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Rankbrain: The latest card in Google’s Artificial Intelligence kitty

January 11, 2016Category : Blog

People around the world constitute for more than 3.5 million Google queries every day. The bulk of the world’s Google queries have already been searched, but new obscure searches can cause glitches. To get a better grip on such ambiguous queries, Google has designed an Artificial Intelligence system called Rankbrain. It is being used with Google’s existing search algorithms to provide more appropriate results to user queries with the shortest amount of searches. Not only can it correctly identify the most suitable sites to match the query, it also learns from its mistakes to make future results more accurate.

google rankbrain Google has been one of the biggest pioneers of Artificial Intelligence in the corporate world and has capitalized heavily in it for speech, videos, translation and now search. Rankbrain is the latest application of Artificial Intelligence on Google. Charting out the emerging role of Artificial Intelligence in search, Greg Corrado, a senior research agent at Google said that for the last few months, a “very large fraction” of millions of queries that people enter into Google have been sorted out by an Artificial Intelligence system dubbed Rankbrain. Around 15 percent of the queries route daily to Google are unique and Rankbrain is handy in dealing with such queries. Rankbrain is also more effective at figuring out the meaning behind ambiguous and incomprehensible queries.

Rankbrain makes use of Artificial Intelligence to convert enormous amounts of written language into mathematical functions called vectors that are understandable by the computer. If Rankbrain comes across a word or phrase it isn’t aware of, the machine takes an “educated guess”. It tries to guess what words or phrases might have similar meaning and filters the result accordingly, thus making it more effective to deal with new search queries. After filtering the result, the system presents the most suitable links to the person making the query. The system helps Google sort out around 15 percent of such queries every day that it has never seen before.

Google uses hundreds of signals to present its users with the most useful search results, of which Rankbrain is only one. While still in its nascent phase, Rankbrain has already become extremely useful. According to Google’s Greg Corrado, Rankbrain has turned out to be the third most influential ranking signal contributing to the outstanding results and the trials have performed better than expected with Rankbrain giving 80 percent accuracy in ranking pages compared to 70 percent accuracy by human engineers. This corroborates the fact that use of Artificial Intelligence in search queries is here to stay.

The biggest advantage of using the Artificial Intelligence system is that it has the capability to learn and acclimatize to the ever-evolving thought process that determines how people perform the search. The Artificial Intelligence system is refining the technique Google uses to manage different search queries with the aim of returning the most appropriate search results on the basis of data around people’s search behavior with Rankbrain. Each series of actions carried out by users result in data for the Artificial Intelligence system to link all the apparently different queries together. The final aim is to present the user with the information they are looking for, in least number of search attempts.

data centre automationThe fact that Google considers Rankbrain the third important signal, it is reasonable to say it can affect Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in the long run. Defining keywords and optimizing content has always been the foundation stage in SEO. This is the stage that will be affected most by Rankbrain. Until Rankbrain, Google’s human engineers created a mathematical algorithm to determine search rankings. However, with the introduction of Rankbrain, this algorithm is set to evolve furthermore. Consequently, a successful SEO campaign also has to be more agile and adjustable to the anticipated changes.

The SEO and Google Rankbrain together have a single target—the person who is carrying out the search. However, Rankbrain is more dedicated towards analyzing and optimizing user’s search results than sorting out websites on the basis of ranks. So, major overhaul in the existing SEO approach is not required, just keeping it focused and constructing on technical enhancements such as site speed will augur well.

Google’s history and exploration of the field of Machine learning is nothing new. Its target is to incessantly expand and improve its service. Embedded in Machine Learning, Rankbrain, along with Google’s existing search engine algorithm, can provide better results to user queries. It employs mathematical functions and radical learning of language semantics to interpret more about how and why people search and apply those conclusions to search results in the future. It is not hard-wired to respond in a specific pre-programmed way; rather, it can update itself gradually. Ultimately, Rankbrain is a remarkable and an important addition to Google’s search algorithm. The misconception that Google is renouncing its control on monitoring search results is rather incorrect. The company is actually incorporating another module into its highly complex search algorithm. With Google handing out around 3 billion searches, including 450 million unique searches per day, there is obviously a need to use machine learning to muddle through the steep demand of its users.

In the end, we must be ready to watch out for what’s next and Google’s Rankbrain is one of the important technological changes to watch out for. Who knows, it might turn out to be a game changer.

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