One of the questions being asked during the Episode 53 or Hump Day Hangout was about Google's RankBrain. The participant also asked its impact on long term keyword phrases in the future.
The exact question asked was:
I'm curious on your thoughts of RankBrain and the future of long tail keyword phrases. Do you think beginner SEO people are going to have a much more difficult time getting into the game?
I'm having good success with long tail phrases and wonder if the following approach makes sense. A more difficult ranking phrase would be my top level page and then have 3-4 pages with very similar keyword phrases and different content would all interlink and also link to the top level page. Or with RankBrain, does it make more sense to focus on a single page and try to rank for all the different phrases. I think the former approach is easier but I know Google wants the latter and at some point they might penalize the multiple page approach.