Have you ever tried to decipher the science behind Google’s instant search results? Or how typing-in a few words get you tons of related information on your search topic in a fraction of seconds?
Not really, right?
Well, not to boast, but all the credit goes to Google’s artificial intelligence powered SEO.
Google has been one of the top players when it comes to exploiting the latest technologies to deliver out of the box customer experience. In recent years, they have developed some of the top-notch algorithms and brought SEO practices to the next level. By doing so, they have eased the lives of millions of users. Not to mention, it gave voice to a multitude of businesses to get their word across effectively to their stakeholders.
How SEO worked in the past.
In the past five years, Google has come up with two algorithm updates which have given due emphasis on content quality and language comprehensiveness. Google’s famous SEO update, Hummingbird gave search engines semantic analysis capability. Now, these tools worked on understanding the meaning of languages and phrases to deliver desired search results to the users. The use of effective keywords by relating intent to content became of significant importance to digital marketers. The two algorithms played a great role in optimizing brand positions in search engines and delivering focussed search results.
Google’s advent into Artificial Intelligence
Google’s introduction of RankBrain proved to be a gamechanger, and its first step towards Artificial Intelligence powered SEO. Since then, Google uses several AI-powered techniques to rank search results. These techniques have shifted the focus from keyword research to topical authority.
Traditionally, SEO worked on keywords and content optimization on Natural Language Processing. But, Google AI integration has changed the meaning of SEO practices. Unlike before, when pages were ranked using keywords, Google’s Rankbrain understands way beyond individual keywords. It works by understanding the relationship between topics and develops a contextual interpretation to deliver better search results. In short, we may say that it’s learning to read and understand just like humans do.
What is Google’s RankBrain and how it works?
Google’s Rankbrain is a machine learning artificial intelligence powered SEO system introduced as one part of Google’s search algorithm – Hummingbird. All your Google search queries run through RankBrain. Apart from showing the most relevant result to your search query, it also learns which results you like and pages you mostly visit. Google’s Rankbrain uses such knowledge to show additional search results apart from what you searched for. These new results might not have the exact words you searched for, but you might find them interesting and related to your search query.
How to rank higher using Google’s Rankbrain?
Understand the intent of your content
Here is where the importance of keywords come into the picture. One of the places where many digital marketers lack is connecting the intent to their content. The selection of keywords plays a significant role in getting a higher search rank on Google.
You need to first understand your users and what they would like to read or are interested in. Make a list of keywords you want to target and enter those into Google. See the search results that come up on entering your primary keyword list. You would need to add those search results to your list of keywords to have a more comprehensive data of effective keywords.
Say for example, you choose the word ‘DM’ to optimize your ranking on a search engine. The word could mean anything – from a Direct Message to a Deputy Magistrate or for that matter even Data Mining. The term DM could be used by the users in ‘n’ number of contexts and that’s not how SEO can flourish. Hence, it’s very important to understand the intent and clarity of your content.
Focus more on long-tail content
After your list of keywords is ready, you need to develop content in the form of blog posts, case studies, white papers, or guides. All of such content shall be formed around and include those keywords and searches.
In a place like world wide web, there is no constraint on the amount of information that would come your user’s way while making a google search. So, how do you ensure that they see what you are selling?
This is where the Long Tail Content comes into the picture. Long-tail content intensively focuses on being very specific to what you are selling and your selected keywords. Such content is useful when customers use highly specific search phrases, and when they do so, they know what they are looking for. The rank of your content can be optimized by using such long-tail keywords and content.
Say for example – ‘bakery’ being a very common term will have very less number of searches in comparison to ‘Bakery near me’ or ‘corner bakery.’ This is because of a very simple reason – a user will know that ‘bakery’ as a search query can give ‘n’ number of results such as the definition, origin, etc. But the search query ‘bakery near me’ will show them relevant information i.e., the bakeries near to their location which is more specific.
How Google AI integration works
With Google becoming smarter by the day, you need to focus on the credibility of your content on the internet. The Google AI Integration learns from all the actions of the user. So, if your content ranks highly on Google search, but most of the users immediately hit the back button and return to the search page. In this case, Google will make a note of it and make changes to its algorithm. Through these changes, it will rank pages which answer the user’s query and are mostly visited without an instant return to the search page.
Need for a semantic content audit
As quoted above, the credibility of your content will now play a significant role to get a higher rank in google search results. You shall make it a point to go through all the content available on your website, analyze the topics, their breadth, and empathize how it would connect with the users. You would also need to do a semantic audit of your competitor’s website to gain an edge over them.
By using artificial intelligence powered SEO tools, you can link such semantically specific pages to associate with user queries and boost your google search ranking. Doing a semantic analysis and taking corrective measures will reduce the user return-to-SERP rate from your web pages and maintain your google search ranking.
In conclusion, we may say that Google AI Integration has changed the face of modern SEO practices. It has also flipped the way google search ranking works to cater to better user experience. If you are a Digital marketer then, you shall use AI-powered tools to reverse engineer the way the search engines work. This will be your key to share a common ground with the latest SEO practices and create value for your clientele.