SMX West 2016 Takeaways

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Jered Higgins| Manager, Search StrategyMarch 11, 2016SMX 2016 Takeaways


Ranking Signals The good, the bad, and the ugly

RankBrain Google adds AI to Algorithm

Fulfillment Adaptation Survival of the fittest


Ranking Signals

HTTPS - small ranking signal but increasing over time RankBrain - more on further slidesKeyword in Title - less important in the future with RankBrain Word Count - less important than topicality/relevance with RankBrain Mobile - more important in the future USER EXPERIENCE - what will inevitably rank the highest is content or pages that offer a unique and topically relevant user experience. Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) -recently launched, but more important in the future Schema/Open Graph Tags - more important in the future LSI Keywords (conversational keywords) - more important in the futureContent matches user/query intent - more important in the future Specific usage of mobile - There are more and more devices connected to the internet where search data is unavailable. e.g. Amazon Echo, Siri, etc.


RankBrain - What is it?

RankBrain is mainly used as a way to interpret the searches that people submit to find pages that might not have the exact words that were searched for using artificial intelligence

RankBrain is part of the overall Hummingbird algorithm

Rank Brain not used on every query, but when it is it is the 3rd most important ranking factor

Google told Bloomberg that a very large fraction of queries are being processed by RankBrain


RankBrain - How it Works

Rankbrain concentrates on relevant content

RankBrain uses thought vectors to map relevant results to queries

This relevance score is then used to help order rankings

This chart shows how well it can learn the concept of capital cities, just by reading lots of news articles -- with no human supervision


Adaptation How can we adapt?

RankBrain targets non-understandable queries and those using colloquialisms. However, we cant create confusing content and we cant target specific long-tail keywords.

What we can do is insist on optimizing our content using best practice SEO strategies and in-depth analysis, in order to help Google understand the context of our content and the meaning behind the concepts and entities we are writing about.

"Topical relevance isn't for a single page, it's for an entire website""Make websites for users, not Search Engines""Humanity fuels the new economy"

Traditional SEO doesnt work anymore. You cant control a SERP by optimizing meta tags.6

Jered Higgins| Manager, Search StrategyMarch 11, 2016THANKS!!!