You must have known this was coming. At least if you're serious about SEO, you should have known. Google has been doing quite a bit of experimenting and development in artificial intelligence. And there have been some amazing advances even at this early stage. Perhaps you have seen the improvements elsewhere already. If you frequent Google Translate, for example, you have probably noticed an incredible improvement in its translation effectiveness. Some languages actually yield near-perfect translations now, and in fact, the new A.I. based mechanism has shown signs of creating its own intermediate language to speed up and improve the translations. Incredible!
With this in mind, it doesn't take an Einstein to connect the dots. Of course, Google is going to use that amazing technology in Google Search, and of course, they are going to use it to determine who deserves to be at the top of page one, and so on. The reality is, they already are. It's called RankBrain, and it's going to make or break your success on the web. At least as far as web search it will. Understanding the implications of RankBrain and its impact on results is critical now for anyone who is serious about getting found and getting results.
RankBrain is Google’s machine-learning artificial intelligence-based process that is now being used to rank websites in Google Search. With the advanced monitoring of the entire web, links posts traffic and social, RankBrain can rate and rank websites continuously and nearly instantly. Webmasters everywhere are seeing sites in a near-constant dance now. This is highly likely to be the result of RankBrain and its non-stop effect on results.
RankBrain is seen now as integral to Google’s overall search algorithm. There is little doubt that it will continue to grow in importance and significance over time. As the system becomes more effective at weeding out spam and typical SEO methods, the quality of Google's results will improve. That is exactly what Google wants.
Google uses many things to determine webpage rank. How many words? What do they say? Links to a page, social shares, etc... Long gone are the days when simply keyword stuffing was enough to improve your rank. We have steadily progressed towards Google's never-ending goal of presenting real and valuable results in its searches. No matter the topic, that's what they are after. Always. If you've been watching the algorithm updates, then you have some serious clues as to what they are after and their pursuits to weed out spam. RankBrain will give them a huge advantage in this department.
This reality cannot be stressed enough. RankBrain is watching your site and everything that happens to it. In time, all it will take to pollute your position will be a little bit of the wrong activity. RankBrain will decide you're spam because of all those poorly spun posts you put up, or because all (or too many of) your social followers are bogus or because of the links package you bought over at BlackHat. Nobody knows for sure how many different things are being monitored and factored in. But you can bet that the number is substantial and increasing. You should consider everything you do to help your website as being a potential out (i.e. SPAM!) for your site. Be careful and be considerate. The wrong move can hurt you for a long time.
First of all, start thinking as Google does. Or at least start imagining how they see your website. Is it useful? It is unique? It is truthful and authoritative? Or is it spammy and light on truthfulness? Did you copy someone else's content? Did you buy links? Followers? Traffic? Then preparing for you is easy. Just stop doing all those things. Get real links from real websites like yours. Get real traffic by participating on social sites and encouraging actual people to visit and share your site. Make your site worth visiting. Get on Twitter and get some traffic. Be interactive and post post post! Useful posts with relevant hashtags will get you traffic. In essence, stop being a spammer and pretending you won't get caught. You will get caught. Instead, be real and understand what Google wants. Then, give it to them and be rewarded for doing so.