Rankbrain & Hummingbird: How It Really Works

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SEO all stems down to algorithm.  Googles algorithm started off pretty basic in the early 2000s but over the years it has got much more developed and advance and is much more humanised than ever before. So here is a more in depth understanding on what really goes on and how everything is actually processed by google…

Understand Rankbrain to go higher in the SERPS

For 2016 SEO, Rankbrain is Googles new most important algorithm. It is the artificial intelligence that there using for Google and they are using it tremendously. Rankbrain is the thinking part (cognation). So what does it do? Well it’s machine learnt. It watches for searches for what people search for, what they click, their internal clicks, their internal click termination to make an educated guess to what each entity is and what the user wants so it can make the best educated guess as possible.

Know Hummingbird to understand the memory

Hummingbird is like a database that goes out there and listens to the queries, and finds, passes and eats all the html and makes little identity based nests on what the website is about. Like I said Hummingbird is the memory. This means it reads the pages and the schema to make an entity base.

Entity’s or web pages?

Google does not rank web pages, it ranks entity’s, and makes entity database for websites and a certain business. For example: Let’s say a company called “Supermattresses” that has a website that sells a product called “soft mattress” and also has a contact us page, these employees etc to make the knowledge base. So remember Rankbrain is the thinking, and Hummingbird is the memory.

So how does this all work?

So if the user searched for “Supermattreses” and the search comes up with two different results…

1-      Supermattresses.com/double-beds

2-      Supermattresses.com/single-beds

Then if more users click the single beds page and the user is satisfied based on what they do on that page they then change the database/rankings on whatever the users prefer when they search for that query.


So that’s basically how Rankbrain and Hummingbird works. I used it for businesses (go to) in the example, but the truth is it works for all SEO queries. So they do this for queries such as know, go, and do queries as well. This also applies to global and local rankings too. This is how they have always done it. It’s just that Google have got much better at this and they do it on nearly any query type now you type in the search engine.

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Toby May
I'm a Digital Marketer, who helps business owners in UK to build thriving businesses online.
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