The rise of Artificial Intelligence and how it impacts various industries represents a subject worthy of discussion. Although the use of AI in SEO has just begun, in the years to come it will surely dominate the Search Engine Optimization strategies developed by digital marketing companies. In this article, we’ll talk about the upcoming impact of AI on SEO, so you know what you’re dealing with when creating successful campaigns for your business.
1. The intent behind the query will matter more than the query itself
One of the greatest ways in which AI is impacting the world of search is by giving the motive behind the query more importance than the query itself.
Before the rise of artificial intelligence, the search engines were not that good at understanding the intent behind the user’s demand. For example, search engines were unable to understand the stop words like ‘without’ and ‘the’, which are usually used to describe the intent behind the queries. But with the advent of RankBrain, a machine learning artificial intelligence system, Google Search is now able to think for itself. It is now able to better understand the intention behind the search queries when the inquirer uses connecting terms that Google was once unfamiliar with. This has led to Google giving more precise and relevant results that match the user’s queries and expectations. RankBrain completes Google’s page ranking algorithm system, by adding more value to relevant links and meaningful content.
RankBrain can aggregate data and deduce from it, thus allowing Google to provide answers to the questions that haven’t been even asked. It gives Google the power to think one-step ahead.
So, to stay ahead in this era of RankBrain and AI, you will have to prioritize the intent by creating the content that addresses the needs of your audience, even before they realize it themselves.
2. Voice search will matter beyond words
The way we are searching for information online is changing now. We are always on the go and using a variety of devices such as smartphones, tablets, etc. to fetch information from the Internet. With each query we are shaping the future of search. People have become increasingly accustomed with the idea of voice search. Obviously, we still type occasionally, but the idea of speaking directly to computer devices and accessing the information online is becoming more convenient. Virtual assistants like Siri, Google Now, Cortana, and Alexa can answer our questions almost instantly, and we don’t even have to lift a finger. All thanks to artificial intelligence!
Because of this, the online search is becoming more conversational. Voice based searches are now longer and colloquial in tone. For example, we usually type ‘best pizzas NYC’ in the search bar but when we speak, we ask a complete question: ‘Where can I find the best pizzas in NYC?’
So, to rank higher, make sure to optimize the content with conversational keywords. Try using adverbs like ‘who’,’ what’, ‘when’ and ‘where’ to give content that casual and informal touch.
3. More emphasis on content quality, relevance and focus
RankBrain, Google’s AI, tries to understand the context of the content available on the website. As mentioned above, with artificial intelligence in the picture, the intent behind the query becomes more important than the demand itself. As a result, doing the right keyword research and including the right keywords in the content is crucial. Providing real value to people’s queries and not trying to stuff the keywords will help your website rank higher. Factors like content relevance, context and focus will be prioritized.
4. The increasing importance of SEO for visual content
Visual content speaks volumes. For example, if you want to learn how to tie shoelaces, it will be easier to understand the process if you watch a video or look at an infographic, rather than reading an article on it. And guess what? Google knows this too.
Search engines are getting better at understanding the importance of visual content. Sam Mallikarjunan, Head of Growth for Hubspot Labs states, “Search engines are getting good at knowing what a video, audio clip, or image is actually about.” This really changes things for visual content creators. Just like content writers, visual content creators will also have to learn how to use SEO for images and videos. SEO for visual content includes optimizing keywords and taking into consideration the descriptions, tags, video length and other such factors.
Moreover, with AI people are now able to search and watch only that portion of the video that is related to their queries, without having to watch the entire video. So, visual content creators will soon find it difficult to add incorrect metadata for images and videos, just to make them rank higher in search results pages. For example, there is an image of children holding balloons, but the picture’s keyphrase is ‘children holding candies’. Now, with object detection Google will be able to identify that there are no candies in the image and it will penalize the website. This being said, object detection will play a vital role as a ranking factor.
5. Black hat techniques won’t be useful anymore
Black Hat SEO techniques are used to exploit weaknesses in the search algorithms, to make elements rank higher in search results. Due to such techniques used by many SEO practitioners, irrelevant results are shown in the search results pages. But with the advancements in artificial intelligence – such as RankBrain, this problem will be solved to a great extent.
RankBrain is all about using SEO strategies that focus on content quality and relevance. This will prevent the black hat SEO practitioners from spamming and keyword stuffing.
6. Real time data will be more valuable
There is value in receiving data exactly when you need it, be it news updates or stock market reports. And that is what Google Search is doing. You will get answers to your questions as soon as you type a few keywords. It is now possible to get information in real-time with the help of artificial intelligence. For example, consider a fitness smartwatch that customizes your workouts based on the data it has about you, like your blood pressure, miles runned, etc. So, optimizing your website and content to improve the speed and effectiveness of the results served to the users will become more important.
About the author: Bhavin Tanti is the CEO and founder of Brevity Software Solutions – a leading mobile app development company in India. He has 8 years of experience in mobile application development and custom software development. Apart from this, he is also a fervent writer and loves to write about mobile app development, SEO, web design and web development.
(The pictures were provided by the guest author.)