Since 1998, search algorithms have been updated as needed and gradually. Instead of moving forward with any one new innovation, companies like Google work to refine the features they already have. Forbes brought this interesting subject to our attention in their article, “How Machine Learning Is Reshaping Online Search.”

These logical, progressive improvements aren’t likely to change, but a new approach to brainstorming and rolling out those updates could have the power to change all things involving search rankings.

Currently, the only known machine learning-based part of Google’s algorithm is RankBrain, an update from 2015 designed to work in conjunction with Hummingbird. RankBrain works by carefully monitoring the semantics of user queries and behavior of those users after getting their search results, updating its understanding of user intent along the way.

RankBrain is designed to be self-updating and self-improving, on a constant basis. It has been gradually increasing the relevance of search results for users. This is especially true for long-tail phrases and complex strings of words, such as those typically used by users relying on voice search.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.