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AI and Evolving Google Search Algorithms
Today, with the use of AI, strategies must change to keep up with the ever-changing Google results and algorithms. Here, we'll take a look at AI and evolving Google search algorithms and how you can adapt your content strategy to keep up with the changes
As a digital marketer, the words “Google” and “search” are a part of your every day life. The goal for any marketer? To get first-page results with search engines like Google.
It doesn’t happen quickly and requires a strategy that involves understanding how Google’s search results work, what each result means, and what you can use to make an impact with your own marketing and search engine results.
Today, with the use of AI, strategies must change to keep up with the ever-changing Google results and algorithms. Here, we'll take a look at AI, evolving Google search algorithms and how you can adapt your content strategy to keep up with the changes.
AI and the Impact on SEO Strategies
Before discussing artificial intelligence's impact on SEO strategies, let’s understand what SEO is.
What Is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) improves search engine results by optimizing web pages through the use of certain variables (commonly used keywords) that impact how Google views and searches for a page. The goal is for Google to view you as a useful and informative page so that its search engine shares your page before others when someone is searching up a topic related to your website.
How AI Affects Search Results
With AI-driven search engines like Google, search results are more reliable than a manual search, thanks to the algorithms that center on location, search history, and more. The results are becoming more user-focused rather than “word” focused.
As AI advances, SEO strategies must evolve. Traditional SEO strategies focus on optimizing content, from keywords to photos and META tags. With the new advances in AI, strategies must change the focus to the following:
- User intent.
- Semantic search.
- Predictive search.
- Mobile optimization.
The goal is now to think about what a user would search, and view them as more than the words they may type in the search bar.
When you type something into the Google search engine bar, the AI-driven search engine begins to calculate your intent. The intent refers to whatever it is you are looking for. With AI, Google doesn’t just look for the best match for your query using its bank of articles matching the words you typed. Instead, it takes those words along with your standard search habits, location, purchases, and more, yielding the best results according to who Google thinks you are. You can think of it as a search engine finding results based on your lifestyle and habits rather than just the words. The results are likely to be more accurate, based on what you as an individual would be searching for.
As mentioned, traditionally, search engines create results by matching words from a search engine query to appropriate web pages. A semantic search incorporates user intent, as discussed above. It yields results based on the words chosen and what they mean to the user. For example, one user might type in black shoes and get top results showing black running shoes, while another user types in the same thing and see black, high-heeled dress shoes. The semantic search focuses on who the user is and what they likely mean by “black shoes.”
Have you ever noticed that suggestions pop up as you type a query into a search bar before you even finish typing what you are asking for? That is predictive search. Using Google as an example, the search engine predicts what you may be looking for by comparing your words to similar inquiries made by others.
Your beautiful desktop website may not look as beautiful on a phone screen. Mobile optimization is optimizing a website to look just as good and operate efficiently no matter where a user finds it (whether that be on their cell phone or computer). With the help of AI analyzing mobile behavior, marketers can get a clear picture of the use of mobile activity and their website. This can be a great help when improving user experiences on a mobile interface.
Adapting Your Current Content Strategy
What can you do as a marketer if the current content isn’t optimized for artificial intelligence? Do you have to throw it all away and start over to be noticed on Google? Absolutely not.
All websites require an audit now and then to ensure its content is relevant, whether optimized with user intent in mind or focused solely on keywords. As you improve and update a site, consider the following:
- Has the brand strategy changed?
- Are articles outdated and irrelevant?
- Has the audience changed?
Irrelevant content hurts a website’s ranking, making an audit essential to keep everything up to date.
Stay Current With the Evolving Search Algorithm
After a completed site audit, it’s time to update content to stay current with the ever-evolving search algorithms. Just remember:
- Stay current: The algorithm you mastered yesterday can change overnight. Sites like the Google Search Status Dashboard are crucial when it comes to helping you stay on top of the latest search algorithms.
- Don't panic: No one likes to see a ranking slide from the first result on a Google page to the bottom. Still, when the algorithm changes, the results will change. If you wait a day or two, you may see the ranking return to where it was. Don’t assume too quickly that the content is now irrelevant. Give it some time, then make any necessary changes.
Understanding patterns is vital to understanding what needs to change. As you consider changes to content, look for the following to understand if there are patterns that can show you what’s going on with the low rankings:
- Is content with images and videos ranking higher?
- Is short-form or long-form content doing better online?
- Did the latest Google update affect some content but not all?
- Are your competitors seeing the same effects?
Consider Hiring an Expert
If you aren’t sure why your content rankings have changed or you simply find it challenging to keep up with AI and evolving Google search algorithms, consider hiring an SEO expert to take over that part of your content marketing.
The algorithm has many nuances, and the fact that it changes so frequently can be frustrating. But don’t panic, don’t lose hope, and don’t hesitate to turn to a knowledgeable expert when necessary.
Prepare for Changes
As you continue with new content, you stay ahead of the game with the following actions:
- Keep user intent in mind and create content that puts the user first.
- Keywords still matter, so be sure to use them.
- Research thoroughly and write professionally to stand out as an authority on your topic.
- Use trustworthy links in your content.
- Ensure that pages are mobile-friendly.
- Optimize content, meta descriptions, titles, and images.
Staying on top of these things won’t prevent a search engine update or keep your page ranking the same daily. But if you've properly prepped your content with user intent and current algorithms in mind, making changes won’t be as overwhelming.
Staying up-to-date with the latest algorithms, auditing your site regularly, and making updates as needed to stay current with AI and the evolving Google search algorithms, can help you stay on top.