Every day Google responds to billions of searches. Most of these searches are repeats, where Google has solid experience on what is the best result.

But 15% of searches have never been seen by Google before.

Historically, Google has used human raters/reviewers to ensure the algorithms are serving accurate results for ambiguous queries. Of course, using people to review millions of individual searches is just not feasible.

As voice search increases in popularity and we see the rise of digital assistants, the volume of never-seen-before queries will explode. It was imperative for Google to find a scalable solution.

This is where RankBrain steps in.

RankBrain is Google’s Artificial Intelligence. It uses machine learning to accurately guess the meaning and context of these never-seen-before queries and filters the results served to the user accordingly.

Google has also announced that RankBrain is the third most important ranking signal. So, as a marketer, it’s something that needs considering.

What’s This Got To Do With Your Content Plan?

Your content plan probably had your editorial agenda, topics and resources neatly lined up for the next six to twelve months.

But now we know RankBrain is actively looking to respond to the long, long, long tail of search (undoubtedly as a result of the proliferation of voice search and digital assistants), your content plan needs to address the ever-changing language your users employ and the diversity of questions they enter into a search engine.

So, your content plan now also needs to address the super-detailed questions your users might have about your product or service, as well as your plan including broader, more generic product or industry updates.

How Can You Include Content For RankBrain In Your Plan?

The good news here is that any decent content marketing plan should already address the needs, wants and questions of your users, and that would include the sorts of unique queries that Google’s artificial intelligence is trying to understand.

But if you’re not already changing the language you use in your website’s content to be more in tune with your customers, here are three steps you can follow to make the transition:

  1. Really understand your audience. Use every tool at your disposal to figure out your user’s pain points. What motivates them to search? What’s the context of the search? What language do they use? Tools like Trends, Keyword Planner Tool and Search Console will only get you so far. You’re going to have to think beyond search:
    • Analyse Social Media. What’s trending or emerging?
    • What works in email marketing? Do certain subject lines outperform the others?
    • Listen to your sales and customer service teams. They’ll have first-hand knowledge of the language your customers use.
  2. Be rich in your language. In simple terms, ditch the corporate speak. Use the same everyday language your users are. Use product names, acronyms, and jargon only when they do.
  3. Think beyond prose. Our technical SEOs here at RocketMill think that a lot of RankBrain’s capability is powered by the technology that Google bought in its acquisition of Deepmind. We anticipate this is going to greatly improve Google’s understanding of visual content like images and video. In other words, if the best way to answer your user’s queries is an image, go for it.

What do you think about the news? How is RankBrain going to impact your content marketing plans? We’d love you hear your thoughts via @rocketmill.