Senior SEO Consultant

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It goes without saying that the term “machine learning” is something that is becoming increasingly common in the ever-evolving world of SEO.

And that’s because machine learning is changing the way that SEO works, especially since the introduction of Rank Brain, Google’s machine learning algorithm that processes search results so that the search engine can provide more accurate results and information to users.

If you’re a business that takes care of your own SEO, it means that you might have to start doing things a little differently to keep on top.

What is machine learning?

Put simply, machine learning is an analytical method of analysing and understanding data automatically. A form of artificial intelligence, it can learn new patterns and offer decisions with very little human input.

Although machine learning is only just becoming well-known, it is something that has actually been around for decades, although in much more primitive forms.

Today machine learning is evolving at a faster pace than ever and operators can analyse large amounts of data before producing the results in record time.

What is Rank Brain?

After much rumour, Google officially confirmed the existence of Rank Brain in 2015.

Working in a similar fashion to AdWords (although initially only applied to some searches), Google has worked hard over the past four years to ensure that the algorithm is constantly updated and maintained so that users are served the most relevant and trust-worthy results.

What does Rank Brain do exactly?

Although incredibly complex, put in simple terms, the algorithm makes educated guesses about a word or a phrase that someone is searching for and finds others with similar meanings. These words are then filtered, based on its conclusion.

This means therefore, that a word can be treated differently depending on how a search is phrased or what words accompany it.

The terms are filtered into distributed representations (word vectors), so that words that are linguistically similar are grouped together.

The algorithm then maps words into terms that are similar to the original query.

By having such a complex algorithm as part of a search engine, it means that users are given a much better experience as they can receive more relevant results in a much smaller period of time.

What does machine learning mean for business?

No matter what industry you reside in, and no matter how large or small your business might be, Rank Brain will inevitably affect your business online.

To appear in the right places within Google, you need to know how people are searching for your business, and what to do to improve their journey to your site.

Any intelligent digital search campaign should include a strategic and technically backed plan that considers machine learning, as well as a range of other important factors.

How do you adapt your business for machine learning?

It goes without saying the SEO has come a long way over the past 10 years, and the work required to properly and sensibly optimise a website has become incredibly more complex and technically led.

It also means that you must put yourself into the shoes and minds of potential customers.

You need to ask yourself what people will search for when they look for your services or products.

Consider what terms they will use and investigate what your closest competitors are doing so that you can learn from what they are doing right, as well as (quite possibly), what they are doing wrong.

If you want to discuss machine learning, or anything else about SEO, get in touch to see if I can help.

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