Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

What Is Google RankBrain and Why Is It Important For SEO?

Table of Contents

Google was very different 20 years ago. Today, Google has advanced even further with its search engines getting smarter with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning applied to it.

And for every SEO specialist, it is no easy feat to keep up with Google’s updates to its algorithm, all to satisfy users’ needs. And now we have RankBrain, one of Google’s core algorithms where AI is applied to help users get the exact or most relevant search results.

Back in 2015, Google announced that RankBrain is one of the top three vital ranking factors for all website owners to take into consideration besides content and links. Even though the launch was almost a decade ago, RankBrain continues to update itself, getting smarter each day.

That being said, when you understand what Google RankBrain is and why it matters, your SEO strategy will be ahead of your competitors.

What Is Google RankBrain and Why Does It Matter?

Simply put, RankBrain is an artificial programme that Google has created and runs in the background to scan the entire web for helpful information based on the keywords searched on Google.

It learns from search queries — people’s behaviour on SERPs and their time spent on the resulting website they clicked on. RankBrain is an expert at combining several aspects of a particulate search with results from similar searches. It observes the patterns in the data collected and mathematically calculates the results.

How Does Google RankBrain Work?

RankBrain has two main functions: understanding search queries and measuring how users interact with the search result.

RankBrain understands search queries

Before the invention and implementation of RankBrain, Google’s algorithm was solely dependent on hand-coding and testing by engineers, where the results were based on search queries. It then became a big challenge when they faced new and foreign keywords to Google. It became a matter of guessing which keyword would provide a less accurate result for the users.

Today, Google understands better what users are searching for with RankBrain before providing almost 100% accuracy in the results. Keyword-matching has become outdated when Google’s RankBrain transforms the search queries into concepts, providing broader but most relevant results. Genius right?

In essence, Google is ‘crowd-sourcing’ the determination of the best results by observing searcher’s behaviours.

RankBrain measures user satisfaction

Besides comprehending search queries, RankBrain also measures how users interact with the search results by identifying whether they like or dislike them. Today’s data will help Google provide even more accurate and relevant search results tomorrow.

When a page that appears on SERPs receives many clicks from multiple users, Google will boost the ranking of that particular page. The graph below shows how RankBrain uses UX signals to measure user satisfaction.

Google’s RankBrain measures user satisfaction based on 4 important factors:

  1. Organic CTR: Click-Through-Rate
  2. Dwell time: Total time spent a user spent on a page from the search results before returning to SERP
  3. Bounce Rate: Percentage of the total number of users who leave a page without taking an action
  4. Pogo-Sticking: When users visit several pages in search results to locate their exact search intent

Considering these factors, RankBrain will determine a user’s satisfaction when on a page. Therefore, every website must ensure its pages provide an exceptional user experience for Google to rank up its position knowing the pages of a particular website have had considerable performance regarding its CTR, dwell-time, or bounce rate. If the webpage has a bad user experience, the position will remain poorly.


Understanding how RankBrain works to plan for an even better SEO strategy to guarantee performance for better rankings on Google’s search result pages is important. RankBrain remains relevant today as Google ensures always to smarten it.

Therefore, if you find your old strategy is not showing valuable results, you might need to start looking into improving the quality of your content and backlinks while focusing more on users’ needs instead of what Google expects to see.

As SEO experts in the best digital marketing agency in Kuala Lumpur, The Futuristic Group, we understand this sentiment and practice white hat SEO strategies for our client’s long-term success. The best SEO strategy is to stop trying to outsmart Google but abide by the rules set by search giants and optimise responsibly as the future of search belongs to the machines.

Alternatively, you can get us to prepare your SEO strategy for guaranteed performance and better website ranking on Google’s search result page. Please find out more about our Google SEO services today, our based-in-Malaysia SEO consultants and specialists will be happy to assist!