The Impact of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning on SEO

Over the past 15 years, technology has reached unimaginable levels. This technological revolution has impacted various industries for the better, continuing to this day.

Digital marketing is a very dynamic industry, adapting to changes such as the rise of social media, search engine optimization (SEO), content promotion, and so much more. This blog will give you some insight on the impact that artificial intelligence and machine learning (pro tip: look into Spell Model Serving) has made on SEO.

The SEO field has shifted several times in its short history, moving from simply optimizing landing pages for desktop computers to now creating keyword-rich meta tags. While the content may be complicated, it is relevant. SEO has experienced many fundamental changes, but the need for keyword-rich content, optimized images, and link building remains the same. Rather, the changes in SEO have only served to add new factors like user experience, mobile search, social media, and much more. Having engaging content, better usability, and ease of access grants better search engine rankings.

The Evolution of Algorithms

“Google focused on its users.” These words of wisdom allowed systems like semantic data and AI to realize they needed better user experiences.

SEO experts were shocked when Google introduced its algorithm update, “RankBrain,” in 2016. “RankBrain” was machine learning; it could analyze and identify patterns and bucket data.

Google revealed “RankBrain” beside Hummingbird to show information that was related to the domain, category, or idea concerning the search.

Here is a list of the top 9 Google Algorithm updates:

  • Google Panda, Feb 2011
  • Google Top-Heavy, January 2012
  • Google Penguin, April 2012
  • Google Pirate, August 2012
  • Google Payday, June 2013
  • Google Hummingbird, Sep 2013
  • Google Pigeon, July 2014
  • Google Mobilegeddon, April 2015
  • Google Possum, September 2016
  • Google Jobs, June 2017
  • Brackets, March 2018
  • Medic, August 2018

Key points where AI and machine learning will affect search results:

Intention Matters: AI is working on the intention of the user query. For example, if you search for “barn” it will show you the Wikipedia page which has information about barn buildings. On the other hand, if you search for “metal barns,” the Wikipedia page vanishes and will only show dealer and manufacturer websites who deal with metal barns.

The “RankBrain” algorithm was developed with the ability to determine the user’s intentions and display the search results accordingly.

To prioritize the business’ intentions, you need to have content that can make a conversation. It must be engaging, conversational, and satisfying to the user’s query.

Say No to Keyword Stuffing: AI has been empowered to search out instances of “keyword stuffing” and irrelevance. You should just say no to keyword stuffing; rather, try to use targeted keywords properly. AI can analyze the content and give you a high ranking, but only if your content is relevant.

“RankBrain” was just the beginning of some revolutionary changes in the SEO industry. Looking forward, Google will continue to evolve, but one of the best strategies you can embrace is continuing to focus on producing engaging, genuine content with proper keyword usage.

AI and Voice Search: Throughout this technological revolution, a variety of devices have experienced changes in their search engines. Voice search has become a simple, easy way to get answers without ever having to lift a finger! Virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and Bixby can answer any question you may pose with advanced voice analysis and search techniques. And with time, each of these voice search platforms is becoming smarter, and gaining more unique qualities.

Voice search is a more informal, intuitive way of searching. To be prepared for the world of voice search, you need to better understand the need for conversational content as mentioned above. While most people used to type in their questions, voice search has opened a door to even more possibilities of answers and ideas for the searcher.

Powerful Analysis: AI will completely transform the analytics and reporting aspect of SEO. AI can also generate a stronger, more accurate analysis report that allows marketers and business owners to better understand their users’ behavior.

This will help online businesses understand their customers, so they can produce more eye-catching, engaging content that will provide customers with a better user experience.

SEO will be Faster than Ever: AI and machine learning will be a key to saving more time by automating the daily tasks for SEO experts. The goal for AI is to focus on giving better search experiences to the user with augmented SEO tactics.

Well-known brands like Amazon, Netflix, and many others are dedicating themselves to further enhancing their automation capabilities.

Things to Do Next:

A next-step takeaway for you is to start working on your website’s usability and conversational content curation. AI and machine learning are making drastic changes to the entire digital marketing industry. You can try to run from it, but you really have nowhere to hide. If you want to stay one step ahead of the curve and ahead of your competition, create a buzz with your informative, relevant, and conversational content!