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Since the inception of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), it has been going through various transformations. It is evident that Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning is going to change SEO soon.
AI is a system which is constantly evolving and changing. Nowadays, SEO prioritizes more on content, links and user experiences.
It is a form of artificial intelligence. Machine learning gives the opportunity to computers to learn without being programmed.
That means software programs will be able to change and grow accordingly when exposed to new data. This will make computers more adaptable to new data.
Machine learning is not a new concept. Even in 1990s, basic machine learning algorithms existed but with minimal usage of applying it.
From recently only, Google started making use of it in its searches and we started seeing rapid changes whenever there are new major updates.
RankBrain is Google’s new game changing algorithm introduced in conjunction with Hummingbird. It was introduced to help in identifying and interpreting the intent of the content and showing result pages which don’t include the words users searched for; but contains information related to the category or idea of the query.
RankBrain is designed in such a way to continuously determine and integrate new features on its own. Even though, you may not have noticed any major changes in searching; RankBrain is definitely doing an outstanding job.
On the billions of searches Google process everyday, 15% of those enquiries had never been processed before. From 2016, Google uses RankBrain to process each of them; where its resources are used to learn how to investigate all kind of queries including the rare ones.
To analyze how AI and machine learning will shape the future of SEO, we need to study about the history and current scenarios of SEO. Let’s take a look at those:
How SEO evolved?
When SEO started, it was very easy to rank top in a search engine as the results were based on keywords used. If you wanted a top position in search results, all you needed to do was use the phrase suitable for your title and the content and you are done! You were guaranteed one of the top most positions in search results.
The basic idea was that the number of times the keyword used was more on your page; your ranking will be higher.
But this also paved ways for some unethical search engine optimisation practices by various companies such as hiding keywords in the background of websites or putting keywords off screen.
Different types of tactics were developed for ranking high on search engine which led Google to change the algorithms used.
As Google had enough with the unethical SEO practices, Penguin 1.0 was introduced by Google on April 2012. It was developed to block various web spam tacticssuch as duplicate contents, stuffing of keywords, link schemes and also unwanted redirects.
Based on Google’s quality guidelines, Penguin decreased those sites’ ranking where it felt has violated the guidelines.
Current scenario of SEO
Various algorithms used by Google have helped a lot in kicking out spam filled sites. Also this scenario forced marketers to create high quality contents to get into search results.
In the past, if the SEO techniques were based on keywords; at present, it’s based on technical SEO, link building and speed of the page.
In the past, technical SEO only makes sure whether you use suitable keyword, but now it also focuses more on creating greater user experiences.
Now it includes various factors such as user behaviour, page speed and responsiveness of mobile pages.
Now Google focuses more on quality content rather than keyword stuffed contents. Engaging on high quality content will always decrease the ranking of low quality content even if it has high keyword density.
Future of SEO
The future of SEO will mostly rely on artificial intelligence rather than relying on a formula to create organic search result listing.
AI will be relying on machine learning, big data and user experience. Using AI and machine learning, search engines can learn from user behaviours and will be able to provide a list of contents users will most likely search for.
The following are the trends that are more likely to shape the future of SEO:
In 2015, Google has introduced RankBrain into its search algorithm. As said before, it has made keyword phrases irrelevant.
RankBrain is the third most important ranking factor in their search algorithms.
It will play an important part in ranking as major part of search results are based on artificial intelligence. Now, when marketers are thinking of creating content for their website, they need to think more than just keywords to hit the ranking on the search engine results page.
They also need to think what users will hope to find on your web page when they click from the results on search engines.
Marketers should be vigilant to get clues from search intent from their queries. There are four types of queries based on the user intent:
It is code or semantic vocabulary that you create on your webpage which helps the search engines to have a better understanding of your content.
This in turn enables search engines to give informative and accurate results for the users. It looks like Google will be making use of new schema markup supports for carousels, data feeds, job listings etc.
Impact of AI and machine learning in the future of SEO
Emergence of machine learning and artificial intelligence will definitely bright up the future of search engine optimization. In favour of SEO, AI not only delivers useful content to users but also makes sure of what fits to user’s need.
Rather than sending users to a page that has more likely content, machine learning AI system will send users to the page that not only answer their initial queries but also can answer follow up queries.
It is very evident that AI and machine learning are definitely going to revolutionize SEO in delivering a greater user experience.
So don’t even think of compromising the quality of content on your website because no one wants to get listed last on the search engine ranking.
If you are not sure in creating content that will hit the top rankings in SEO, you can definitely outsource them. Our team is happy to help you with. Learn more about our products and services.