Google revealed in an interview with Bloomberg Business published on Monday that it has a new ranking signal called RankBrain and that it considers it to be the third most important out of hundreds.
In a nutshell, RankBrain is a machine learning-based signal that helps Google better deal with queries it hasn't seen before, which actually makes up a substantial amount of the queries the search engine sees day-to-day.
If this interests you, you'll definitely want to check out the interview. We also covered it here, but if you're more interested in an at-a-glance takeaway, here's a quick list of ten things we know about RankBrain based on what Greg Corrado, a senior research scientist at Google, told Bloomberg.
10 Things we know about Google's RankBrain signal
1. RankBrain is the third most important ranking signal in Google Search.
2. RankBrain was deployed several months ago.
3. RankBrain uses artificial intelligence to put written language into mathematical entities (vectors) that computers can understand.
4. If RankBrain sees a word/phrase it doesn't know, the machine guesses what words/phrases might have similar meanings.
5. RankBrain specifically helps with never-before-seen search queries.
6. RankBrain is better than humans (even Googlers) at guessing which results Google would rank number one for various queries.
7. RankBrain is the first Google search ranking signal that actually learns on its own.
8. Turning RankBrain off is as damaging to users as turning off half of Wikipedia pages.
9. RankBrain is so effective, Google engineers were surprised at how well it worked.
10. Machine learning is a major focus of Google right now, which probably means we'll see RankBrain itself and other endeavors in this area improve greatly in the future.
Image via Google