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It really annoys us when people say SEO is dead. Sure, the game has changed. Google’s ads now take up more space than ever (especially on mobile) and of course, this has impacted organic click through rates. Link farms are a thing of the past and keyword stuffing is more retro than Tetris. But SEO is NOT dead – it is just evolving and you’d better evolve as well if you want to keep up.

A lot has been written on the changing preferences of the search algorithms and for the most part, the digital marketers worth their salt have adapted their approaches accordingly. We all know now that quality content is king. Rather than appealing to the search engines, we have learnt to appeal to the visitor by providing fulfilling content that makes them stick around. Our insatiable hunger for links has likened our outreach campaigns to PR campaigns and we are making our websites as mobile friendly as possible by AMPing our content (Accelerated Mobile Page).

But what about RankBrain, Google’s artificial intelligence system that they have dubbed as the third most important factor for determining a page’s rank? Lots of people are talking about RankBrain, but what can we as search specialists do to appeal to Google’s artificial brain?

Just in case you missed the articles on RankBrain last year, here’s a quick summary of what it is.

So how does RankBrain work?

RankBrain uses AI and machine learning to help searchers get the most relevant results, even for unique search terms that have never been seen before.

A key way it does this is by intelligently prioritising the most important ‘signals’ (the 200 different factors Google uses to rank pages) that correlate to good search results for that specific search term.

So for example, RankBrain might learn that for search X, the Meta Title is the most important signal, but for search Y, Meta Titles bear no correlation to a good search experience.

One of the most important ways RB determines the priority of signals for each search is by scoring websites as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ within each vertical and then using the good websites’ structures as a benchmark to measure others against. For example, a sport shoe company will have a much better chance of appealing to RB if its website’s structure is similar to Nike’s.

Okay, so RankBrain will prefer my website if its structure is similar to that of the leaders in my vertical. Now what?

Equipped with this knowledge, we at it Works Media saw an opportunity to help improve our clients’ SEO campaigns. But manually comparing each client’s website with their competitors across thousands of datapoints would take an army of staff and rack up a hefty bill.

So we taught a machine to do it instead…

Introducing the launch of our new AI tool InsightsAI and why you should care

Introducing our innovative AI tool InsightsAI which uses AI to help you understand how your website compares to the leaders in your vertical. Traditional SEO tools like Moz and SEMrush use best practice metrics as indicators to score your website but as discussed, RB has its own metrics on what best practices are depending on the leaders in that vertical.

Best practice in one vertical (such as sports retail) will be perceived as completely different in another vertical (such as travel retail) and as such, these tools cannot help you assess how your website’s structure compares to your competitors.

This is where InsightsAI comes into its own. Through machine learning, InsightsAI is able to compare your website across a multitude of variables against other websites in your company’s vertical and score you accordingly. This is the exciting first step towards using AI to transform SEO and we would love you to be a part of it.

Go to to see how your website fares against the top players in your industry.

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