How AI is changing the world of SEO

Artificial intelligence is here to stay and will permanently change the way we do SEO. In 2015,  with the announcement of RankBrain, artificial intelligence (AI) was first incorporated into Google’s algorithm. In today’s digital marketing world, AI, machine learning, and deep learning are all being used to generate powerful insights, automate tedious tasks and personalize the experience for online users. In addition, companies are increasingly looking to implement AI solutions across a variety of industries, which will fundamentally change how we understand and execute digital marketing strategies.

We live in a world that accumulates ever-increasing amounts of data and requires ever-increasing computational power to able to sort through the sea of data and extract the most valuable information. While this is a lofty goal, AI provides an opportunity to connect at a deeper level with consumers than ever before, and marketers should be paying attention. AI is the toolbox at our disposal to mine the value from this endless resource that is data. It can be effectively harnessed to reveal patterns and draw evidence-based, data-backed conclusions about the information at our disposal.

The world of marketing and SEO

Most pertinently to the world of marketing and SEO, AI is becoming increasingly embedded in the way we search online and as a result, is making search results increasingly human in behaviour. Google’s RankBrain incorporated machine learning to better understand the content it crawls, to better estimate the intention of users when they make search queries and to improve results. At the core of this humanization of SEO, Google’s search mechanism is listening to users and trying to learn how it should behave. This means that unlike the previously static rules that previously defined SEO procedures, experts must now constantly evolve and adapt in order to accommodate a search engine that is learning to classify and categorize information in the most ‘human’ way possible. This transforms the field away from a predefined set of rules to act on, and requires a new strategy that is deeply in touch with how consumers think and feel.

The numbers in context

To put the numbers into context, Google sees billions of search queries every day, constantly pushing it to improve. On top of this, users increasingly expect the most accurate –or even definitive – answers from Google. While taking all this into account, SEO experts have to monitor website performance and analytics, understanding user behaviour, generating content ideas and personalized user experiences that drive traffic and add value. In order to successfully do this, SEO experts increasingly need to make sense of the huge amount of information in front of them and simply lack the manpower to generate actual insights, thus continue to rely on intuition-based observations to make decisions. Artificial intelligence, simply put, is the workforce that provides the relevant insights at a huge scale, which are inevitably more powerful than simple human observation.