Google is constantly upgrading its search engine algorithms, popping out hundreds of changes every year. One of these announcements was about RankBrain, where Google started using machine learning in their algorithms to determine appearance in the search results.
If you are wondering how RankBrain will affect your real estate website, you are in the right place. We have created a brief guide for you on RankBrain and how you can use it to benefit your real estate SEO strategy.
Machine learning is the ability of computer programs to 'learn' and predict behaviours. The computer program uses immense amounts of data that are stored inside its memory to do so. We use a similar system as humans to learn and predict behaviour, but of course, the amount of data we have access to isn't as varied or diverse.
The brilliant thing about machine learning is that as time goes on, the computer program through learning will become more and more accurate in its predictions. This is monumental since Google has never used this capability in its search engine algorithms before.
Previously, they used discoveries and insights that people in information retrieval have had. But no machine learning at all. Even without machine learning, Google was pretty accurate in the search engine results that it presented to users.
Before the RankBrain algorithm, all information retrieval required quite a bit of human intervention. That is someone needs to tell the program that 'real estate' and 'houses' are related. Also, humans needed to create stemming and synonym lists.
RankBrain technology is working to eliminate the need for human intervention.
With RankBrain and the machine learning that it brings to the search engine, Google is going to become even more efficient and accurate in its results. Almost as if they were 'reading our minds' (conspiracy theorists abound).
Why does it matter? Well, the problem is previous computer programs could work perfectly well when it was a search that came up before.
That is, many folks searched for 'why is real estate so expensive in Chicago' repeatedly. And the computer program knew the results of this search because it had already been performed before.
But think about this - Google says 15% of the 3 billion searches run every day are COMPLETELY original. All these searches have no precedence for them for the old computer program without machine learning. So it won't be able to give accurate search results for it.
With machine learning, the story is different! The RankBrain computer program keeps learning and can understand intent.
That is, it can go a level deeper and understand why the person is searching for that particular item and can provide better results due to that understanding. Almost like a human would.
Since RankBrain is much more 'intelligent' than the previous search algorithms, it is even more accurate than the Google engineers against which it was pitted. The engineers were accurate 70% of the time, whereas RankBrain was accurate 80% of the time!!
So this allows RankBrain to better interpret all the data that is present on your webpage. Previously, it might have seen a picture of some people playing Frisbee in a park and misinterpreted it. But with machine learning, RankBrain can much more accurately gauge what every image on your webpage is about.
This means that having high-quality, accurate, and valuable content on your website will become even more important as time goes on. You will not be able to write content that's mildly useful or not useful at all anymore and hope for the best.
RankBrain will instantly catch the difference and your SEO rankings on Google can dip quite rapidly.
Also, remember that RankBrain will become more accurate in matching search results with user demands. If the content on your website isn't matching up with customer needs, RankBrain and Google will not show your website to users no matter what. You won't be able to use any black hat techniques to trick Google either.
RankBrain is still in the early stages right now and even Google is unsure of how it will affect SEO rankings. The interesting thing is that the potential of machine learning is unknown. This is because the computer software will keep on learning on its own and growing its knowledge base.
Even Google engineers are unsure of how far RankBrain's accuracy could go. That's why there are so many movies about rogue AI bots running amok because they became too smart for the creators to control.
All in all, the main idea for you to take away from all this is you can't sit on your laurels with your website any longer. You need to produce valuable high-quality content for your website.
And this includes taking high-quality images that match up with the content. Stock photos of just anything won't do anyone, because RankBrain will be able to gauge images more accurately as well.
The same applies to all your social media channels, including any videos you have on YouTube or your website.
You don't need to start getting paranoid about RankBrain and how it will affect your website rankings in the future. Good real estate marketing has always been about producing high-quality valuable content for your website and social media channels. That hasn't changed.
But those who are trying to bend the rules or are giving a half-hearted effort in their SEO strategy will be penalized for this by RankBrain.
Check out our website for more valuable content that can help real estate agents (like you) stay on top of the ever-changing real estate industry.