Perhaps the most avid askers of this question, as well as those with the biggest stake in it, are those SEO professionals out there. Indeed, there is a serious point here – will AI put them out of a job? Perhaps in the world of computing more than any other field of expertise, AI anxiety is a notable issue.
One thing, however, is for sure and this is that we are not anywhere close to a mass wipeout of human SEO expertise. Nevertheless, AI is certainly making its mark felt in other ways.
website design company out of Sacramento Peak Design say that a good working definition of what AI actually involves is an important first step before understanding just what its impact on SEO will be. It’s best to think of AI as computer algorithms, followed up by thinking of computer algorithms as the mechanism that allows machines to make connections, process data, and “learn” as they go along.
Let’s be clear here, AI is already heavily present in modern search engines. In fact, they wouldn’t even work otherwise. We will first look at what AI processes are at work every time you key something into Google. After all, this is the area that SEO is most concerned with.
How AI Currently Works in Search Engines
AI is all about data inputs. When you search for something in a search engine, the words you input are not the only data the search engine is receiving. Search engines also consider your location (that’s why when you search for “plumbing services”, and you live in the U.S., you won’t be presented with any French plumbers). Search engines also take into account your search history, your favorite websites, and what other users often click onto after searching that particular query (or a similar query).
All this data is then processed by the AI computer in order to create search result rankings. Furthermore, as more data is inputted (say, for a particular query), AI will change those rankings all the time. Any SEO expert already knows this, which why the best keywords are not a static set and, in fact, change all the time.
So, SEO doesn’t just work with AI – it totally relies on it. SEO would mean nothing if there wasn’t any AI involved.
As nobody needs to be told, AI is developing all the time, so what does the future hold?
It is not just keywords. Visual content is likely to become increasingly important for SEO. Without descending into too much computing jargon, AI is getting better at telling what is in a picture and what type of website or search result it indicates. The same goes for audio clips and videos.
New Ranking Factors
Keyword density will still take you some way in SEO, but that is perhaps something which is on the way out. Soon enough, AI is likely to be able to assess quality and relevance too, dealing more with the actual usefulness of the content based on data pertaining to how users interact with it.
At present, a website or piece of content with lots of links pointing to it fairs well in SEO. This is why SEO experts often suggest link density as a key factor. However, AI is getting better at discerning whether the links come from relevant sites or not. Just linking haphazardly will soon fall afoul of more advanced AI.
Beyond this, it is unknown where AI will ultimately take SEO – or even if it will make it obsolete or not. Certainly though, those working in SEO need to keep up.