AI, or artificial intelligence, has become almost commonplace. Once upon a time, when we thought of AI, we would imagine robots, like those in Star Wars. In reality, AI is just as common, but in places where we don’t even notice it. Google makes extensive use of AI and its machine learning capabilities to direct user queries to the information they’re looking for.
If you’ve ever wondered how Google got so smart, it’s because it’s using AI! It’s not just Google that can use AI. Many companies are now investing in their own artificial intelligence. What can companies do to best take advantage of AI, both Google’s and their own?
It used to be that Google could only interpret text-based content, rendering videos and images useless for SEO, although they were good content for users. Technically this is still true, but there are a lot of opportunities for adding text to images and video. Especially since videos are the most-viewed type of content on the Internet, it’s increasingly important to optimize your images and videos properly.
File names, tags, descriptions, alt text, and even the length of the video can all be optimized to include your keywords.
With its latest update, BERT, Google is getting better than ever before at understanding exactly what users intend when they make a query. Google will be able to understand words like “to” that are vital to the meaning of a sentence but that were previously discounted in searches. The goal is to direct users to the search results that they’re really looking for, whether they searched for exactly that or not.
What this means for businesses and content creators is that they’ll need to focus more on their users’ intent. If companies can use AI themselves to understand their customers’ intent when visiting their site, they can better provide the content that their customers are looking for. AI can help companies determine exactly what their target audience is and what they want.
AI features like Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and others allow users to search Google with their voices. This has changed how keyword research needs to be done. When typing a query, users often type a few short keywords together. When voice searching, however, users speak in full sentences like they’re talking to someone. With so many searches now being done via voice search, it’s important to research and select long-tail keywords, especially those that either ask or answer a question.
No More Black Hat
The smarter Google gets, the more websites will be punished for using black hat SEO techniques. Any SEO strategy that prioritizes the search engine over the users is generally considered black hat. If your website is designed for Google and not for the people visiting it, you’ll need to rethink your SEO strategy. Google has had UX as its primary goal almost since the founding of the company and has been frequently updating its algorithms specifically in order to reward sites that provide high-quality content to users and to punish those that game the system and try to trick search engines into ranking them higher.
The best way to use AI for SEO is to create good content. Keep user experience in mind and determine your users’ intent when they are searching for the keywords that will direct them to your site. Google is getting better at interpreting what users mean when they make search queries, so the users directed to your site will be the ones who are looking for what your site can provide.