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6 Ways Artificial Intelligence Could Impact SEO

August 10, 2018

Artificial intelligence (AI) will impact most fields, and search engine optimization (SEO) is no exception. Expect AI to lead to more automation and personalized experiences in the SEO world. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a major topic of conversation this year. Professional services network PwC, for example, suggests that AI will make a huge impact in 2018 by improving data analysis and automating complex processes.

New technology and search engine algorithm updates are transforming digital marketing, so it’s not surprising that AI will impact how businesses conduct their search engine marketing.

As CEO of Absolute Digital Media, I’ve realized that we have to integrate AI technology in order to better analyze our clients’ sites. In this article, I’ll take a closer look at 6 ways AI and machine learning will impact the SEO industry overall.

1. Machine Learning Will Learn from Experience

Research from Tractica suggests that artificial intelligence software revenue will reach almost $60 billion by 2025. Machine learning will make up one of six fundamental technologies that push this figure.

Machine learning is a subset of AI meant to learn from experience. Major corporations see that they can use machine-learning technology to develop a better experience for their users.

Google and Machine Learning

One company investing in machine learning is Google.

Google RankBrain is a machine-learning AI system that helps refine search queries, which Google processes and acts as the third most important ranking signal. This improves the trustworthiness and relevance of organic search results.

In addition, Google Ads and Google Analytics both use machine learning to improve overall performance insights and audience targeting for professionals using these interfaces to track the success of campaigns.

Finally, in 2014, Google purchased DeepMind, a UK-based artificial intelligence start-up.

Facebook and Machine Learning

Social media giant Facebook uses AI to interpret images, identify individuals, and understand the context of visual content.

Here’s an example of Facebook’s AI research, which involves identifying the subject matter of various images.

Facebook AI technology soccer man

Facebook also uses AI technology in its news feed algorithm to ensure that the news feed is tailored to user preference.

Because of AI, Facebook personalizes everything users see on their accounts.

2. AI Will Change Content Marketing

One of the key areas that AI will impact is content marketing.

There are between 8,000 and 12,000 homonyms, words that are spelled the same or sound the same, in the English language, so it can be hard for people – much less robots – to understand how to interpret a sentence. That’s why it’s difficult for Googlebots, or Google-designed search bots, to crawl the internet and build a searchable index and to really understand a site’s context and relevance to a given search term.

With the rise of mobile-first indexing and smartphone usage, search terms will become even shorter and more conversationalist, meaning bots will have an even harder task. This is where AI comes in.

Say a user searches "cake."

cake google search results

There are a number of things the user might be looking for:

  • A cake recipe
  • Nutritional information for cake
  • The address of a local cake store
  • The contact information for a cake maker

Currently, Google doesn’t know which information a user might want.

AI helps search engines better understand search intent for short, ambiguous terms like "cake." That way, search engines can provide more valuable search results for users.

3. AI Will Allow Personalized Experiences

Customers are beginning to demand more personalized customer service. This includes service from search engines.

Because AI can better understand user intent, machine learning can pick up exactly what the audience is looking for. That way, search engines dig up the most relevant responses every time.

4. Multimedia Content Will Challenge AI Technology

In a world where the 5th billion user is set to enter the digital landscape and attention spans are becoming shorter, multimedia content is set to become more important than ever.

As a result, companies will need AI with deep learning processes that can understand videos, audio clips, and images.

In addition, brands will have to ensure that every image, video, and audio clip is fully optimized. Some ways to optimize media include:

  • Reducing file size
  • Adding relevant tags
  • Including keyword-rich descriptions

That way, multimedia content stands a better chance of ranking in search results.

5. AI Will Create Stronger Analytics and Reporting

Analytics and reporting are the most important part of SEO, whether companies are operating in-house SEO teams or using an SEO agency.

The detailed information that AI can unearth will give SEOs more analytical data than ever before, allowing them to shape content and technical strategies into more efficient results.

AI can also help businesses gain a deeper understanding of their customers. When businesses understand their customers, they produce better-performing content and ultimately learn how to increase ROI more efficiently.

6. Automation Will Make SEOs Faster

A key time-saver in digital marketing is automation. Many businesses, including Amazon, Netflix, and Google, are already capitalizing on automation.

Machine learning can automate many daily SEO tasks, such as data analysis and reporting, but this doesn’t mean that SEO experts will be out of a job.

Instead, machine learning applied to automation augments SEOs’ abilities. They can provide more efficient results and do so more quickly.

AI and Machine Learning Will Shape Digital Marketing

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are set to make a huge impact on how businesses and agencies conduct their SEO.

Integrating these tactics into a marketing campaign is now one of the key ways to ensure your business remains relevant.

About the Author

Ben Austin Absolute Digital MediaAs the CEO of Absolute Digital Media, Ben Austin is committed to driving the business to success. With expertise across a broad range of industry topics including technical, outreach, content marketing, and more, Ben is looking to share his knowledge with other individuals in the industry as a key thought leader.