AI – A Threat For SEO? Or An Opportunity?
For many years now, businesses around the world, including those in Europe, have leveraged content marketing to get an edge on search engines. It’s become both art and science, and an army of content marketers are dedicated to ensuring that businesses get seen first in search rankings.
As in many fields, however, AI has stepped in and changed the rules for SEO and any link building agency in Europe who perfects it. Will algorithms outsmart even the most creative human efforts? Will SEO ever become obsolete? Let’s discuss.
What is the current impact of AI on search engines, and what do businesses engaged in SEO need to do to adjust? First, let’s review just how AI works in the context of search. Artificial intelligence is, of course, meant to mimic and learn from human intelligence and patterns. In the context of a search engine, AI studies the behavior human users, assesses the data, then generates a list of the most accurate and relevant results. When paired with machine learning, which learns over time from “mistakes” and multiple iterations, AI becomes a powerful way to drive search results.
SEO is intended to neutralize or even ‘trick’ the AI. The theory behind SEO is that you can optimize a site or a post so that it convinces the bots to give your content preferential treatment. SEO worked relatively well against classic search engine models, but many believe that it just may find defeat in the face of AI.
The truth is not quite that bleak. With the advent of AI in search, SEO experts will have to make adjustments, yes. Emphasis may switch from keywords, link building and content to user behaviors. In other words, go to where AI is making its decisions. It may take some time for the SEO world to make the adjustment, but with new techniques and focus, the industry could still provide the benefits it has in the past to businesses looking for first-page listings.
Experts Say: Stick with the SEO
What does an expert say that knows the digital connected era? That SEO will stand its ground.
According to John Mueller from Google, SEO will not become obsolete anytime soon. Mueller has little clear guidance on what needs to happen in the near future, however. What he does suggest is that SEO will become increasingly automated, segueing from individual tweaks to large-scale automated approaches to SEO run by increasingly advanced CMS solutions.
It looks like SEO will go through a period of transition as it figures out how to work in the world of AI. In the long term, however, SEO will be just as relevant to business as it has been in the last decade, and may even have more dynamic things to offer.