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Huh? What the heck is RankBrain? It’s Google’s latest algorithm enhancement to Hummingbird. At its release in 2013, the Hummingbird update was all about the long tail search. RankBrain, released late 2015, is artificial intelligence used to assist Google in deciphering user intent. Google has stated that RankBrain is the 3rd most important signal used for page ranking. That’s amazing since there are hundreds of signals used. The new kid moved to the top quickly.
How does it work? Google uses RankBrain to establish user intent during a search. For example, if you searched “men's haircuts,” past results would have been a mixture of shops, salons and specific styles. However, RankBrain attempts to learn the intent of your search which is that you are likely looking for new styles, not shops, and displays the appropriate results.
An example specific to the automotive industry would be a search like “2016 Toyota Camry.” We know this user probably isn’t looking for a dealership. They’re researching the model itself. If they searched “Toyota dealers Dayton,” now they are interested in location, inventory, why buy, and specifics about what your dealership brings to the table in their purchase decision.
What do I do? If your “SEO” is currently performed as “part of the platform” you are falling way behind in the evolution of search. Search is more and more about relevance and not just rank. Automation cannot provide you the content needed to meet the demands of your consumers.
Google just got a lot smarter. Search is not just about traffic. It needs to convert into sales for your dealership. Feeding your consumer’s brain with quality, relevant content on a regular basis will feed RankBrain. Automotive SEO in 2016 should be focused on the consumer, not algorithms and keywords.
Ask your provider about their efforts on RankBrain, then send it to me. If it’s helpful, I have no problem letting them know that. If it’s not, well...