RankBrain, Google’s new machine learning algorithm, aims to make the search engine more efficient at understanding ‘unique’ queries − ones where the keywords in question have never been searched for before.
Queries of this kind account for a huge percentage of the searches that Google receives each day. They may not get the same search volume as the top five per cent of keywords, but the ‘long tail’ is where most people get their traffic from and Google wants to ensure it is providing the highest quality results for those keywords. How can you make sure that you are in a good position to rank well under RankBrain?
Write for the user
Rather than writing for the search engines, focus your attention on appealing to the end user by writing detailed, informative articles. Don’t worry about keywords; instead, focus on relaying the information that the users want. RankBrain will understand the context and rank you accordingly.
Longer articles (within reason) are better
Stop wasting your time with 200 word soundbites and start writing articles that convey information clearly and concisely. Aim for about 400-1,000 words, depending on the depth of the subject you are covering. If you need more space than this, consider splitting the article into parts so that people can read them at their leisure. An article that is too long may not be fully read by your visitors. If they see a huge scroll bar, are intimidated and hit the back button, Google may view your page as being low quality and penalise the site based on this.
Show your authority
Authority is an important factor in RankBrain. Google wants to know that your content is trustworthy. If your writers have a degree or a certification relating to the subject they are writing about, mention this in the byline. If you are quoting facts, provide citations. If you are writing from the perspective of a user, make this clear. Provide links to quality sources and solicit the same. If your company does web design in London, and is referenced in the same context as https://www.britishwebsites.co.uk/, RankBrain will learn that it is a similar kind of company.
Context and quality are the most important things for RankBrain. Stop trying to manipulate an algorithm and focus on impressing users. This is the key to good rankings.