Much is already known about how Google ranks content for popular queries — but what about queries that are being entered for the first time?
In order to satisfy queries that Google has never seen before, the search giant doesn’t just rely on existing rankings algorithms. According to a report in Bloomberg, Google uses an AI called RankBrain to handle these first-time queries.
A large number of searches entered into Google each day are unique, as much as 15% of daily searces, and RankBrain is used to find the best answers.
“For the past few months, a “very large fraction” of the millions of queries a second that people type into the company’s search engine have been interpreted by an artificial intelligence system, nicknamed RankBrain.”
What sets RankBrain apart from existing algorithms is its ability to learn and before more effective at answering more ambiguous queries.
“If RankBrain sees a word or phrase it isn’t familiar with, the machine can make a guess as to what words or phrases might have a similar meaning and filter the result accordingly, making it more effective at handling never-before-seen search queries.”
RankBrain is only one out of the hundred of signals used to determine how search results appear, but it has reportedly become the third-most important signal used to rank search results since it has been in use.
Google’s RankBrain AI has become so integral to search that turning it off would be like deindexing half of Wikipedia, according to an engineer quoted in the Bloomberg report.
Amit Singhal, senior vice president of Google search, gave the green light to roll out RankBrain across all queries earlier this year. While it operates autonomously, it is being continually monitored and updated with new data.
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