Internet Marketing Tips, Suggestions, & Ramblings

How Google Search is Getting Smarter (and More Human)

Google Search is getting even more advanced. We’ve already seen how much effort they put into providing users with better answers to their search queries. Recently, some of Google’s more technologically advanced efforts are starting to bear fruit. Two of the recent changes are shaking up the world of search.

A banner for Google Search News. Black and white photograph of people searching on their phones with a message overlay that says, "RankBrain, Google Search App, SEO Inc."

Google AI is Learning to Solve Tougher Search Queries

First up is all the talk over Google’s new AI, RankBrain. The AI (artificial intelligence) has been handling millions of Google searches for the past few months. So far, RankBrain’s results have been found more satisfactory than Google’s human search engineers. Kind of scary, isn’t it? It works like this: RankBrain “guesses” what users really want by looking at the words and phrases used in the query. It then filters them by similar results. What’s even scarier is that RankBrain getting better all the time.

We’ve been waiting to hear of a Google Artificial Intelligence Project for search, and RankBrain seems to be it. Although the Google AI is still pretty new, it’s already an important part of how Google ranks pages. It’d be one thing if RankBrain was an entirely new algorithm. (It isn’t; it’s one of “hundreds” of signals Google uses.) But it is reported as being the “third-most important signal contributing to the result of a search query.” And that’s definitely something that demands your attention. As RankBrain continues to fine-tune its ways, we may be seeing some drastic results on the horizon.

Google’s Mobile Search App Now Answers Complex Questions

Like the Google AI, the Google Search app is being retooled to parse out tougher questions. The app is now equipped to understand the meaning behind complex search queries. It does so by breaking queries into segments. For example, the query “Who was the US President when the Angels won the World Series” is broken down by “US President,” “Angels,” and “World Series.” The Google Search app delivers the answer from the context these terms are used.

Granted, not everyone is going to type their search queries like this. (Although we’re curious how ham-fisted you can phrase a sentence to get results like these.) But the fact that Google can now figure these out is impressive. The app will even understand superlatives and ordered items (best, most, tallest, by area, etc.), as well as questions that reference particular points in time. So go ahead — get as creative as you want with your search. The Google search app is probably ready to handle it.

What Do These Changes Mean for SEO?

The SEO world is used to change. Except now we may have to prepare for change a little faster than usual. More powerful search tools are a good thing because they increase the likelihood of a good user experience. However, because RankBrain is constantly refining its methods we are likely to see periodic dips in website rankings.

Will the changes from the Google AI bot and the mobile search app affect your rankings? Time will tell. The only thing you can do for your site is have solid SEO services to back it up.

About Eric Seal

Eric SealEric has written copy for hundreds of blog posts, press releases, and website pages across a wide range of industries, from upscale luggage vendors and industrial warehouse equipment to luxury international hotels. His ability to write engaging content while maintaining a client’s brand and voice has made him a valuable member of the SEO Inc. team. Eric holds a BA in Literature and Writing from Cal State University San Marcos.