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9 months ago
Machine Learning & SEO: Where Are We Now?


Originally published in DigitalDoughnut, October 25, 2019

For many in the SEO world, the idea of machine learning influencing the industry is making substantial waves. The technology inevitably promises to alter the way in which business is done — and it may even change what successful SEO ultimately looks like.

In light of this information, many SEO professionals and marketing experts are frantically attempting to gain a greater understanding of how the system may be changing and how that is going to impact their processes. Advances in machine learning may negatively impact those that have long been worried about fluctuations in analytics; however, it may prove beneficial for those that have long been focused on working to improve the experience for end users.

The technology may actually help to expand the importance of quality SEO work, and it’s likely to significantly benefit all those searching the internet for information. Understanding the change and potential impacts is key to success. Let’s take a look at how machine learning is shaping the future of SEO.

The Machine Learning Buzz

Machine learning is the term given to a method of analyzing data automatically. It is a branch of artificial intelligence, where data is digested, patterns are identified, and decisions are made without direct human guidance. In recent years, the technology has rapidly developed, meaning computers are getting better at recognizing and responding to information that is fed to them.

Within the world of marketing, machine learning can be powerful for its ability to notice patterns that would otherwise go unrecognized. This is particularly pertinent when it comes to identifying behaviors of potential customers and capitalizing in company engagement. Because of this, businesses with machine learning and artificial intelligence specialists are rapidly diversifying the skills of their workforce, with many clamoring to attract young professionals to meet their needs.

Machine learning as it relates to anticipating customer desires is so impressive that it is beginning to be utilized by companies such as Google. In 2015, Google introduced machine learning into its search engine, called RankBrain, to help provide users with more relevant search results. As time goes on, RankBrain’s ability to associate words and phrases with similar meanings will only continue to grow.

SEO and Machine Learning

It may be obvious at this point, but Google’s developments have had huge implications for those working within the SEO industry. RankBrain ultimately collects data from similar search phrases, connects them, and delivers more relevant results to users. User interaction with SERP rankings is also factored into this as a learning data point. This process can substantially alter traditional notions of which companies and organizations are likely to be in the top search results for a given search.

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About the Author

Ainsley Lawrence is a writer who loves to talk about good health, balanced life, and better living through technology. She is frequently lost in a mystery podcast or on the hunt for the best mac n cheese in town. You can follow her on Twitter @AinsleyLawrenc3.

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