Live Already: Google RankBrain; Query Interpretation Using Artificial Intelligence

Oct 27, 2015 • 7:45 am | comments (34) by | Filed Under Google Search Algorithm Updates

Google RankBrain

Bloomberg reported yesterday about a new method Google uses to interpret a "very large fraction" of the search queries they see every day. The new method is called "RankBrain" and has already been live in Google for months now.

RankBrain is basically a way for Google to understand more ambiguous queries better. It uses artificial intelligence to try to guess what your query is referring to, like a human would. Greg Corrado, a senior research scientist at Google, said it kind of uses a human "gut feeling" approach, to interpret the hard to understand searches.

He also said this is considered the third most important signal of the hundreds of signals Google uses in search. It is live worldwide now and has been for months. Gary Illyes from Google said it "was launched months ago," and it doesn't kill SEO, he said "your SEO magic still works" with it. He added that this has been worked on for months and months and the results are not "assumable" but rather "expectable."

The author of the story at Bloomberg also added on Twitter that the AI in RankBrain is not run in real-time but rather "periodically re-trained" over time.

Finally, Google's moultano commented in a HackerNews thread answering people's questions about when Google gets these queries wrong.

Some webmasters are saying this is why we are seeing more zombie traffic via Google. Maybe?

Forum discussion at Twitter, WebmasterWorld and Hacker News.

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