How Google Ranks your Page – Summer 2016

Page Ranking in Google. July 2016

Page Ranking in Google…

It’s July 2016 and Search Engine Land x Danny Sullivan  published an article that talks about Google’s current Search Algorithm

and how it uses Artificial Intelligence to  deliver search results. This short article will discuss what we know about it.

So what the heck is RankBrain?

RankBrain is the artificial intelligence system that Google uses to deliver search results as reported by Bloomberg and Search Engine Land. We can safely assume that machine learning technology called RankBrain has been in research and development for several years throughout the updates of Penguin, Panda, Etc. It is part of the algorithm used to search the billions of pages and return the best results based on the search query.

Um, what is Machine Learning?

Machine learning is the “tech-speak” that describes a computer that teaches itself how to perform a task.

Humans usually teach computers via programming. Machine Learning is the next level up from that, whereby a computer adds to it’s “skill set” by teaching itself new tasks.

Altogether, it’s a massive leap in productivity and capability.

Ok, so what is Artificial Intelligence, again?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a computer that has the capacity to be as smarter or smarter than a human.

AI can acquire knowledge from both a human and itself by making new connections from previously learned information.

In Example: Lets say a computer with AI is told to search for: HOUSE

The AI will search for HOUSE and will also notice that the search term: HOUSES is also relevant even though it technically is different than HOUSE.

The intelligence makes the connection that HOUSES is a plural from of HOUSE and will stem the search so that it includes HOUSES in the search query.

AI will also look at the user experience of both HOUSE AND HOUSES  search results and determine if HOUSES is actually beneficial to include in the search query.

AI determines this by looking at the site time, engagement, social media sharing and many other factors of the user experience for someone searching for just HOUSE, but who clicked on a HOUSES related link.

If the search result HOUSES provided a good user experience, then AI understands that it is also a relevant stem of the word HOUSE. AI will then include HOUSES results in a search query for the word HOUSE.



So, what happened to PageRank? Is that still relevant?

Yes. PageRank is part of Hummingbird’s algorithm and it ranks pages based on the links that point back at them.

PageRank is one of the programs that make-up the mother algorithm, Hummingbird.

PageRank was the first part of the Google Search Algorithm. It dates back to the late  1990’s.

It seems that Google has disclosed that PageRank is now the 3rd most important signal in the overall Hummingbird algorithm.

And that’s a big piece of the puzzle in page ranking in Google.

Hmmm…What search algorithm signals are more important?

It seems that experts think that links and the overall backlink profile still send the loudest signal to Hummingbird.

Some experts contend that the links are somewhat akin to votes, with the most popular sites being seen as better votes for a site

to rank highest.

The second most important signal is up for discussion but we at Hostt believe it is based on whatever is written in the page.

Words, H1, H2, H3, and other signals which give Google a sense of what the content is about and what the user experience will be

like, might be a good indication of what the second strongest signal into Hummingbird might be.

Hummingbird: Page ranking in Google

Hummingbird: Page ranking in google

And there you have it…this should give you a good idea of how to best setup your site’s content to rank the best.

Our site has done well in early 2016 with several #1 rankings for keywords in the hosting space.

For some reason, we fell off a bit in mid 2016 and encountered a 30% drop in traffic in May 2o16.

We have looked into the matter and feel that our drop was a normal and natural downcycle that with time should send us back into favorable rankings, should our content output and engagement continue to improve.

So…how does your site’s overall strategy compare with these 3 signals? Are you optimizing your content with getting links, proper on-page SEO and engaging your audience?

Stay tuned, as we keep our hands to the pulse of this fascinating development of Google Search Algorithm x Artificial Intelligence.

Those that know what the current SEO landscape is and optimize for it, will stay on top…


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Mike Orozco

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