Google have finally admitted it (although here at Pure SEO we have known it all along) that of the hundreds of ranking signals that go into the search algorithm, the top two factors contributing to the search rank results of search queries are content and inbound links.
During a live March Q & A Andrey Lipattsev, the Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google Ireland confirmed the two factors.
“It’s content and links pointing to your site.”
So continue to identify & develop content and build inbound links for your business (or have an agency like Pure SEO on hand to manage those tasks).
But Lipattsev also reminded attendees that neither factor are in any particular order and that also RankBrain (Google’s artificial intelligence system) is the “third most important signal contributing to the result of a search query.” That’s right… Rank Brain.
Of the more 3 billion daily global searches processed by Google, up to 1 in 3 are now being computed by a machine learning algorithm.
Although it is still very early days for Rank Brain, the artificial intelligence (AI) machine is getting better at understanding natural language and the meanings or intent behind search queries.
And for Google, that is the future of search – understanding the intent behind search queries, with machines automating most of the ranking process.
So, at the moment, it is still links and content that continue to progress your web pages at the top of the SERPs. But with machine learning developing rapidly and understanding the best (relevant and natural) way to serve search ranking results, it will eventually become where intent is everything.
Rank-Brain: What Exactly Is It?
The machine learning artificial intelligence system developed by Google is named RankBrain. Using artificial intelligence, it embeds vast amounts of written language into mathematical entities (named vectors) that the computer can then understand and process. If a word or phrase submitted as a query isn’t familiar to RankBrain, the AI can make an association with words or phrases that might have a similar meaning and filter the result accordingly, making it more effective at handling up to 15% of the never-before-seen daily search queries….which make a significant contribution to the already 3 billion plus daily queries.
What Is The Impact of AI & Intent On Search Rank Results?
With search & technology constantly developing, your website needs to be consistently evolving to maintain its current position in ranking or if your strategy is to advance from your current position in results.
As Search continues to become more competitive, the results focussed on intent will be prioritized for quality, value and engagement over traditional traffic volumes.
To respond effectively to these more intent-based searched queries , can you say yes to all of these?
• Your website content is very focused on your core / specialised topics to demonstrate your expertise • Your website content is very focused on solutions to the problems or pain points of your key customers • Your website content is very focused on clearly & extensively addressing queries or questions (who, where, why, how much, what is etc. ) • Your website content answers semantically related questions that go beyond your primary keywords (or head terms) • Your website content addresses the concerns & queries of prospects or clients as they progress through all the steps of the sales funnel • Your website complies with recommended Google website guidelines eg.mobile friendly, site speed, HTTPS – security, microdata & schema.
Yes? No? Maybe?
Are you are needing to know more about how create more relevant demand-driven content that meets searcher intent? Contact us if you’d like guidance on content, keywords & strategy that benefits both consumers and bots.
Prabin is the Head of Organic Search and CRO at Pure SEO. He has over nine years of experience in digital marketing, specialising in SEO, CRO, and analytics. Apart from his day-to-day work at Pure SEO, he is also highly involved in conducting webinars and in-house training for some of the well-known brands in New Zealand and overseas.
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