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How SEO is Getting Changed by Artificial Intelligence

June 20, 2016
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artificial intelligence
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Search engine giant Google frequently brings updates that ensure improvements. The motive behind such updates is pretty straightforward, and that is to make the web a better place for online users. Everyone knows SEO is constantly evolving, and all credit goes to incredible research and development in the different area. One such area that saw a massive advancement in the past couple for years is Artificial Intelligence and today it has been baked in search algorithms.

Since 26th October 2015, a term RankBrain has gained huge limelight across the world. Being engaged in the field of digital marketing, you must have heard this term. If not, then let me introduce you to this.

RankBrain is the creation of artificial intelligence. Google use RankBrain to process search results for providing the more relevant search results for online users. Further, Google has also made it very clear that RankBrain is the third most crucial factor in the ranking algorithm.

Gone are the days when marketers used to create a website with a set of few keywords, acquire few backlinks around the web, and get the desired ranking in a pretty short span. That was an old school approach and no longer effective today. Since then, the time has changed drastically.

Let’s delve deeper to see how SEO is evolving:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The advent of artificial intelligence has changed modern SEO a lot. For instance, Voice-based searches have completely changed the way of finding information online. Let’s see what changes it made in SEO approach.

Long Tail Keyword Phrases

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No doubt keywords are the heart of SEO. It is still crucial as it was when it comes to targeting known audience. But with the arrival of Artificial Intelligence in SEO, queries in natural tone are expected to soar, especially from mobile devices. Consequently, it will throw a challenge to marketers to focus only on users’ specific keywords in their natural tones. Long tail keyword phrases are now being used extensively, and their usage is expected to explode in future times.

Conversational Content Would Become Top Priority

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Long tail keyword phrases and incoming queries in natural tone will force SEO professionals to think and research from users’ perspective. No wonder, conversational content will play a vital role for companies for boosting engagement rate. 

For instance, if an online user wants tips on content writing, then he/she will simply say “how to write content” or “tips to write effective content.” For this query, they will expect results to be in natural tone and if they get content in a professional tone no doubt they will skip that content. Therefore, it has become inevitable for SEO professionals to use and prefer conversational content.

Link building

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Major search engine Google still considers link building as a crucial factor, but Artificial Intelligence adoption has changed the picture a lot for marketers. In the year 2012, Penguin release from Google caused a stir in the world of SEO.

With this release, Google has completely banned the process of link buying. Google caught several people through its filters and informed website owners that it has found you are purchasing links. Many people started to conclude that the days of link building is over now. However, that wasn’t the reality. The truth is it is evolving. Google never declared that link building should not be done at all. The point is to earn quality backlinks from credible sites in a natural way. And, it is something that can be achieved by the means of content marketing.

Being a smart SEO professional , strive to create a long-lasting impact on your SEO efforts. A search engine expert should:

  • Identify your audience to curate them with the most relevant content as per their intent.
  • Interact through blogs to increase the credibility of your website
  • Make pages primarily for users. Offer solution by creating meaningful sentences
  • Publish blogs in user-centric tone to deliver real value to the target audience

On-site SEO

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The introduction of Artificial Intelligence in SEO has changed it a lot from various aspects, one of them is on-site SEO. Experts say Google supports more than 200 ranking factors at present, and on-site SEO covers the maximum part. The process of on-site SEO involves the optimization of HTML tags like title, H1, Image, Meta information, and so on. On-site SEO makes your pages search engine friendly and boosts your SERPs rankings.

On-site SEO involves following factors:

  • Meaningful and search-friendly URL’s
  • Total number of pages in a website
  • Keyword density in content (avoid overstuffing)
  • Image Optimization (Alt & Title to make it easily readable for search engines)

Technical SEO

Technical SEO plays a crucial part as it allows you to let Google understand who you are and what your business is all about. In technical SEO you:

  • Check and optimize broken links of your website for proper redirection
  • Monitor HTTP status code errors
  • Check schema and microdata markup
  • Test mobile-friendliness of your site (one of the ranking factors in the eyes of Google)
  • Page load time

An SEO professional enjoys working on technical SEO part as it allows more to impress search engines.

Let’s take a glance at the Technical SEO factors:

  • Robots.txt file
  • XML sitemap
  • Domain history (age) & status
  • Breadcrumbs and sitelinks
  • Code optimization to improve the performance

Local SEO

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The rise of Artificial Intelligence in SEO has reinvented local searches. Capturing domestic market has become the first and the foremost priority of every business before they plan to expand its horizons on the global platform. Miles Anderson in one of his blog on Bright Local revealed that businesses got more clicks and calls through local searches. Therefore, it has become inevitable for you to give effect to your efforts so that you can fortify your local SEO.

Local citations are pretty essential to create high impact and get relevance in SERPs. For this, listing your business on Google My Business is an excellent way to start with. Local citations ask for business information like name, address, and contact details. Links to well-reputed directories show up first in SERPs, so getting citations on such directories would certainly boost your online presence.

Let’s take a glance at this local SEO checklist:

  • Do Keyword Research.
  • Include your main keyword in your Title Tag.
  • Make your Meta Description informative so that online users could easily understand.
  • Make your pages more clickable and meaningful for both users and Google with Anchor Text Optimization.
  • Do Image Optimization to let Google read your images.
  • Mention your brand through Local Citations to get high relevance in search results.
  • Display your business information with Google My Business.
  • Enhance online credibility with Customer Reviews.
  • Make your search more meaningful with Schema Markup.
  • Boost your outreach by making your website Mobile-Friendly.

If you want to explore more about local SEO, check this complete local SEO guide.

eCommerce SEO

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Artificial Intelligence’s introduction in SEO has worked as a warning sign for those who still follow black hat techniques to uplift their websites. But, doing so they forget that machine never pardons spammers for any of the mistakes. eCommerce business has a pretty tough competition in today’s online competitive space. Big brands have already captured high spots on SERPs and made it difficult for new stores to compete.

No need to worry, though. You don’t have to compete directly with the leading brands. You can leverage them to boost your online presence and drive a good amount of traffic.

Online retail giant Amazon is a good example to consider; around 44 percent of potential online buyers directly search for a product on Amazon and skip Google. Amazon is allowing various online sellers to sell their products through it. So, you can be a member of Amazon so that whenever an online users search for its product that you sell, he/she will be taken to your Amazon sale page.

Creative thinking is the key to run a business in such stiff competition, and you know that. Therefore, try to take advantage of big brands if they allow doing so.

Take a glance at the checklist for eCommerce website owners:

  • Keep your competitors close – perform analysis especially for search queries
  • Leverage big brands for smooth sailing
  • Rely on the power of content to educate and persuade buyers through your blog section
  • Do video marketing

Over to You

Artificial intelligence has been baked to search algorithms with an aim to provide the most relevant search engine results to online users. If we talk about the effect of Artificial Intelligence on SEO, then certainly it will be a big challenge for those who still follow old-school rules. Otherwise, it is yet another opportunity to revamp your strategy and grab the top spot in SERPs.


About the Author

Abhyudaya Tripathi is a digital marketing expert with over 8 years of experience, and presently he is an Associate Director at ResultFirst Organization. He is extremely passionate about making information seekers and quest lovers aware of digital marketing. His area of expertise covers everything that comes under the umbrella of digital marketing that is content marketing, search engine optimization, social media optimization, conversion rate optimization, web designing & development, and other related domains. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn .


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