The Future of SEO: AI and Machine Learning

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The Future of SEO in 2021

Artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning are two technologies whose impact on industries cannot be ignored. The digital marketing landscape is changing due to continued use of the two to improve user experience and offer the best content to the target customers.

The introduction of Google RankBrain AI has resulted in tremendous changes in the SEO space. Google now has the capability to interpret content and visuals better than before. The bots are also able to identify thin content better and downrank it to ensure that searchers get accurate results that are in line with their search intent.

Today, we will look at how AI and machine learning will influence SEO in future. We will also touch on what digital marketers need to do to leverage the two technologies.

Big Data Will Continue to Get Bigger

Google introduced the Knowledge Graph in 2012 to enhance search engine results by collecting information from multiple verified sources. The conventional format of the knowledge graph is a separate panel that is located on the sidebar. The main role of this panel is to help users get answers to questions faster.

By using results from AI SEO tools and machine learning, digital marketers will be able to influence The Knowledge Graph so that the target audience can find professional and updated information on the first search.

However, to control this information, the companies will have to suggest changes to Google and a validation process has to be done.

The Age of Mobile

Traffic to websites from mobile devices has surpassed desktop traffic. Research studies show that mobile accounts for approximately 52.6% of all web traffic globally.

As more people embrace smart mobile devices, mobile search is going to become more important. It will be remembered that in 2016 Google introduced accelerated mobile pages that were meant to rival Facebook’s Instant Articles.

Since then, the company has improved the original framework to include AMP Stories, advertising support, and email.

Even though AMP is not a ranking factor and cannot really be used to gauge the performance of a page, it means that as mobile search becomes more prominent, AMP pages will load faster thereby offering better usability to users and boosting site rankings.

The Power of Video

Search engines have not really been effective in indexing videos and visuals. Artificial Intelligence is set to change this by giving bots the ability to understand what a visual or video is all about. That change will give digital marketers more opportunities to showcase videos to a larger audience.

Here are some statistics about the video that you should keep in mind.

  • 54% of online customers want marketers and webmaster to create more video content
  • 68% of customers prefer to learn about a new service or product by watching a video
  • 78% of people watch videos on a weekly basis, with 55% of those polled confessing to watching them on a daily basis.

The increase in the use of videos will leave SEO experts with no option but to focus on creating more engaging and optimised visual content.

This change could result in the rise of videographers whose sole focus will be creating SEO content. Social media specialists are already doing this through live video broadcasts and video sharing. The two are quickly gaining traction in different platforms. This is based on the fact that people spend 3x more time watching live videos than pre-recorded videos.

Facebook has one of the most successful live video options. Instagram is continuously adding video optimisation features while Twitter now allows users to posts videos. YouTube, the second largest search engine, is also growing and marketers are keen on embracing SEO techniques for YouTube to ensure that their videos rank well.

Engagement is one of the factors that Google considers when evaluating a site. Embedding videos in posts and pages can greatly help to boost engagement.

Here are SEO factors that you should consider when embedding videos in posts and pages.

  1. Relevance: The video must be relevant to the content on page or post
  2. Multiple videos: Google only ranks one video per post or page. If you intend to add more than one, make sure that the top one is the one you want indexed
  3. Transcripts: Add a transcript to the video. The text will be indexed and will help the page to rank better

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual Reality (VR) is another awesome technology that is expected to have a major positive impact on not only SEO but also digital marketing. One of its highlights is that it gives us an opportunity to optimise content that is truly engaging and memorable.

Already companies such as TOMS, IKEA, and National Geographic are using VR to create exceptional experiences to their consumers.

By adopting this technology, digital marketers will be able to engage more with the target audience. This will, in turn, result in more organic traffic and eventually a high ranking. Just like video, we project that Google will reward websites that have VR content.

Voice Search is Revolutionising SEO

Voice Search is also gaining traction as more people opt to use voice to search for information as opposed to typing keywords on search engines. Here are some facts about voice search and its impact on SEO.

Most of the gadgets with the voice search feature rely on AI and machine learning. In the context of SEO, if you are not optimising your content for voice search, you are doing injustice to your SEO campaign.

The primary difference between text-based search and voice search is the manner in which the questions are framed. If you wanted to know the age of Chris Brown, you would type “Chris Brown age” in the search engine. The same question on Amazon Echo, you’ll say something like, “Alexa, how old is Chris Brown?”

Voice queries are conversational in nature, and you need to ensure that you optimise the content for such searches. This means that you need to find long-tail queries and include them in the content. You also need to work smart to ensure that the content is ranked in the top three slots for the queries to stay ahead of the curve.

Below is a graph that shows the impact of voice search on SEO.

Final Thoughts

Both AI and Machine Learning will impact how we do search engine optimisation (SEO) and help businesses to get more results from digital marketing campaigns. Preparing and implementing these changes is not easy – you need to have special skills and expertise. SEO HERO is here to help you get ready for AI and Machine Learning by re-optimising your content. Our team comprises of industry leaders who have years of experience and are accredited. Get in touch with us for more details about the SEO services that we offer.

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