Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are changing the face of search engine optimization and search engine marketing (SEO). That’s the prevailing narrative, anyway. The one pushed by media pundits and self-professed experts with only a faint understanding of their own content.
The reality is that AI has, in one form or another, been part of SEO for several years now. It’s only through recent advances in machine learning that it’s really coming to the fore. It’s only recently that people are starting to realize how intertwined the two actually are.
Take Google, for instance. AI is at the very core of what it is and does. As reported by Bloomberg, it has been for years in the form of RankBrain, a machine-learning platform used to process and serve search results.
Moreover, virtually every single one of Google’s recent algorithm updates was developed with the aim of making its search engine smarter. Better at understanding queries, better at processing natural language, better at serving relevant results, better at ferreting out black hat SEO. Better at finding the best content as quickly as possible.
It’s not just Google headquarters that’s making liberal use of AI, either. Marketing agencies and SEO specialists have offered AI-empowered tools for some time now. Fron analytics platforms that allow a business to more accurately determine its target audience to intelligent content creation tools that combine optimization with machine learning, AI has been a constant for years where search is concerned.
The thing that’s changed is that these tools are breaking into the mainstream. They’re no longer a niche tactic you can use to gain a competitive advantage over other websites in your industry. They are rapidly becoming fundamental to a complete SEO strategy.
“Back in 2015, when RankBrain was introduced, the SEO industry was shaken,” Kulwant Nagi, Founder and CEO of marketing firm Afflospark LLC told business specialist Signity Solutions. “Although back in 2015, we couldn’t digest the AI in SEO, now it has become mainstream. Google is making its knowledge graph and ranking algorithms so powerful that it’s all about artificial intelligence.”
“From my point of view, AI is going to bring a lot more awesome ideas for SEO experts rather than pushing them backward,” he continues. “I personally see SEO AI as a positive signal which will inspire content creators to create more awesome content which would add the value in people’s life.” In other words, AI is changing the SEO space, but not to the extent that some would have you believe. In truth, it’s been around for years. The changes only seem extensive because we’re only just noticing them now.