Google RankBrain: Should you change your SEO practices?

Search engines are becoming smarter by the day, in order to adapt to the increasingly complex queries of Internet users.

Google is not left out, since a new algorithm, called RankBrain, has become, according to Google engineers, the third most important criterion for classifying search results. We tell you everything about this algorithm, and we explain how to work your SEO to take advantage of Google Rankbrain, and earn positions!


Google RankBrain, what is it exactly?

Internet users are becoming more and more used to search engines. They are also becoming more and more demanding. Google must adjust and guess, based on the request of Internet users, what is the need behind this request.

RankBrain is an algorithm that adds artificial intelligence to the heart of the Google search engine. When a user types a query in the search bar and clicks on a result, Google will learn that this result is relevant.

One of the most important consequences is that Google is now able to interpret your query and therefore understand that several different queries actually correspond to the same need.

For example, if you type a query like “Rent a room for a wedding in Lyon,” Google will be able to understand that this query has the same purpose as other similar queries, such as “Renting a wedding room to Lyon “or” Where to get married in Lyon “or even” VIP Room Lyon “.

The good news is that one of your pages can now position itself on several queries and therefore quite different keywords, as long as these different requests have the same intention.

It will however change a little your SEO habits to follow this evolution of Google.


How to optimize your site for Google RankBrain?

Some SEO practices become obsolete and even penalizing. The good news is that the new habits to be taken are in the direction of richer content and enjoyable to read for Internet users. So you will not have to ask the question: do I optimize my site for my users, or for search engines? If you follow the recommendations to position yourself on Google, the result will also be content to read for human beings!


First change: Do not write more pages on very close keywords

Before Google began to become “smart,” SEOs had to create multiple pages, each on a very specific declination of a keyword. For example, one holiday camp site devoted one page to the keyword “horse holiday colonies”, another to “pony holiday camp”, as well as a page for “child riding holiday”.

This practice is no longer necessary and is even penalizing. Instead, create a single page with rich content on the theme of equestrian vacation. We can retain the idea a page = a theme.

This does not mean that we can be satisfied with a site with few pages! One of the most common problems we encounter with our users is the lack of pages on their site. To be appreciated by Google, a site must have many pages. The only difference is that these pages are now dealing with a theme and will be able to position themselves on several close keywords.


Second change: Using secondary keywords in H2 is no longer a good practice

A good SEO practice was to use the main keyword in the H1 tag of your page (its title) and the secondary keywords in H2 tags (paragraph titles).

Now that Google identifies better than synonyms have the same meaning, inserting the same keyword in the H2 exposes you to be a “spammer” in the eyes of Google. So write H2 “natural” that is to say choose your titles of paragraphs according to the content of the paragraph. A bit like school

Secondary keywords can be used in the content, if the sentence is appropriate, but it is not an obligation. The rule of placing the main keyword in the H1 tag remains in effect!


Third change: Using a rich lexical field and in the right topic is paramount

Even though Google has become smarter, it has its limits! A human being is able to understand a text in a very subtle way, even if this text is quite implicit. This is not the case for Google! The search engine will need clues to understand the meaning of a text, and these clues are provided by the vocabulary used.

Let’s take an example. If I tell you the following sentence: “I am a four-legged animal, grazing grass, and used by man to move from one place to another.”

You understand that it is a horse, even if it is not named, and the vocabulary is not really specific to the horse. Because you are a human being, and therefore able to understand this type of subtlety.

On the other hand, if you enter this sentence in the Google search bar and look at the results in Google Image, you realize that our favorite search engine is not such a good detective!

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