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Is AI going to change SEO in 2017?.

 

Artificial Intelligence SEOArtificial Intelligence is taking over the world of SEO, with its advance algorithms which enable machines to make connections and “learn” how to process data based on human requests more effectively.

When you input a search query, the results displayed consider many elements like: your location, search history and what other users have previously clicked on.

AI improvements mean that ranking factors can change from query to query. Once the algorithm learns from how people are clicking on the search results it then decides on the most relevant factors to consider for each individual search.

So, what does this entail for marketers?

Here’s a summary on what developments will bring for marketers, along with some suggestions on what you should do in face of these changes.

 

SEO optimisation for visual content

Sam Mallikarjunan, Head of Growth of HubSpot Labs, believes that visual content will have an increasing influence on SEO.

As Mallikarjunan says:

“...search engines are getting good at knowing what each video, audio clip, or image is actually about.”

Google favours YouTube videos in search results and is also getting better at analysing what visual content is about. Just like how content writers had to learn to optimize headings and keywords, visual artists should start thinking about SEO when creating visual content like images and videos.

For example: SEO for video means optimising keyword targeting, descriptions, tags and video length.

 

Focus more on content quality and relevance

Google’s RankBrain, is an artificial intelligence system, which attempts to understand the context of content on websites and match that to relevant queries.

As Google continues to get better at analysing each search intent, it is more important than ever to get your keyword research right!

It is no longer about writing blog posts about one keyword phrase you picked from your keyword research. It is about creating blogs around a concept related to that keyword. The best option is to focus your website around one topic. This will not only help RankBrain learn about you, but also narrows your competitor’s pool because Google will compare your website to only others from your niche – making it easier to rank higher.

 

Mobile and Voice Search 

If you are only thinking about SEO for web browsing on computers, think again...

A Google study found that 40% of searches are now on mobile, and more than one in four users only use a smartphone on an average day.

As a marketer, if you are not optimising the way your brand is reaching customers on mobile, you risk missing out on a quarter of your potential audience.

With the rise of mobile usage comes voice searches; Siri, Google Now and Cortana are now present and ready to cater to all our demands, and this changes things for SEO.

For most of us, we are more concise when we type - for example, you’d type “best coffee shops in Chichester” into a search bar. But when you do a voice search, you’re more likely to say a complete sentence like, “Hey Siri, where’s the best place to go for a coffee in Chichester?”

As Rand Fishkin notes:

“...voice searches are getting longer and more conversational."

That means doubling down on great content in a conversational tone, and doing keyword research for conversational queries.

 

It may sound like a lot is going to happen, but with improvements in AI, SEO should also become more intuitive and natural - so focus on delivering relevance and value to searchers, and let RankBrain work out the rest.

If you do feel like it’s all too much – that’s why we’re here! We can do it for you – the long-term benefits are worth it.