Will 2017 be the year that computers outsmart human brains? Maybe. It’s one of the many high-tech trends that everyone is keeping an eye on.
But how does that change the game for Google search and those working so hard to optimize their websites for search?
Here are the ways Artificial Intelligence can affect you if Google search and SEO are important.
Less black-hat tactics
As Artificial Intelligence takes over Google search, one of the things SEOs will need to be on the lookout for is the ability for search engines like Google to catch bad behavior amongst webmasters and link builders more thoroughly, and therefore, more often.
As Artificial Intelligence learns the patterns, it will better be able to identify blog networks and other link schemes, allowing penalties to be applied to websites and algorithm changes to be made on the fly if enough patterns are detected.
That’s why you need to have a complete SEO software solution in place, like SEO PowerSuite, to ensure that you are getting quality links and optimizing your website the right way.
No need to govern search engines
You know all of those reconsideration requests and other requests you put through to Google when your website gets hit with one of the above-mentioned penalties or algorithm changes?
If search engines find a way to get Artificial Intelligence to dominate the search and SEO world, there will be fewer people manning the search engine support stations.
And that means less response to support requests, including those to get your website re-listed in search when it gets penalized. So the goal is to do your best not to get penalized, because if you do, your chances of getting your rankings back could be a lot slower.
In other words, your goal as Artificial Intelligence grows is to keep your website as safe as possible.
Exact keyword phrases won’t matter to AI
The Artificial Intelligence behind search engines like Google today are working with more than just keywords typed into the standard Google search box on an average desktop browser. Instead, Artificial Intelligence is now dealing with desktop searchers, tablet searchers, mobile searchers, and voice searchers.
This leads to a lot of variations of keyword phrases based on the searcher’s device, which could be anything from a full-size keyboard to the user’s voice.
Hence, Artificial Intelligence will learn by learning that a keyword phrase on one device could sound difference when spoken than when typed, but still need to go to the same search results.
Or, Artificial Intelligence will learn that a keyword phrase being searched inside a store needs different results (such as price comparisons) than a keyword phrase being searched from home (such as where an item is online and nearby).
Even search companies can’t beat their own AI
You know all of those tips and tricks that Google, Bing, and other search engines provide to help you increase your chances of ranking well in search?
It’s hard to trust their advice when they can’t even get their own products to rank first in search using it.
Exhibit A: Web analytics
Look how far down you have to go to get to Google Analytics and how their competitors are actually ranking higher via Google AdWords at the top and the See results about box to the right of organic search results.
Exhibit B: Tag management
Google Tag Manager is even further down the list in organic search results for this keyword.
Exhibit C: Webmaster tools
Even Bing can’t beat Google’s Webmaster Tools. On their own search engine.
The evidence speaks for itself.
While search companies probably have to walk a very fine line between ranking themselves highest and being mocked for not having their own tools listed first, it does show that if Google can’t get a Google product to number one, and Bing can’t get a Bing product to number one, then you shouldn’t feel bad about not making it to number one.
Artificial Intelligence has changed the game for everyone.
So how do you win the Artificial Intelligence SEO game?
Knowing that Artificial Intelligence is shifting the search engine marketers world is one thing. Knowing what to do about it is another. So here’s what to do to beat (or win at) Artificial Intelligence and search rankings.
Accurate SEO data
As noted earlier, make sure you’re equipped with the accurate SEO data.
Tools like SEO PowerSuite will help you stick to search engine guidelines, not get bad links, help you quickly audit your site for problems, monitor your keyword rankings, and keep an eye on your competitors to see if you can get their best links.
Optimize for related phrases
Second, choose one main keyword phrase to target, but also optimize for related phrases throughout the page.
So let’s say you’re writing a post about link building. Don’t just keep saying link building. Use different variations that people would use in search so that the same phrase isn’t repeated, but the same topic is emphasized in different ways like this.
- Great ways to build links with…
- How to build a link with…
- Building links with…
Brand yourself everywhere. Start with your website, then branch off to the top social networks where your customers hang out (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.). If you have a local business, continue on to the local directories that fit your industry (Yelp, TheKnot, Angie’s List, HealthGrades, etc.).
Create awesome content
Create awesome content everywhere. It’s an extension of branding yourself. You’ll create great content on your website (blogs, videos, etc.). Then you’ll create great content elsewhere (guest blogs) so you can make sure that no matter where people go, they will find you.
That’s the way to ensure that, no matter what happens to one piece of your online presence, other pieces will be out there for your potential customers to discover.
If you’re getting leads and business off of 20 different sites, it’s better than expecting all of your leads from search and then losing your search traffic to an Artificial Intelligence related shift in search.
Search engines will always evolve. It’s the job of every search marketer to adapt to the change. While Artificial Intelligence may be the most unpredictable and most non-gameable change yet, there are ways to win the game. It’s a matter of how hard you’re willing to work at it.