How Google Uses Artificial Intelligence to Rank Your Website

Google & AI

To many people, Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is a concept found in sci-fi movies. From the Terminator series to Her to Battlestar Galactica to I, Robot, there are plenty of futuristic films and television shows that feature AI heavily, whether as protagonists, antagonists, or somewhere in between.

Take a look around, though, and you’ll see a lot more AI at work in your day-to-day life than you probably realize. From the software running on your smartphone to the Netflix code that recommends what to binge-watch next, there are many AI applications you probably rely on.

In October 2015, Bloomberg broke the news that Google now uses an AI system to rank websites in its search engine results pages (SERPs). Though it may seem like a plot straight out of Ex Machina  — in which the creator of a Google-esque search engine uses query data to give a robot sentience — Google is ushering in an age of AI.

So how exactly does RankBrain, Google’s search engine results AI, work? Check out this infographic to see how the robots are indeed taking over — our SERPs, at least!

Google's AI

What is Google’s RankBrain?

RankBrain is Google’s machine-learning artificial intelligence program. The search engine uses this system to process search results quickly and intuitively.

What is Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence?

With machine learning, a computer is able to teach itself how to perform an action instead of following programmed or human instruction. In its current form, artificial intelligence refers to computers created to learn and make connections between information.

Facts About Google Search & Ranking

The Number of Ranking Signals Google Uses:


The Number of Variations or Sub-Signals:


Top 3 Ranking Signals, Per Google

  1. Content
  2. Links
  3. RankBrain

Daily Search Engine Queries

  • 3 billion Google searches are processed daily.
  • As of 2013, 15% of these daily searches had never been seen before.

AI & Google: a Timeline

  • December 2013: Google acquires Boston Dynamics, a manufacturer of military robotics
  • February 2014: Google acquires DeepMind, an artificial intelligence startupEarly 2015: the year Google rolled out RankBrain
  • June 2015: Google releases a research paper revealing their advanced chatbot. The program can form new answers from new questions introduced in the conversation
  • October 2015: Bloomberg broke the news of Google’s RankBrain
  • February 2016: John Giannandrea, who formerly oversaw Google’s AI work, was appointed to oversee the search engine department

Want to know all the secrets of Google’s ranking algorithm? Us, too. While we can’t tell you exactly how Google or RankBrain decides what makes a page worthy of the coveted top spots, we can use our knowledge of key ranking factors like content and links to create and deploy an SEO strategy that really works. To learn more about our optimization services, call (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001 today!

Author Brittany VanMaele

When Brittany VanMaele found TTP’s website in August 2013, it was love at first sight. She knew she needed to join the Freaky ranks of the Page Turners. Lucky for her, they agreed. She came on as a content writer in September 2013 and was promoted to Director of the Digital Content Department (encompassing blogging, SEO writing, website content, & social media) in February 2015. With a BA in English and an MFA in Fiction Writing, Brittany’s journeys from Mizzou to Missoula, MT and back to Missouri prepared her for the fun, fast-paced online marketing agency that is TTP.

More posts by Brittany VanMaele

Leave a Reply