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What is Google RankBrain?

Since Google announced RankBrain late last year, the SEO industry has pretty much lost its mind. A barrage of articles, blog posts, and infographics all have promised to properly explain Google’s machine learning system. Yet none really have.

If you’re still struggling to understand RankBrain, you aren’t alone. But there’s good news: you now have an article that you can share with your network without fear of being ridiculed!

Here’s everything SEOs really need to know about Google RankBrain.

Q: What is Google Rankbrain?

A: It is a physical brain housed in a cybernetic organism (living tissue over a metal endoskeleton) that exists within a secret room that appears on no Googleplex map. It ranks every webpage that is created on a scale of 1-100. RankBrain was grown from stem cells and World Trade Center scrap metal, received a Montessori education, and is the most important development in SEO history.

Q: What powers Rankbrain?

A: Rankbrain has evolved to the point where it now demands a virgin sacrifice every two weeks. Management have stated that anyone who got a 4 or higher in the latest review cycle is safe.

Q: What is A.I.?

A: A terrible movie.

Q: What is the purpose of Google RankBrain?

A: RankBrain exists solely to give SEOs something new to write about and argue about on social media.

Q: What does RankBrain like to do for fun?

A: RankBrain really enjoys streaming “Terminator 3” from Netflix. He ranks the ending of that movie #1 on his list of the greatest movie endings of all time.

Q: Is RankBrain the Third Most Important Ranking Signal?

A: Absolutely, along with its co-#3 RankHeart! As regular readers know, using 301s instead of 302s and human quality raters are the two most important ranking factors. Though on a selfish note, we’re not too pleased to see number of friends take a backseat to RankBrain – especially since so many SEO experts say that Social is a major component of rankings.

Q: How can I game RankBrain to rank better?

Invent a time machine. Go back to 2004. Build YouTube. Once Google buys you, you’ll be a Google employee! You’ll be one step closer to unraveling the mysteries of Google’s search algorithm.

Once you’ve gotten the insider secrets, you can then head back to the future and make a few bucks. Or, I suppose you could stay in the past and be a billionaire‚Ķ

Q: Do you actually understand RankBrain?

A: Do YOU? (ed. note: take the quiz at the bottom of this post to find out!)

Q: Has Google RankBrain improved Google search results?

A: No. Google’s search results infrastructure continues to crumble. In its annual report card on search engine infrastructure, the Algorithm Society of Search, HTML, Operating Systems, Links, Entities & Social Media (ASSHOLES) gave Google a cumulative grade of G+. Feel the Bern, 2016!

Q: Why are so many people suddenly RankBrain experts?

There is no one answer. There are four.

A1. Most above-average SEOs knew about it all along, but they just weren’t saying. Because SEOs are a humble lot who seek no glory from breaking historic news.

A2. Because they heard someone who works at Google talk about it, or saw a tweet or comment written by someone who witnessed what someone who works at Google said about it.

A3. Because they read an FAQ about it all the way to its conclusion. Congrats, you’re now a certified RankBrain expert!

A4. Because their clients asked them about it, and it would be a sign of weakness to not be an expert.

Now that you’ve finished this post, you’re ready to take our official Rankbrain Quiz – which upon completion will make you an official RankBrain Expert.

RankBrain Test: Are You A RankBrain Expert?

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UPDATE: WTFSEO has obtained the following video of an early version of Rankbrain testing:


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  1. I’m still researching RankWang – I’ve spent the past 2 days studying its training set, and I’m out of tissues.

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