05 Mar How Does AI Affect SEO?
In today’s marketing landscape, AI has a direct impact on SEO. Artificial intelligence provides search engine optimization specialists with the information they need to hone in on specific keywords and demographics. In addition to content creation and evaluation, SEO specialists use AI to dig through user data on a website. Such analysis can find the specific keywords that lead users to your website as well as information about who these people are and what devices they use. Armed with this information, SEO specialists can transform all the pieces of your marketing puzzle into one winning strategy.
It goes without saying that at the foundation of any AI and SEO strategy is data. Bots need a database to analyze and to inform their decisions. The good news is that bots are very good at acquiring this information on their own. They can then use the acquired data to inform other areas of the business. SEO marketing is not the only area this applies to. Logistics, payroll and customer service are some of the many other business functions that benefit from this data.
One of these bots’ biggest hat tricks is to get this data from sources you already have around. When it comes to SEO, your website traffic is the biggest factor. Google assists with this by sending its own bots to crawl your website and gather information for ranking purposes. You can also access some of this information via applications, such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
It’s worth noting that new developments in privacy law will change the way AIs collect, store and use consumer data. California’s CCPA and Europe’s GDPR are two of the most powerful laws that are now in effect. It is not 100% clear how these laws will affect SEO, but Google has already felt the sting. In early 2019, it became the first company to get fined for GDPR violations at a whopping £44 million ($57 million).
Many suspect that content is next on the automation list. In fact, software developers have experimented for some time with using bots to create content. Bots have written passable articles and some interesting short stories while they were at it. They are nonetheless a long way from replacing the human element in content creation. After all, content is not just writing but also includes photography, videos, infographics and even audio.
However, AI already does affect how humans create content, especially written content. When Google search was more primitive and focused on specific keyword matches, SEO specialists once included keywords the same way people typed them into Google. This led to awkward phrases that were sometimes grammatically incorrect. Other keywords were just casually thrown into articles for technical purposes and added no direct value to readers.
Google spent the past two years working on BERT to fix this. This technological innovation helps the AI systems to use and understand natural language better. This was essential not just for combating awkward phrasings in content but also to pave the way for voice searches. To add to this, Google improved its search engine’s ability to identify and group together similar ways of saying the same thing. These changes finally made natural language the new standard for search results. The focus on natural language, in turn, improves written content.
Keywords are not the only way some SEO specialists tried to game the system instead of producing quality content. Another tactic was to get as many other websites and blogs to link to a website as possible. Some so-called specialists resorted to spamming the comments section of other websites to pull this off. AI is increasingly policing these instances and penalizing websites for engaging in this behavior.
These bots now understand that relevance and authority go hand in hand. That means even legitimate backlinks from off-topic websites may not do your website much good in the SEO department. If you own a cafe, for instance, getting backlinks from a local brewery might not improve your SEO. On the other hand, backlinks from a coffee maker may carry more weight due to greater relevance.
Google’s AI also checks for relevance within your content. Relevance helps to give context to elements that may be difficult to index otherwise. One example is your photos. When ranking photos in Google images, the bots look for context clues within the body of the content and the image’s metadata.
In certain ways, SEO automates a significant portion of your marketing strategy. It’s one of the few marketing tools that continues to generate traffic and SEO juice for as long as it remains live with no need for further intervention from you. Even so, the backend of SEO work once required a lot of manual labor. SEO specialists pored over piles of data that they had to assess manually.
AI makes this process much simpler and less time-consuming. Sometimes it requires an initial capital investment in software. Other times, it’s possible to use free applications provided by Google. Most marketers use a mix of both. Whatever options an agency chooses, it is likely to see cost savings down the road as it takes on more clients and realizes economies of scale. This helps SEO agencies and SEO resellers to widen their profit margin.
Business Insider estimates that in 2019, only 36% of small businesses had an SEO strategy in place. As AI continues to lower the cost of SEO services, this number will grow. It will have both positive and negative effects on SEO. On one hand, specialists can take on more clients and businesses can become more competitive. On the other hand, SEO ranking itself will become more difficult due to the higher level of competition.
When the market becomes more competitive, one main factor will separate your business from your competitors. You need a company with industry-leading expertise and a history of delivering results. It’s also important to work with a company that stays on top of AI developments to boost your marketing game. Failure to secure such a partnership may lead to only mediocre SEO results in the years to come.
Are you interested in working with the world’s premier SEO company? Boostability serves more than 200 resellers and more than 32,000 clients. Join our satisfied customers by giving us a call at 1-877-679-5049.