Optimization Roundup: Neural Matching and the March 2019 Core Update

For the first time, Google gave a name for a recent update to its core algorithm. Not just that, we learned even more about Google’s Artificial Intellegence and how we’re all going to benefit from more relevent search results- even if your search is a bit vague.

Now, this type of update to its algorithm happens often and at any given point Google is running thousands of experiments– but this broad core update is the first to receive an official name: March 2019 Core Update.

The company said in an official Tweet, “Google usually releases one or more changes designed to improve our results. Most have little noticeable change but help us continue to incrementally improve…Sometimes, an update may be more noticeable. We aim to confirm those when we feel there is actionable information that content owners might take. For example, when our Speed Update happened, with gave months of advanced notice.”

So, you heard it direct from the source.

What can we do about this? We are proactively monitoring the affects of the recent improvements to Google’s core algorithm. We’re also very intrigued as to how much better searches are getting– driven by Google’s RankBrain- an artificial intellegence system.

RankBrain’s Neural Matching

An AI-based system which better pinpoints how pages are related to concepts — to better assist searcher’s during their journey and when they’re in the moment. This means that, by understanding that the page is relevant to other words or concepts, we will all get more relevant results!

Google’s Search Liason goes on to explain that “neural matching is an AI-based system Google began using in 2018 primarily to understand how words are related to concepts. It’s like a super-synonym system. Synonyms are words that are closely related to other words… For example, neural matching helps us understand that a search for “why does my TV look strange” is related to the concept of “the soap opera effect.” We can then return pages about the soap opera effect, even if the exact words aren’t used…”

Summarizing Google’s RankBrain:

  • “RankBrain helps Google better relate pages to concepts “
  • “Neural matching helps Google better relate words to searches. And there’s nothing special searchers or webmasters need to do. These are part of our core systems designed to naturally increase understanding. “

Source: Google Search Liason

Want to learn more? Check out our optimization reads from Q1 2019 Growth Library:


Ali Jaffar: Web Developer, Designer, Brand Strategist and Optimization Expert in Philadelphia

Ali Jaffar has been building dazzling websites and creating amazing online experiences for over a decade. His mastery of the latest innovations in web development results in world-class website experiences set apart by show-stopping style and seamless functionality. A Google Mobile Sites and Google Analytics qualified individual and award-winning web development guru, Ali lends his talents to build and bolster digital experiences for a wide array of clients. When Ali’s not helping his clients grow, you can find him doing yoga, walking his dog, exploring beautiful open spaces, and enjoying a nice bike ride around Philly.