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G oogle has recently announced the introduction of the RankBrain machine learning system. RankBrain is an artificial intelligence system unveiled by Google, to help the company embed vast amounts of written language into mathematical entities that a computer can understand. With RankBrain, if the search engine encounters a word or phrase it isn’t familiar with, RankBrain can make a guess as to what that word or phrase might mean, which ideally will have the effect of making the Google search engine more effective at handling never-before-seen search queries.

Google announced that it averages about 15% per day of search queries that have never been seen before. On a typical day (in 2016), Google may process around 3.5 billion search queries. That amounts to about 1.2 trillion per year (if you were curious) (Source: http://www.internetlivestats.com/google-search-statistics/).

Google Searches per YearSearchqueries199920002001200220032004200520062007200820092010201120120400,000,000,000800,000,000,0001,200,000,000,0001,600,000,000,000Year
Year Search queries
1999 795,200,000
2000 9,238,200,000
2001 27,474,600,000
2002 41,041,600,000
2003 61,308,000,000
2004 86,142,700,000
2005 141,043,700,000
2006 230,934,600,000
2007 372,013,500,000
2008 584,473,000,000
2009 792,054,400,000
2010 998,369,900,000
2011 1,109,486,600,000
2012 1,216,373,500,000

The problem is, what to do with the some 525 million searches containing words or phrases they've never seen before? Enter RankBrain.

It was revealed that the RankBrain system is used for almost every query performed on Google these days, and as presented in a recent article by SearchEngineLand's Danny Sullivan, RankBrain has become the third most important factor in determining search results for the company.

So why do we care?

Understanding how Google decides which pages to show is critical in making sure we do all we can to get our pages seen! As we know, the actual page content and the links that link back to that content are the first two factors that Google uses to determine which pages to show, and in which order to show them. Ahh, the coveted number 1 position, how we admire thee.

With RankBrain now in the mix, every Webmaster out there will need to consider this artificial intelligence factor (after content and links) when measuring their ideal SEO mix.

Initial testing and reports claim huge successes and efficacy with RankBrain.

What's in a query? A single Google query is actually comprised of sets of information used by Google for determining the search and result's rankings. Some of this information might be the user’s geographical location, type of device, search phrase, and other bits of information all quickly compiled by the search engine.

With RankBrain, Google’s machine brain uses that data from the billions of search queries, and from what it know about who is searching, where, and for what. Imagine the speed at which this thing is learning!


One feature of RankBrain that no doubt pleases Google is the fact that once cannot optimize for the RankBrain Algorithm. At least, not yet...