Anyone who has not been living under a rock knows or has at least heard the term ‘Machine Learning’. Simply put, ML is a sub-segment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that allows computers which are not explicitly programmed to access data, learn automatically, and make predictions with no human intervention whatsoever. But do you wonder how it impacts SEO, the backbone of digital marketing?
So, it was in 2015 that Google had announced the news of its adopting RankBrain – an ML-based search engine algorithm to provide only relevant search results for ensuring superior user experience. And now as we stand in 2020, we find that ML has transformed SEO in ways one could not have imagined.
What does this mean for marketers and business owners? To ride the waves of this advanced technology, we need to continue improvising our strategies & facilitate better integrations between ML with SEO for our business growth.
Intrigued to find more? Stay glued to the end.
How Do You Think Search Engines Use ML? Let Us Find Out
As you can see, Machine Learning has been around the corner for quite some time. However, as time advances, we realise that ML is not simply a trend but an indispensable technology that has found major applications, including in website ranking. So, in this section, we explore how search engines are using ML to create a better user experience.
Identification of Rank Signals
According to Gary Illyes, the Webmaster Analyst at Google, RankBrain helps the search engine to identify or detect potential new ranking signals. Why is that important? Well, it helps in enhancing the quality of the search result. Since search engines can teach the technology how to process data and run predictions, there remains very little chances of human intervention.
If a result ranks third on the search engine with a higher click-through-rate compared to the options above it, the search engine learns from this deviation and automatically puts that result at the top. This is how a rank-based algorithm works!
Detecting a Pattern Flow
The practice of churning out substandard content is gone, thanks to the pattern detection by ML. So, what happens now is that ML can detect common characteristics such as duplication, paraphrasing, and unrelated outbound links to detect and chuck away the low-quality content.
It is worth pointing out that ML is said to gain better accuracy with time, just like we humans do. This means the more content ML analyses, the more accurate it is going to get in the upcoming days. Now, that very clearly explains why ML is here to stay.
Customising Search Query Result
Using ML, search engines can record and collect data from your previous searches to offer customised search result in future. Do you see a trail of suggestions as soon as you type something on the query box? While the suggestions may look like handpicked by someone who knows your intent, it is the simple (or not so simple!) play of ML algorithms.
Apart from Google, Yandex, the Russian search engine has deployed the technology of ML to improve the search query result. In fact, according to a study, Yandex has improved its click-through-rate by 10% with the creation of personalised search results (searchenginejournal.com).
Adapting to the Machine Learning SEO – What should be Your Strategy?
Now that you know the core areas in which the search engines are utilising ML, it is high time that you strategized a plan for taking these developments to your stride. Yes, you might have to hire an SEO services expert for optimal results, but for now, let us discuss a few tips that can take you a long way.
Content Remains the King
It might seem ironic but ML rewards content that is more humane and less machine-like by giving it a higher rank on the SERP. So, keep improving and generating high-quality content if you want that top spot on Google’s search engine. Write short and meaningful sentences to provide relevant and concise information to the users. Easy language and proper presentation can help you ace this game.
Keyword Research is the Bedrock
Keyword stuffing is a thing of the past. Not only will you have to research the keywords properly, but you will also have to use them in your content organically. To get started, use an analytical tool and find the search terms entered by people to reach businesses like yours. Consider using related terms to your target keywords for enhanced reach and online visibility. And yes, learn to leverage long-tail keywords to get significant results but at a lesser price.
Optimising for Voice Search
Speaking of long-tail keywords takes us to the massive trend of voice search today. According to a reliable study, over 8 billion digital voice assistants will be in use by 2023 (juniperresearch.com). And with ML getting better at learning human languages, voice search queries can bring on a tech-revolution. Make sure you utilising long-tail keywords, reframing your content, focusing on mobile responsiveness for driving the best results.
Build a Top-quality Link Profile
As you have already understood, there is no fooling the ML-based algorithms. Without a decent link profile, you might lose rankings on the search engine and suffer a blow to your online reputation. As a strong link profile confirms your credibility on the search engine, you must check page and domain authorities of all the websites linking to your business site using an analytical tool.
Responsive Web Design
With smartphones becoming a part and parcel of our lives, there is no wonder why mobile devices account for over 50.71% searches (smartinsights.com). Also, since Google prioritises mobile-friendliness to rank a website, you have the very little luxury to look away from a responsive web design. Hence, we suggest you invest in a mobile-responsive website to achieve better ranking and deliver a superior user experience.
As you can see, only engaging digital marketing services may not produce a desired impact. In this machine learning world, you will have to step up your SEO game to cut through the competition. As cribbing and complaining will not get you anywhere, the best way to go about is to freshen up your perspective and refine your SEO strategies. Still considered to be at its nascent stage, ML is yet to be utilised to its full potential. Can you imagine how it might end up impacting SEO in future? So, make sure your preparations are on point because we have a lot of catching up to do. Wishing you luck and strength!