Could AI-First Be The Future Of SEO?
It’s no industry secret that SEO trends are consistently changing as a result of innovative technologies and algorithm updates across Google and other key search engines. One particular change that digital marketers have set their sights on is that of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Debate around whether AI could become the next big focus for Google and SEO best practices is hot among SEOs, with the term ‘AI-first’ being coined as a result – but just how likely is it that AI will become a primary ranking component in the future? We’re exploring that in more detail, below.
The Role Of AI In Our Search
Did you know that AI already has a comfortable place in the world of search? In fact, Google’s RankBrain technology is a key part of how we use the search engine today.
In October 2015, Google announced the introduction of machine learning into their core algorithm in order to produce more accurate and relevant filtered results. Through the use of AI, Google’s bots can better understand any content met during the crawl of a site and promote better ranking for relevant long-tail terms. This way, searchers don’t have to be quite as precise with their queries in order to receive accurate and relevant answers.
This works extremely well with the latest voice search trend, in which millions of people are turning to AI devices like Alexa, Siri and Google Home to ask questions, find information and much more. Machine learning within voice search turns our typical speech patterns into text and that text into a search, but where a longtail term or question may not have received quite as many accurate results in the past, this has changed for the better. Now, our smartphones or home hubs can learn our speech patterns and work closely with RankBrain to produce accurate results regardless.
AI Can Aid Our SEO Activity
While digital marketers may still be in the midst of finding the most effective ways to better optimise their content for AI, whether through precise content with long tail or conversational keywords or something else entirely, AI can actually help companies boost their SEO. With artificial intelligence, companies can improve their insights, create autonomous processes and even improve personalisation:
Personalisation has become an integral part of digital marketing today, to the point where consumers are demanding it as standard and as a result, companies that aren’t personalising their content are quickly falling behind. With something as simple as a name on an email creating a unique and valuable relationship with customers, SEOs can take this one step further and use AI to personalise the content that their customers will see.
The provision of anything, including relevant deals, trending products relating to recent searches and even the pop-ups that they’ll see when they visit your site can all be personalised on a huge scale through AI influence. Thus leading companies to build relationships, nurture existing connections and bring in new customers with ease. On social media, this could be utilised to enhance and streamline ad spend – certain advertisements would be sent to relevant audiences to better improve the potential for ROI and increased conversion rates.
As any SEO will tell you, insights into how your website, social media profiles, PPC ads and the industry as a whole are performing will allow you to make fast decisions to prevent potential losses. With Google changing their algorithm hundreds of times a year, even minor changes could cause your rankings to fall and for this reason, finding ways to keep on top of this is a must.
Through the use of AI, businesses can utilise their insights in a much more valuable and accurate way. Insights can often provide us with a lot of data that companies may not necessarily understand or have the ability to analyse themselves, but through AI complimentary technologies, everything from market trend analysis and competitor insights, to SERP performance and customer intent reports can be made much more simple to allow a change in focus, keywords and even website layout to improve retention and operation.
Following SEO best practices can certainly be an interesting feat, but for some, it can be labour-intensive and often difficult to keep up with. Here at Absolute, we can aid companies in their SEO activity to promote higher rankings and better optimisation for their keywords, but through the utilisation of AI technology and automation, some time-consuming tasks could be cut down considerably.
Keyword research, internal linking and even content optimisation could be improved through putting automated algorithms into place. Productivity, efficiency and accuracy could increase tenfold and it’s certainly a development worth watching in the future.
Could AI-First Become The Core Of SEO In The Future?
While SEO may not centre around AI entirely as of yet, it’s certainly welcomed this technology in with open arms and the future is already looking bright for AI in SEO. However, the debate is currently circling around whether ‘AI-first’ could become SEO’s core focus. Just like mobile-first indexing has put mobile-friendly results at the top of the search rankings, could AI-first see the same for AI-friendly websites or sites that utilise AI in their operation?
Bots writing articles… and ranking above the humans. Might be a sign of what’s to come: https://t.co/ikeEZZENbU
— Rand Fishkin (@randfish) August 19, 2016
Whether this becomes a reality or nothing more than a current concern is up for debate but one thing we can be certain of is that automation and machine learning are valuable tools for SEOs across the country. Through speeding up time-consuming tasks, to optimising sites and content for voice search and RankBrain criteria, digital marketing agencies and businesses alike could put their resources and time into promoting search engine success.
If you’d like to know more about AI search or find out how we’re following this industry to utilise these technologies for our clients, feel free to get in touch with a member of our team here at Absolute Digital Media today!