Google RankBrain: How to Optimize Your Site For Maximum Organic Reach


What is Google Rankbrain, why it’s important and how to optimize for it? I cover all this in one article.

Google’s focus is to provide the best content in its search results. For that reason, it uses the Artificial Intelligence and machine learning system part of its algorithm.

Google feels that the combination is key to handle every search query with greater accuracy. 

In October 2015, Google launched its AI system called RankBrain. What was even more surprising, Google said RankBrain is one of the most three ranking factors.

RankBrain is here, and it’s another step from Google to increase the quality it provides to its users.

In this article, I will show you what RankBrain is, how to optimize your site for it.

What is Google RankBrain?


Rankbrain is part of Google’s algorithm. The Hummingbird. It’s an artificial intelligence program that uses learning machines to understand unknown search queries.

The purpose of this program is to understand the searcher’s intent and provide the best results. Based on massive data that Google provides to RankBrain, it processes and analyzes it to serve the most relevant pages according to different signals such as past search history, synonyms, location, dwell time, bounce rate, and device.

Believe it or not, Google receives 63.000 searches per second each day. 15% of all searches have never been searched before, which means they’re new to Google. RankBrain has become the third-ranking factor that goes into Google’s algorithm that determines what results appear in the SEPR.

RankBrain analyzes the query and tries to figure out what is about. Then, the machine search for phrases and keywords that may have a similar meaning. Also, it goes to similar searches done in the past.

Then, it filters the results, and according to other different signals, it provides the best web pages in search results.

RankBrain doesn’t stop there. It measures the SERPs if they’re satisfying to the users or not. it checks the user’s interaction with content by checking different elements such as 

  •   Click-Through-Rate.
  •   Domain Authority.
  •   Pogo Sticking. ( this term refer to someone who leaves a webpage    and goes to SERP).

Based on those SEO elements, RankBrain arranges each web page based on its deserved score on SERP.

Let’s say for a random search query:

  • Result 1 get clicks.                                   
  • Result 2,3 and 4 have higher Pogo Sticking.
  • Result 5 Get clicks and people spend time on it.

This sends a signal to Rankbrain to give a boost to Result 5 and push down 2,3 and 4 because they are not relevant. So, RankBrain in its simplest term is a program that uses machine learning to data to provide the best results for a search query when isn’t sure the query means.

How to Optimize Your Site for Google RankBrain?

Brand Your Website Reputation.


Since Google always pushes down websites with low-quality content, domain authority has become a big signal for RankBrain. Moz has developed a search engine score that predicts how well a website will rank in the search engine page results. This score is domain authority.

This score ranges from 1 to 100, and the higher your DA is the better your website will rank in the search engines. While domain authority is not a ranking factor, but it predicts the likelihood of that particular domain will outrank another

Whenever you search for something on Google, the SERPs on page one have a higher DA over low-quality domains. There are some exceptions because many factors that influence the ranking, but it’s still important to Google.

  • On-Page SEO Optimization.

Creating fresh and quality content for SEO is good, but it’s not enough. Other non-content tasks matter a lot to search ranking and domain authority as well. These tasks include: Using Primary keywords and their variations naturally in your content.

  •  Optimize Title and Meta Description.
  •  Optimizing Images, video, and infographics for SEO
  •  Proper use of H1 and H2.
  •  Use SEO friendly URL  
  •  Make Your Website Mobile Friendly
  •  Internal linking.
  • Off-Page Optimization.

A healthy link profile can significantly improve your DA. Make sure you don’t any Google penalties and your site is linked to high authority websites. Also, contribute a guest post to high-quality websites with a similar audience.

  • Always Create Quality Content.

Content is still the king, and people will always looking for great content. Whenever someone heads over your website, reads your article and finds it useful, they will link it to their articles. This is known as Natural Link Building. This process works and Google will reward you if published content that people love, but it takes time and patience.

Optimize Your Content for Search Intent.


For Google, not every keyword is transparent and predictable. So, RankBrain tries to figure out the intent behind search queries using their data. Searcher intent has become the focus of RankBrain. The learning machines of Google has become smarter and start to understand the context of particular content.

It seems that RankBrain making it hard for content markers to get a better ranking in the search engines. There is nothing to panic about it. This just a way for Google to provides the most relevant results to its users.

Here is a recommendation from Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, who said that:

Another great tip to please RankBrain is whenever you want to create content around a certain keyword, you need to try to figure out the search intent behind it.

In other words, you need to get into your audience”s mind. To do that make sure your content answers questions your visitors are asking and optimize it for LSI keywords instead of keyword stuffing.

Let’s say your blog post is around link building. Your audience may want to know about link building types, best link building services, link building examples and strategies.

A good way to figure out searcher intent is to look at related search terms at the bottom of the SERP.

Image  relater search term

Also, LSIGraph is a great tool that allows you to generate Latent Semantic Indexing keywords.

Improve Organic Click-Through-Rate.


RankBrain uses a different number of signals to rating the quality score of a web page. Content relevance, engagement, and the keyword you target are a few of them. Since Google wants to provide the most relevant content to users to improve their experience, it uses the click-through rate to know which content is useful to the users.

If your site has a higher CTR than other websites, it sends a clear signal to Google that users are engaged with that content, and it will likely reward you and give your website a boost.

Click-through rate has become a piece in the ranking puzzle, and for that reason, it should be part of your content marketing strategy.

Let’s say you want to write a blog post. The first thing you need to do is write an attention-grabbing headline and a compelling meta description. This important because it hooks readers to click on your website to find the information they’re looking for.

Meta title and description are the first things users will see in the SERPs. Also, your page will show up with other pages too, so take your time and these compelling enough to generate clicks.  

Feelings influence our everyday decisions, including clicks. Using emotionally charged words in your title is one of the best ways to generate clicks and shares. 

  •  Learn to Stand Out in a Competitive Industry.
  • 17 Easy Tactics To Promote Your New Blog.
  • 5 Keyword Tools.

You could also use powerful words such as “ Effortless”, “Advanced”, “Explosive” to make your headline more compelling.

Include Brackets and Parentheses in The Title.

This is one the most favorite headline tip from Brian Dean. According to a study made by Hubspot, found that bracketed headlines have 40% more click than headlines with no brackets.

Meta Description.


The title and description tag work together to inspire the readers to click on your page. It describes a little what the page is about.

It may not affect your ranking, but it gives users a reason to click and read your content. The best length is around 160 characters. So don’t try to be clever or add too many details. Instead, use a simple language that includes a small pitch with your target keyword and call to action.

Dwell Time.


According to many SEO experts, dwell time it’s not officially a ranking factor, but RankBrain focuses on dwell time to measure user experience. 

Once visitors head over your website, you need to keep it there as long as you can. People are easily distracted online, and there no magic ways to keep them longer on your site. However, If you create high-quality content that provides answers and solutions, you will see an increase in dwell time over your site.

If your content contains complicated terms, huge blocks of text, hard to finish, your readers will unlikely to finish reading it. Even if they’re interested in the topic, they won’t waste their time on that page.

To solve that problem you can: 

  •  Write an attention-grabbing headline.
  •  Create a catchy introduction that makes the reader want to read more.
  •  Break your content into small chunks of text.
  •  Make your content visual if applicable (Images, video, infographics)

If you to learn how to make your content easy to read, learn from the best in your niche. Take a look at their content, how they format it, image placement, call to action…etc

Neil Patel, Copyblogger, and single grain are the best when it comes to formatting their content.

Make Your Content Deep and Meaningful.


Besides the engagement, backlinks, and social share, Google already prefers long-form content. This type of content makes it easy for Google and your audience what is your article is about and the value you provide.

Long-form content provides all the necessary information about a specific topic in one place. This way your readers don’t have to look over other sources and spend more time on your site. As a result, you increase the dwell time, decrease the bounce rate, and get a higher ranking.

According to Steve Baldwin of said that RankBrain uses Co-occurrence as a relevance factor. Co-occurrence is a group of words or phrases related to a query in an article, but not executed but the searcher.

When Rankbrain sees a new query, it looks at co-occurrence to see similar queries, then it decides which results to display.

When type query like “How to Instagram to drive traffic.” Google won’t display the same query in the SERP, but you will see related terms such as “ Instagram tactics to generate traffic”, “Instagram strategies to drive traffic”.

 If you aim for long-form content, you’re more likely to rank for related terms.

Final Thoughts


SEO tends to freak out many content markets whenever it launches a new algorithm. If you create quality content that your audience finds useful, Rankbrain will be a great friend.