What In The World Is RankBrain?
Google has a way with words, well with keywords specifically. What would happen if someone combined keywords and artificial intelligence? Google is planning to find out.
Artificial intelligence, or AI, has long been debated both in terms of plausibility, and more recently the safety of actually creating a machine that can think and learn. Google has been working with AI in a way that could improve search queries for the average user, but what does that mean?
Google told Bloomberg News that they have been feeding some search queries into an AI system called RankBrain. Out of the millions of queries Google sorts each second, RankBrain is used to interpret ambiguous or colloquial terms that aren’t often understood by computers. This tool acts as a learning system to help interpret language such as we would use to speak to each other.
Products like Amazon Echo, Siri and OK Google have created a demand for software to understand our spoken communications. The spoken word has millions of different accents, slang words and languages, far too much to “teach” a computer or enter into a database. So instead, Google has been working on RankBrain, a system that could properly respond to the 15% of queries Google receives every day that it has never encountered before.
According to Bloomberg, “RankBrain uses artificial intelligence to embed vast amounts of written language into mathematical entities — called vectors — that the computer can understand.”.
These vectors will relate to each other in a way that Google can quickly analyze and formulate an informed guess as to what the user is searching for. RankBrain will act as a new link in the chain between human communication and computer processing. Quite exciting really, to imagine a world where our phone understands our request the first time, every time.
RankBrain is currently being used around the world with a major percentage of all queries being fed into the tool. Google has a dedicated a team of researchers and developers specifically to expand RankBrain and its capabilities. The team is looking forward to a time when the tool can move to puzzles or thinking games as the next step in the development of artificial intelligence.
What can we expect from Google with the help of RankBrain?
The first characteristic users can expect from the latest tool from Google will be that the search engine can better understand our requests. As users around the world feed queries into RankBrain, its vector system will grow, as will the tool’s understanding of user’s questions. More questions lead to more data, which leads to better and more accurate answers.
Continuation of Hummingbird:
Google is always looking for better and faster ways to get the job done, but remember that RankBrain is just one of the hundreds of different components used to answer our search questions. Google will still be using the current Hummingbird algorithm for most searches, which means that little should change in the way of search engine optimization (SEO).
Search engine experts expect that RankBrain will help Google understand written words and phrases better than ever before. This can be especially important when looking at customer reviews, which are usually written in a way that more resembles the spoken word. There are other cases when this might also be important that we have yet to explore, but client responses will be a major portion of what is changing in SEO. RankBrain will be able to crawl through reviews to recommend businesses and services who reflect the same tone as the searcher.
All of these new Google changes can be quite confusing. For an in depth guide on how Google processes our search requests read this blog post from Search Engine Land.