With more people searching via voice assistants such as Siri, Cortana and Google Now, and other artificial intelligence, or AI, tools, it means marketers must adapt more complex marketing techniques. AI is surely set to revolutionise digital marketing, and in particular SEO.
So what does the future look like for SEO, and what will change when AI grows into truly influencing the way we search on a daily basis?
Access to Information
Google and other search engines used to be the place you could go to for an answer to something you have been wondering.
But nowadays, searching on the web is commonplace for many online activities, whether it’s finding directions, researching particular products, browsing websites for entertainment, or simply finding out more information on a topic.
Not only does SEO concern just the regular search results nowadays, but also on platforms such as YouTube, or even Facebook itself to an extent.
Black hat SEO techniques will be a thing of the past, as AI will improve how search results are served, and will provide the best possible content to the user.
Anyone trying to outwit Google’s AI and algorithms won’t get far, as AI is sure to make the search results a lot more natural, and far more intuitive than possible before. You need to focus on providing value to people searching, and Google will handle ensuring people find it.
AI presents content in a completely different manner to how we are used to.
Each search assistant will also answer in a different way, whether through voice search or an internal search on your phone, tablet, or even PC.
Now, AI will search your apps, social networks, emails, photos, and anything else it deems suitable.
Focus on Content Quality
RankBrain, Google’s very own AI, is there to understand the context of content found on websites, and will rank it accordingly. Google is forever analysing the search intent of many users, and improves the content suggested as a result.
As Google’s own AI grows, this means quality content related to search intent will become more important than ever, with less room to try and “trick” Google, whether this is through spammy techniques, or writing poor quality content that happens to be stuffed full of keywords or otherwise. The relevance and quality of content will be even more important factors, over keyword density and the like.
Google can now recognise audio clips, video clips, and images through AI, which means it will be more important than ever to ensure visual content is optimised for SEO.
While Google does favour YouTube in the search results, and it will be important to have a presence there, Google can assess other forms of visual content without too much prompting. SEO for video content such as keywords, descriptions, tags and otherwise will still be important, but designers and artists will need to optimise images, infographics and other visual pieces of media for search.
More businesses are starting to use chatbots for businesses purposes, in order to help answer customer queries, and present information to consumers in an efficient manner that doesn’t require someone to man the chat line at all times.
Chatbots allow consumers to find instant answers, rather than browse a website for a long period of time. In this way, consumers may no longer use search functions on your website in the future, and will instead enquire with an AI chatbot to find what they are looking for.
The Concept of Search Will Change
Long-tail queries will come via voice commands, short-term queries may still be input on a mobile device through an assistant. But this is still vastly different to merely attempting to find the best terminology or phrasing to find what you are looking for on Google. AI will help you filter down to find what you are looking for.
If you’re in any doubt, AI will be a part of many businesses’ marketing strategies in the not too distant future, and already big companies are making the most of AI to enhance digital marketing efforts. SEO is just a slice of that strategy.
Along with mass adoption of AI will come a consumer shift in mindset, which will shape how we reach customers in the future. Marketers will need to adapt with this, to ensure marketing spend generates the best possible ROI.