What is the Impact of AI on the Future of SEO?

Artificial Intelligence or AI is evolving at an exponential rate. Its growth is changing the face of search engine optimisation (SEO) by allowing machines to process data, make connections and carry out tasks that were previously done manually. Improvements in AI, such as natural language processing and deep learning are making search engines more human-friendly and definitely, smarter.

Today, when you search for something on search engines, the results displayed take into account multiple factors, such as your search history, location, favourite websites and even what other web users are clicking for a similar query. This means that ranking factors can change from one query to the other.

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Industry experts predict that AI improvements will make visual content more important than ever before, especially since search engines are getting better at knowing what an audio clip, video or picture is all about. For instance, Google not only favours YouTube videos in its search results, but they are also able to analyse what the video content is about. This means that in the coming future, marketers at a search engine optimization agency will also have to optimise descriptions, video length, keyword targeting, tags and more, for visual content.

AI is also expected to change the factors of search engine rankings by putting more emphasis on relevance and quality. RankBrain, Google’s AI, attempts to comprehend the context of content on websites. As the search giant gets better at assessing search intent, marketers will have to put in double the effort into keyword research and tieing relevant keyword into their content. The focus is shifting from keyword density to context, content relevant and the value that it offers to the web users.

Mobile and voice search is already showing an upward trajectory and industry experts suggest that they will take centre stage in the coming years. You can no longer think about SEO only for web browsing, but websites need to be optimised for mobile browsing, as well. Also, the rise of mobile usage is increasingly driving voice searches. Google Now, Siri and Cortana are virtual assistants who are already making it easier for mobile users to get the information they need using their voice. It is expected that more such virtual assistants will be introduced to cater to the capricious demands of the consumers. As voice searches become increasingly longer and lot more conversational, it changes the game for SEO as marketers will be required to conduct keyword research for conversational queries.

The most important impact of AI in the world of SEO is the elimination of black hat techniques. Short-term tactics to outsmart algorithms will not work anymore and marketers have to seriously step up their game.