What Is Neural Matching?

August 31, 2020

On December 2, 2019, Google confirmed that it had begun using neural matching as part of the process of producing local search results. While neural matching has not replaced the previous algorithms used to generate Google search results, it does play a role in how the latest Google core update ranks webpages.

Neural matching

Google has always been somewhat secretive about how its search algorithms work. Additionally, the company does not use every algorithm it has developed and does not usually disclose which algorithms are in use at any one time. The reasoning is that if Google revealed exactly how the algorithms work, it would be easy for users to exploit them to artificially boost their pages to the top of the search results. 

What neural matching is

Neural matching is part of the most recent update to Google’s search algorithm. It utilizes artificial intelligence to make search results more diverse. The use of AI technology makes it easier for the Google search engine to analyze language and interpret the intent of search queries. This allows Google to match a webpage to a query based solely on the text of the webpage. 

One way the neural matching algorithm is expected to improve the search engine’s ability to interpret queries is by making it better at recognizing when people search for a term that means the same thing as a keyword on a webpage. It is estimated that this algorithm will affect about 30% of user queries.

According to a research paper released by Google, the algorithm may use document relevance ranking to determine the best search results while avoiding spam and irrelevant results. In other words, this algorithm could help the search engine figure out which results are the best and rank those the highest while pushing pages that try to game the system or have little relevance to the query lower in the rankings. 

How neural matching affects search engine optimization

The core concept of neural matching is to reward content creators for effectively answering the questions posed by users in queries and de-emphasize the role of links and keywords. However, this does not mean that Google has completely abandoned the traditional ranking criteria used by the core algorithm.

Rather, it is believed that the traditional criteria are applied first to thin the herd by removing spam and irrelevant pages from the results. Then, the new algorithm is used to re-rank the remaining results, so that the most useful results receive the top rankings. Doctor Genius can help content creators improve page rankings by creating content that is useful to users while also establishing the basic credibility and relevance of the content by attracting high-quality backlinks and including relevant keywords.

Optimize your SEO

The implementation of neural matching has not radically changed how Google rankings work. However, it could impact how your pages rank. Contact Doctor Genius today to find out how we can help you optimize your pages to make the most of this new neural matching algorithm. 

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