Two topics of interest came up at SMX Israel during separate talks I attended. One was Rank Brain and the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Machine Learning. The second was details about the new field of Apps Search Optimization.
Gary Illyes, a Google Trends Analyst, spoke about a couple things, first, the short attention span of Gen Y and Gen Z (goldfish do better) and second, Rank Brain.
Rank Brain and AI came up several times throughout the event. Robert Rosenschein, owner of curiyo.com and originator of answers.com spoke about how Moore’s law which applies to the rapid growth of computer capacity and also influences computer intelligence. This exponential growth, often spoken about in terms of computer speed and memory, Bob talked about it in terms of the growth and intelligence of cloud computing. Apple’s SIRI and it’s Natural Language Processing are an indication of how smart computers are now, and how this will skyrocket in coming years. Computers will be as intelligent as people in many areas.
Gary Illyes introduced Google’s answer to machine learning in Search, RankBrain. RankBrain is now the third most important ranking factor. To define RankBrain, Gary said that “Google has always been good at synonyms, now with RankBrain, we (Google) are really good at them.”
Gary Illyes taking a selfie at SMX Israel, posted in Twitter
— Gary Illyes (@methode) November 1, 2015
If you’ve paid close attention to Google Search, Search is always good at giving answers to factual questions. Thus the Knowledge Graph appears for answers to easy questions like, “Who is Kobe Bryant?” You might look for Google’s Semantic Search results for insights into how the Google Search Algorithm works in answering contextual questions. Questions in a context are more difficult, something like, “If I’m in New York what’s the tallest building?”
RankBrain is the next level of machine intelligence specializing in answering long tail search queries, working to answer better 15%-20% of the billions of searches the Google index hasn’t ever seen before. It’s a way for Google Search to understand general types of questions and develop a logic of its own. It tries to learn the relationships between various things without human help. The query that epitomizes this Search is, “What’s the consumer at the top of the food chain?” Machine Learning is at the heart of Google and defines the company itself. This artificial intelligence powers not only Search, but is finding its way into autonomous cars, AdWords, Google Maps, Android Voice recognition, Translate, Gmail, Drive — the whole Alphabet so to speak.
App Store Optimization
Another interesting and loosely related topic is ASO, App Store Optimization. Introduced by Robin Schwartz and further detailed by Igal Stolpner from investing.com. ASO, a relatively new area of digital marketing, mirrors desktop search, but is oriented toward mobile and app searches. To optimize your app, consider, most apps are found by searches inside Google Play or iTunes.
Google mobile search is a huge sector and growing, in fact apps are equal to websites on mobile. To connect apps together Robin introduced the idea of Deep linking. “Deep linking allows one app to connect directly to a piece of content within another app. Deep links (for an app) are the webpage equivalent of a website link.” Deep linking works for both paid and organic search. An example of Deep linking, opening up the Amazon app from Google Search App.
An outgrowth of Deep linking is App Indexing. In general, Igal from investing.com mentioned, Apps are better products for users that consume content over and over again. To get more traction for your app, Deep linking will show a link to your app during a Google Mobile search. App Indexing is different but related. When your App turns up in Google Search, it’s a rich snippet with Brand logos, and high CTR. There are details and a procedure for how to create Deep links in Android and iOS. Apple Search will be the next frontier for mobile search, Siri says, “get your seat belts fastened.”