How Content in the Future of SEO Will Be Affected by AI and Machine Learning

With good cause, the issue of artificial intelligence and its effects on several industries has gained popularity in recent years.

New sophisticated technologies are revolutionising the sector of digital marketing, which is forcing significant strategic changes. However, it shouldn’t be challenging because this innovative company has previously shown that it is capable of adjusting to new technological developments in the fields of content marketing, SEO, and social media.

Over time, search engine optimization has progressed from the straightforward desktop computer optimization of landing pages to the more challenging process of creating interesting content that caters to the demands of target visitors across several platforms and devices.

While its core strategies—keyword-rich content, link-building, and meta tag optimization—remain the same, SEO now takes into account mobile search, user experience, and social media marketing.

Many theories have emerged in recent years regarding the upcoming adjustments to SEO strategy; as a result, we’ve assembled a list of the most often debated topics in this piece.

Here are some predictions on how AI and machine learning could change SEO in the future, as well as some tips for search marketers on how to use this relatively new technology to their advantage.

The Key Elements of the Ranking Algorithm

Google focuses mostly on the user. All efforts have been made to increase the relevance of the content for the searcher, from penalty systems to semantics-aware AI.

SEO specialists started to freak out a few years ago when Google introduced RankBrain, “a machine learning-based search algorithm that helps Google assess search results.”

Following that, it was revealed that this algorithm is “the third most important component in the ranking algorithm, along with links and content,” indicating that marketers can no longer use “conventional ways of influencing the ranks with deceptive signals.” The top of Google’s SERPs will now only include the best content.

RankBrain was developed to help Google’s Hummingbird algorithm update interpret search queries in their whole and suggest sites to users that may not directly include the words they typed but do contain material pertinent to the idea, topic, or even geography of their search. The term “boot” is used to describe footwear in North America but the car’s trunk in the UK.

Experts have been disputing the algorithm’s operation and successful optimization strategies for years. Google claims that it cannot be optimised for. At a Reddit AMA at the beginning of 2019, Gary Illyes, Google’s webmaster trends analyst, spoke about RankBrain:

RankBrain is a machine learning ranking component that is helpful to public relations (PR) that uses past search data to predict what a user would most likely click on for an unidentified inquiry.

This idea is advanced by BERT, Google’s most recent algorithm update, which seeks to understand the searcher’s intent and emphasises concepts over keywords. Think about the following example:

Before BERT, the top search result for the inquiry, “Can I pick up a prescription for someone else?” would be one that either didn’t answer the issue at all or gave a hazy response. It is now more aware of the idea the user is trying to convey, which in this case includes the term “for someone.”

Before BERT, the top search result for the inquiry, “Can I pick up a prescription for someone else?” would be one that either didn’t answer the issue at all or gave a hazy response. It is now more aware of the idea the user is trying to convey, which in this case includes the term “for someone.”

The impact of these developing AI technologies on SEO simply represents a continuation of a long-standing trend in search rankings: a focus on the relevance, quality, and value of content.

Marketers must get better at producing content that facilitates this process, i.e., stuff that people really want to read, as robots become better at selecting which results to match with each search query.

Search engine marketers may assess the effects of RankBrain and BERT for themselves by paying more attention to the SERPs and carefully examining each traditional SEO technique previously employed. They can compile data on things like the most frequently used terms or phrases in titles, where links to top-ranked websites came from, and how old the best-performing pages are.

These observations will help you determine which set of ranking factors AI prefers for a certain topic so you can optimise for it.

User Experience Is Priority One When It Comes to Ranking

When evaluating a site, search engines have gotten more intuitive, taking into account user involvement and connection patterns. For a long time, Google has placed a premium on user experience.

Google focuses at four primary user experience cues, according to Backlinko’s Google RankBrain:

  • The amount of people who click on a particular search result is known as the organic click-through rate.
  • Dwell Time: The amount of time a person stays on your site.
  • Bounce Rate: The percentage of visitors that depart your website right after they arrive.
  • The number of times a user hits the back button to return to the search results and try another link is known as pogo-sticking.

You can see how critical it is that when a person clicks on your content, it is the correct material. If it isn’t, it will have an impact on all of the UX indications as well as your ranking.

You must guarantee that your website is easy to use and available on all browsers and devices, in addition to the quality of the material on your pages.

Backlinks are still a significant ranking impact, so be sure yours originate from authoritative sites.

Guest posting, cultivating relationships with influencers, and being cited or referenced in news articles are all effective ways to improve the quality of your links.

This suggests that for people to find reliable, current information on the first search and at a glance, advertisers must have an impact on The Knowledge Graph.

Changes to this information may be suggested by authorised corporate representatives, but they must first pass through a validation process that involves Google searching the web for information regarding the proposed change.

Include links to your company’s social media profiles in the description to guarantee that they show up in the separate sidebar.

The era of smartphones

The usage of mobile devices has unquestionably eclipsed that of desktop devices, so we won’t have to mention it as frequently as we used to.

Around the world, mobile traffic makes up 52.6% of all traffic.

As more people switch to smartphones, the importance of mobile search will increase dramatically.

In order to compete with Facebook’s Instant Articles and hasten the loading of search results pages on mobile devices, Google announced accelerated mobile pages (AMP) in 2016. Over the past few years, they have added AMP Stories, Email, and advertising functionality to the fundamental framework.

The fundamental idea behind AMP is that it’s a format that puts the user first: It adheres to a set of coding guidelines that enhance the user experience and performance of the page. In the search results, AMP content is marked with a lightning bolt:

Page speed is a ranking consideration, even though AMP isn’t by itself. This means that AMP pages are expected to load more quickly and be more usable on mobile devices, both of which will help improve rankings.

The SEO Game Is Changing Due to Voice Search

Consider the following figures:

  • A smart speaker is owned by more than 66 million Americans (about 25% of the adult population!).
  • It’s quite probable that content that performs well in desktop search will also rank well in voice search: roughly 75% of voice search results score in the top three for that query.
  • At least once a week, 31% of smartphone users throughout the world utilize speech technology.

What does this actually mean?

The main difference between voice search and text-based search is how questions are phrased. To find out Jennifer Lopez’s age, type in “Jennifer Lopez age.” If you have an Amazon Echo, you’ll ask it, “Alexa, how old is Jennifer Lopez?”

You must optimise for voice searches since they take the form of conversations. In other words, you need to focus on long-tail keywords and, more importantly, make sure that your content appears in the top three positions for these types of searches.

When using voice search, there isn’t a page of options to choose from. There can only be one result. For searches including your brand and important keywords and phrases, you must show up first.

Another way to get Google’s Featured Snippet, which frequently appears as voice search results, is through long-tail queries:

Influence of Video

In the past, video has been difficult for search engines to index. Artificial intelligence is altering this, giving advertisers more alternatives than ever to get their movies seen.

Take a peek at the consumer video preference figures below:

  • 55 percent of Americans say they watch movies online every day, and 78% say they do it at least once a week.
  • 68 percent of people claim they would prefer to watch a quick movie than learn about a new item or service.
  • According to 54% of the respondents, marketers need to provide more video content.

The continuous growth of video will force SEO marketers to place more emphasis on visual content, but it will also encourage creators to provide optimised video content. In fact, it will probably give rise to a new category of videographers who focus on SEO content, much like it did with writers.

Social media gurus are already paving the way for the growing popularity of live video broadcasts and video sharing across various platforms. We produce a lot of live events like this Marketing School live event because live videos are three times more popular than pre-recorded ones:

Facebook’s Live feature was a hit, Instagram is continuously updating its video customizing options, and Twitter even supports video sharing. However, YouTube is the platform to trust since, unlike the other more diverse networks, it is totally video-oriented and hence delivers long-term engagement.

Marketers have already begun to apply SEO tactics for YouTube, but as new technologies become more engaging and accessible to individual consumers, the opportunities will expand.

Keep these SEO elements in mind if you wish to integrate your videos on your website:

  • Relevance: The video must be related to the rest of the page’s content in order to be indexed by search engines (and hence reduce bounce rate).
  • Multiple videos: Because Google only indexes one video per page, if you have more than one, be sure the one at the top is the one you want to be indexed.
  • Transcripts: Include a transcript of your video on the page whenever possible. The text will be indexed, boosting the page’s ranking.

Virtual Reality: The Facts

Virtual reality provides a thrilling voyage that can be enjoyed from the comfort of one’s own home, while also allowing marketers to create really memorable content.

Although purchasing a VR system has not yet reached the same level of popularity as owning a television, it has caused a stir during special events where brands such as National Geographic, TOMS, and IKEA have used VR to provide consumers with unforgettable experiences.

The video gaming sector is already ahead of the game in terms of VR adoption, but other industries are catching up. With Facebook’s new live 360 video function, social media has adjusted. The entertainment industry (including advertisements) has hopped on board, as seen by this Lexus commercial in which you may “ride along with the heroes of ABC’s Quantico to explore its strength and capabilities in this 360° experience”:

VR and 360-degree movies may be created, shared, and optimised using a number of Google products, including Cardboard Camera, VR View, and Street View (business listings with photos and a virtual tour are 2x as likely to generate interest).

Thanks to WordPress plug-ins like VR View, virtual reality films can be uploaded to websites and seen by visitors without the need for specialised hardware.

Final thoughts

Artificial intelligence used to be a futuristic concept that would make you leave a marketing meeting laughing (or any meeting for that matter). (Or a different room.) Combining SEO and AI-powered technologies will enable us to extend the event horizon of marketing to previously unimaginable heights.

As technology develops, marketers will be required to create intricate strategies that take use of brand-new gadgets, tools, and information sources.

The user should always come first, regardless matter how much technology is employed. Yes, ranking factors are changing as a result of artificial intelligence and machine learning, but only to better meet the needs and expectations of human searchers.

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