SEO 2.0: Evolution of Search Engines Post-AI Arrival 

Mariana Magalhães
April 1, 2024
 min read

If you own a website, you have undoubtedly heard about SEO or Search Engine Optimisation. This digital marketing strategy is indispensable for businesses to get online visibility and attract more customers. 

Below, we’ll revisit some traditional SEO techniques while exploring how artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionised its practices. Through practical examples and insights, this article serves as a short guide on SEO techniques for businesses striving to stand out in the Artificial Intelligence era. Let’s dive in.

SEO ensures your business gets noticed in online search engines (like Google or Bing) and brings more visitors to your website without you having to pay for ads. Some of the key techniques are:

Keyword Optimisation

Researching and selecting the most relevant keywords related to your business and ensuring they appear strategically on your website. This includes content, titles, and website addresses. 

For instance, if you have a bakery in London, you'd want to include words like "best London bakery" or "artisanal bread London" on your website.

Content Creation

Create blog posts, articles, product descriptions, and multimedia content tailored to your business industry. 

For example, a fashion store might create captivating blog posts such as "10 Fashion Trends to Watch Out for This Season". Additionally, producing visually appealing lookbooks, style guides, and video tutorials provides fashion consumers with valuable inspiration and guidance.

Link Building

Strategies such as guest blogging, where you contribute articles to other websites with a link back to yours. 

For example, if you run a fitness blog, you could write a guest post for a popular health and wellness website, providing valuable insights or tips and linking it back to relevant pages on your blog. 

Another approach is directory submissions, where you list your website on reputable directories specific to your niche or location. For instance, you might submit your website to directories like Yelp or TripAdvisor if you own a local bakery.

Technical Optimisation

This includes making sure your site loads quickly and is mobile-friendly to enhance user experience. 

Optimising images and using efficient coding practices can help reduce loading times and avoid visitors leaving your site due to slow loading speeds. Fixing broken links is also essential to maintaining a seamless browsing experience. Optimising metadata like titles and descriptions to help search engines understand your site's content is another example.

You must follow these traditional SEO strategies if you have a website and want it as optimised as possible. However, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has revolutionised how search engines understand and rank websites, leading to more sophisticated SEO techniques.

Here's how AI is changing the game:

Personalised Results

AI algorithms analyse user behaviour and preferences to deliver personalised search results. They consider search history, location, and browsing patterns to tailor results to individual users. This means search rankings can differ for everyone, making SEO more challenging. 

Example: Consider a clothing retailer. AI algorithms analyse user behaviour, such as browsing history and purchasing patterns, to deliver personalised search results. If a customer frequently buys sportswear, the retailer's website might rank higher in search results when that customer searches for "athletic apparel" or "running shoes."

Semantic Understanding

AI can understand the intent of what you're asking for when you search, not just the words you use. So, SEO now needs to focus on creating content that answers questions correctly rather than merely matching keywords. 

Example: Imagine a software company offering project management tools. AI enables search engines to understand the context and intent behind queries like "best project management software for small businesses" rather than simply matching keywords. To optimise for this, the company should create content addressing specific user needs, such as comparison guides and case studies, instead of solely focusing on exact keyword matches.

Voice Search Optimisation

The rise of voice-activated assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant has led to a surge in voice search queries. SEO strategies now need to account for conversational, long-tail keywords and provide concise, informative answers that align with natural language queries. SEO needs to adapt to how people talk, not just type when searching.

Example:  Picture a local restaurant. The restaurant ensures its website content includes long-tail, conversational keywords like "What's the best Italian restaurant near me?" and provides concise, relevant answers to common queries, such as menu options, opening hours, and reservation details.

Adapting to Algorithm Changes

AI-powered algorithms like Google's RankBrain are constantly learning and changing, so SEO strategies must stay flexible and current.

Example: Consider a Travel Agency. They might consider refining their keyword strategy to align with current trends in adventure travel, optimising their website for mobile users who are increasingly searching for travel options on their smartphones. They must also stay attuned to changes in local search algorithms to ensure their tours appear prominently in search results for relevant locations.

In conclusion, artificial intelligence (AI) has changed how businesses approach SEO. With AI, search engines are smarter, show personalised results and understand what users are looking for, even in voice searches. This means businesses must keep up with these changes to stay visible online and ensure they’re found.

​​If you're a business owner, consider this a prompt to start improving your SEO strategy today!

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