For a number of years now, Google has been at the forefront of artificial intelligence (AI) development. Their in-house AI workshop DeepMind has already made some major breakthroughs in applied AI for medicine, game theory, and speech synthesis. The high-profile nature of their work has even started to overshadow what is still the company's main business: being the world's go-to search engine.
In that arena, Google has long championed the use of AI and machine learning technology to deliver the best possible search results to users. In fact, their RankBrain platform is AI-driven and forms the core of their whole search business. In turn, that has led to some of the most tried-and-true digital marketing and SEO techniques to go right out the window, as RankBrain analyzes, scores, and ranks new content almost as fast as businesses can create it.
The bottom line is that Google's search AI is leading to an internet that favors more human-friendly content than ever before, and businesses everywhere have relearnt the art of balancing content and website design for the best SEO performance. One of the most effective ways for them to do that is to make use of some AI-powered tools of their own – and here are three areas they should focus on.
1. First, Move on From Traditional SEO
For years, web designers and marketers have focused on search engine optimization (SEO) as the best way to enhance search result performance. The problem is that old-school SEO tactics depended on search algorithms that remained unchanged over long periods of time. Today, ranking factors evolve on a near-constant basis, as Google's algorithm learns what users want in real-time. They're also far more reliant on context and relevance than keywords, as they were in the past.
To stay ahead of the constant changes, businesses can use AI-powered content creation and optimization tools like MarketMuse and Concured to plan and execute their content strategies. Doing so will help them to produce posts and pages that will score well when analyzed by Google's AI, and that will gain high search result placements. The same tools can also be used to constantly re-evaluate existing content to make sure it's still relevant and to make revisions as necessary.
2. Go Big on Structured Data
Now that AI has become the central arbiter in Google's search engine, it's tempting to design online content with an eye toward how the algorithm will see the page. In reality, though, the algorithm is trying to see the pages through human-like eyes, so designing for the machine is mostly irrelevant. There is an exception to the rule though.
The exception is to make liberal use of structured data on all websites and properties. It's like adding a high-detail map for the algorithm to follow, which explains where all of the site's important information lies. Without it, businesses can only hope that Google's AI will figure things out. With it, however, they gain access to some of Google's highest-performing search features and can leapfrog the competition on every result page. Best of all, there are AI-powered solutions like Diffbot that can help automate the process of creating structured data sets for existing web pages, as well as for new ones as they come online.
3. Automate Analytics With AI
One of the challenges that businesses face when dealing with AI-powered search is the sheer speed with which the landscape changes. That has made it far more important to use the best analytical tools to assess website results and performance and to do it in as close to real-time as possible. Of course, a human analyst couldn't hope to keep up, but AI-powered analytics can.
New platforms like PaveAI can derive critical insights from a website's Google analytics data with little to no input from a business. All it needs is access and it can start producing actionable insights in less than a minute. Best of all, the platform doesn't need any human-provided cues to know what to look for – it learns from the data itself to determine the right questions to ask. In short, it has the power to provide any business with high-end data analysis with almost no overhead, which can be a major game-changer for SMEs and startups.
Fight AI with AI
Going forward, it is certain that Google is going to expand its reliance on AI and machine learning for all things search. We've already reached the point where traditional SEO is all but dead, and businesses have to turn to AI solutions of their own if they want to remain relevant in an ever-changing search environment. The tools mentioned here make for a good start, but they're likely to be just the beginning – so now is the time to adopt them and stay as far ahead of the curve as is possible.
Photo credits via the contributor's Adobe Stock License by THANANIT, iLee, and Africa Studio.