g. restaurants and food) and examines the time spent on the page against immediate click out from a page or a click further into the site. i.e. a long amount of time spent on the page or a click further into the site is a positive signal or an immediate click out of the site is a negative signal.

Why is this important: Since early 2015 RankBrain has become Google’s third most important ranking factor after content and links. Recent research on searches rated by human engineers returned a 70% user satisfaction success rate with RankBrain achieving an 80% success rate. BrainRank can only become a more important ranking factor in the future.

What do we do: RankBrain is a learning form of Artificial Intelligence. It will be hard to “game”. Essentially hotels need to give content to their guests that they actually want with deeper pages with more detailed information so that users can click deeper into the hotel’s site. An important thing to remember however is as an artificial intelligence RankBrain examines text such as anchor text or surrounding text which in other words means it is really a combination of all the other ranking factors listed here.

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