Google’s RankBrain is Poised to Dominate Search Engine Rankings in 2018

RankBrain is currently one of the top three ranking methods that Google uses, which makes understanding it a huge priority. Those of you who haven’t already put a major emphasis on RankBrain need to implement some changes right now because it’s well-poised to earn an even higher level of search engine influence in 2018.

How RankBrain and Dwell Time Determine Your Ranking

Have you noticed that search engine results have changed dramatically since RankBrain’s debut? That’s primarily due to the concept of ‘dwell time.’ In a nutshell, RankBrain increases or decreases each website’s search engine ranking based on how users interact with them.

For example, let’s pretend you’re looking for information about blue light filters. When you conduct this search, you find a couple of highly ranked sites and click on both of them.

Site A has in-depth articles about blue light filtering technology, including links to scientific studies. The site is also well-designed and contains quality content that’s free of typos. As a result, you spend 10 minutes perusing the available information.

Next, you visit Site B. Although you immediately see that Site B has several articles as well, the author hasn’t provided any sources. Even worse, the article you click on contains several typos, misspellings and grammatical errors. This turns you off quickly, and you exit the website in less than one minute.

Dwell time takes into consideration which websites you click on and how long you stay on each one. Site A has superior quality content and is likely to attract a much longer dwell time. In return, Site A’s search engine ranking will increase while Site B’s decreases.

How to Boost Your RankBrain Ranking

Taking what we currently know about RankBrain, Dwell Time and Google’s other top-ranking factors, we can create a game plan for boosting your SEO performance in 2018. Remember: these things could change over time, and it will be necessary to adjust accordingly.

  1. On-Site Content – Bill Gates famously opined in 1996 that “content is king.” This has become the mantra of the past few years, and it will continue to be accurate in 2018. After all, the best way to increase your dwell time is to provide visitors with worthwhile information. Make sure your content is well-done. Also, it’s wise to focus on providing a new approach or a comprehensive guide to a specific topic.
  2. Selective CTR Strategies – You could have the most original and informative content in the world but still suffer from a low dwell rate if the wrong people keep clicking on your links. Instead, be sure to tailor your ads, metadata and website pages to your specific target market. In other words, if your site is about horror movies, don’t take a generalized movie approach. Stick to horror to attract visitors who are likely to stick around for at least a few minutes.
  3. Utilize LSI – Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) is a great way to get Google’s attention, and it goes hand-in-hand with selective CTR strategies. An LSI keyword generator gives examples of words that connect well with your chosen topic. Using the above horror movies example, we discover that some of the top keyword phrases are “100 best horror movies” and “50 scariest movies of all time.” A review of a recent movie could say something such as “although it’s not likely to end up on anyone’s 100 best horror movies list…” to help RankBrain send the right traffic your way.
  4. Guest Blogging – Despite the claims of some naysayers, guest blogging isn’t dead. In fact, it’s a solid SEO strategy that can also help boost your volume of leads. You’ll need to be more selective than ever before in 2018, though. Putting your name and a link to your website on a highly regarded blog with a solid RankBrain ranking is a good way to drive relevant traffic to your site, thereby reducing your bounce rate. It also signals Google that your website might deserve a higher ranking.

If you want to improve your search engine ranking in 2018, you’ll need to leverage RankBrain instead of letting it work against you. The best way to do so is by boosting the quality of your content, taking a more selective approach and finding a natural way to slip in LSI keywords. Failure to do so could sink your site’s ranking and destroy your profit margin.


Written by Holly Chavez