Artificial Intelligence and its Roadmap to 2016 - How it's Going to Affect SEO

A few months back, Bloomberg announced the news that Google was using an artificial intelligence system named as RankBrain to sort out search engine results. The name RankBrain is Google's name for machine learning AI system which is now being used to process search results. You must be wondering what Machine Learning is. Well it is where the computer preaches itself how to do things, instead of being taught by human beings or through detailed programming.

AI, the abbreviated form of Artificial Intelligence is where a computer can become equally smart as human beings, if not in any other sense, at least in the sense of receiving and perceiving knowledge both from being taught and from building new ideas from what it knows and making bran new connections. Previously, true AI only existed in the sci-fi novels but now with Google's new algorithm update, it is even being possible in the real world. You may hear the names RankBrain and Artificial Intelligence being used as synonyms, often interchangeably.

The evolution of RankBrain - Google's new algorithm

In actuality, RankBrain is neither Google's algorithm (named Hummingbird) not Google's artificial intelligence system (called TensorFlow). It is rather one among the 200 different elements in the algorithm of Google. Nevertheless, due to its competency and effectiveness, it has soon become the 3 most vital part of Google algorithm.

It makes an effort to bring out sense of queries and other search phrases which it hasn't ever encountered before. The reason behind focusing on this particular aspect is that it shares the ultimate goal of reaching out every single potential user throughout the world, many of which don't use English as their first language.

The Search experience and the goals of Google

Have you been wondering how this goal of machine learning fits in with the vision for all the users throughout their platform? Google is actually moving away from being only an algorithm which addresses all users and all queries and is becoming a single algorithm which has the ability to address each user's query. Rather than visualizing SEO as Search Engine Optimization, it tries to see it as Search Experience Optimization. Hence website owners should start focusing on user experience from conversion to SERP, rather than chasing the changes in the algorithm.

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Does RankBrain change the SEO that we currently do?

As RankBrain keeps learning more and more and as Google keeps feeding it with more and more knowledge, we might notice ups and downs in organic traffic. However, these won't be announced as data updates. In fact Google has said that it won't announce these as data updates as ups and downs will be expected after the AI starts figuring out how the content is related to different search items as according to other content in the market.

After the launch of Hummingbird and consecutive Pandas, search influence has always seen the requirement for extremely informative content entirely focused towards consumers. With this standard of content, they have already seen some positive results for many websites. Hence, if the content of your site is written keeping in mind Panda and Hummingbird, means it is rich, educational text, RankBrain won't be a problem for you.

Roadmap for 2016 - What to do?

In order to save your search engine ranking for 2016, you may require following a Search Engine Optimization framework. Try and build relevant, timeless and engaging content with solid statistical foundation rather than focusing only on bringing in links and social media signals. Leave these behind.

Build a team and work to democratize SEO. Train your writers to focus much less on keyword density and more on focusing on conversations that are taking place on relevant topics. Encourage your PR marketing teams to start building a brand online and collaborate with your engineers and developers to supervise all issues.

Keep re-aligning your metrics to focus it around for better user experience. Some of the KPIs that you need to focus on are engagement of the user (Conversion rates and CTR) and site stickiness (bounce rate and dwell time).

Last but not the least, keep testing your website as the most successful sites always keep testing the improvements for CTR, user experience, conversion rates and overall engagement. This is indeed a great habit that you should incorporate in order to improve your search results.

Google always wants its users to keep learning new ways of search engine optimization and to enhance the experience of the users. You should therefore constantly evolve yourself as an optimizer and take all the required steps mentioned above to secure your search engine ranking. Keep updated about the different search algorithms that are updated so that you can brace yourself for the odds and take immediate actions. For more information on the internet, web and SEO, you may check out Internet Vikings.

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