We might not realise it, but Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming an increasingly integral part of our everyday lives. Wearables, the Internet of Things and even what we watch on TV are all informing search engines about the best content to show us in search, and even changing how we search – making the role of search marketer much more challenging. This post looks at the changes in how we search and what we find, highlighting key changes for SEO in the future.
AI in traditional search
RankBrain, Google’s AI tool, is now one of the key factors affecting the results you are served when using Google search. RankBrain shapes results based on the experience of the user, learning more about your preferences with each search. RankBrain will effectively allow Google to interpret keywords and location in a far more sophisticated way than ever before, meaning that search marketers will need to get much better acquainted with their target audience and demonstrate to Google their content best serves their users if they want to survive. One of the ways marketers can do this is through focusing on schema markup (code that helps Google serve more informative content to users).
AI in mobile and voice search
The rise in mobile devices and the use of search on phones, tablets and wearables has been dramatic and is a trend unlikely to change soon. Google prefers sites which are optimised for the mobile user and, as such, marketers should ensure that all websites are mobile ready. What is most interesting, however, is that the use of voice search is fundamentally changing content. As voice search becomes more sophisticated, users will be able to ask questions more conversationally, and as a result, content should reflect this conversational tone. So, instead of typing in, for example, ‘digital agency Kent, it is far more likely (and natural) to ask ‘OK Google, can you recommend a digital agency in Kent?’. Marketers should be prepared to shape content around voice search, and one such way of doing to is to create ‘FAQ’ style pages to capture the question-asking style that flows from voice search.
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