Here are 2 important updates from Google.
Out of over 200 rankings signals, this is one of the most important, and only recently revealed in the past few weeks, with the update only deployed by Google in the last few months.
RankBrain is the first Google Signal that actually learns. That’s right, we’re talking about artificial intelligence (AI).
"RankBrain uses artificial intelligence to embed vast amounts of written language into mathematical entities - called vectors - that the computer can understand," it says. "If RankBrain sees a word or phrase it isn't familiar with, the machine can make a guess as to what words or phrases might have a similar meaning and filter the result accordingly, making it more effective at handling never-before-seen search queries.".
Keeping an edge in search is critical to Google, and continuously making its search systems smarter and better able to deal with various kinds of queries is one of the ways they will continue to keep this edge.
What will this mean to you as a business utlising Google? Ultimately this will mean your content strategy needs to be even more well thought out and executed. Google’s Hummingbird update in August 2013 started to better focus on Semantic keywords, and trying to better interpret search intention to serve higher quality results. RankBrain will further add to this. If Google’s AI becomes smart enough, the quality of your website content and the information contained within will become key in seeing your site rank well for the right kind of targetted website traffic that delivers new leads/sales. If your content doesn’t, you’ll be left behind. The good news is since Hummingbird, we’ve seen a direct correlation of better website results and new revenue generated by sites that are heavily focussed on their site content and are following our content recommendations. While the overall upfront cost becomes higher, the ROI is also much higher.
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It’s likely Google’s Penguin update which focusses on link quality will be released before the end of the year. It is expected that this update will be real-time, which means the impact either positive or negative will happen as Google detects spammy links. For sites that have no spammy links, but their competitors ahead of them do, they may see a jump up ahead of their competitors. With some updates you need to wait for the next version of the update to see true improvement, and they can be months in between.