Google’s Rank Brain is its third most important search engine ranking signal. This signal in their algorithm essentially caught those SEO practitioners who tried to play off algorithms to game the system off guard. In a word, SEO “tricks” are no match for the Rank Brain sophistication. Some old SEO tactics would no longer work and SEO practitioners have to focus on quality practices.
Discerning Rank Brain
Stuffing Keywords as a play won’t work
Keyword stuffing in contents have long been frowned upon by Google and the other search engines. SEO copy writers are still grappling with keyword density and keywords focus in a given article, with the goal of achieving rankings for a particular keyword phrase. There is still some impact in those approach but with AI machine learning advancements, this efficacy of this approach is on the wane. It is evident that search results are chosen to match what a person is looking for and not just simply giving a search result that matches the search keyword phrase. It is about understanding and answering a search intent. Put another way, the focus is more on search intent than word choices. Search intent can also be thought off as a concept, the implied intention behind the search. Therefore in this paradigm, search keywords as paths (usage of different keywords phrases) used by the searcher to address or answer his intent. The wisest way to address keywords is to have your content developed to satisfy a searcher’s search intent instead of stuffing it with keywords which would be a hit and miss exercise. The safest way about it is to write contents that are genuinely useful, educational and informative that that your audience would be interested in.
Backlinks - it’s quality over quantity
Backlinks have always been a an essential feature in Google’s algorithm. The number, relevance, authority and reliability of quality of backlinks and quality of backlinks wishing your business segment have a big impact on your page rankings. Get linked to quality backlinks and your rankings would improve but if you get clever and link indiscriminately to thousand of junk links, your site would surely be punished. With Rank Brain with its sophistry will catch out webmasters who use shortcuts and other tricks to camouflage backlinks in different places to appear legitimate. In a nutshell, such shortcuts no longer work against Rank Brain’s AI.
In this sense, Rank Brain’s machine learning artificial intelligence is a good development in keeping SEO practices honest. The tried and true approach of networking, forming link partnerships, earning backlinks from your peers will ensure you better and sustainable results.
Produce Quality Contents, Not Formula Contents
It is extremely foolhardy to try and game Google’s algorithm. Google would constantly tweak its algorithm and with each tweak it gets smarter. Yes, rankings would suffer a setback but instead of thinking of shortcuts to beat Google, a smart webmaster would analyse, understand the new landscape and respond positively to get on an even keel with the new landscape.
With artificial intelligence, as the term suggests, are complex and close to impossible to circumvent. AI has introduced a new paradigm to SEO practices especially so in the area of content creation. It is no longer enough to have an article off a certain length, deploying the right percentage of keyword placement and that’s it. And AI has made it impossible to keep up with no matter how smart you are or how big of a team you have at your disposal. There are still many SEO practitioners who continues to try and game Google that , ironically, saps their energy and frustrates their schemes to beat Google. It is a fool’s errand of a strategy. This energy would be better spent on producing honest, interesting, unique, educational and informational contents that your audience would be very interested in.
Good SEO writing and design remains absolutely relevant amidst the growing trends towards artificial intelligence. Go back to basics. Understand your market, understand your customers, be aware of what your competitors are saying and then craft contents that speak to your audience. When you get this right, the line of communication to your audience is sustained.