Article

Amit Gupta
Amit Gupta 29 May 2019

The Magic of Machine Learning In The Creative World of SEO

Over the past couple of years, we have seen Google and other search engines experimenting with advanced technologies like machine learning in order to make their search results more user-responsive and relevant. Google’s RankBrain algorithm is one example of learning based SEO.

Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) technology where machines (computer systems) get the ability to automatically learn and adapt themselves from experience and no longer need to be explicitly programmed.

Over the past couple of years, we have seen Google and other search engines experimenting with advanced technologies like machine learning in order to make their search results more user-responsive and relevant. Google’s RankBrain algorithm is one example of learning based SEO.

Also readUse of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine learning (ML) by Marketers in 2019

What is Google’s RankBrain?

RankBrain is a new search engine algorithm devised by Google in 2015 which learns from experience and adapts itself to provide more relevant results to the search engine users. RankBrain uses machine learning to teach itself from the help of search data, history and user behavior to identify and show the most relevant results in response to user queries.

According to industry experts, the new Google algorithm uses a number of factors such as the user location, keywords, etc., to determine the exact intent behind a search in order to be able to show the most relevant results.

But what does all that have to do with SEO?

As Google updates its search algorithms, it becomes apparent for SEO professionals around the world to do the same with their marketing strategies. The same thing happened as a consequence of Google’s launch of this new, machine-learning based search system.

In order to stay competitive and ahead in search engine rankings, SEO service providers should start adapting themselves for the RankBrain and other advanced learning innovations. So, if you’re still using the same old SEO strategies, trying to gain higher rankings in search engines, you need to upgrade yourself. In this article, we will discuss how you can improve your SEO strategies to make them in line with this new machine learning based search.

Machine Learning SEO - What is it all about?

The simple solution to Google’s RankBrain is to adapt your SEO for user-centric search results. How you can do that - that’s a question we will try to answer here. But first, you should know how RankBrain actually works.

Over the years, Google analyzed that the effectiveness of a search algorithm gets less over time, as users become more intuitive and the number of web pages keeps increasing. Therefore, it keeps experimenting with new tools and technologies to keep its search results as relevant and useful as possible. The new RankBrain algo is Google’s latest experiment to that effect.

RankBrain is different in that it uses machine learning to guess the words or phrases that might be related to input search queries and then filters the results accordingly. In short, the system tries to analyse what the user is actually trying to get or find by performing a specific search. It then records the transactions and uses them to refine the future results. The ultimate aim is to improve the user experience, giving them better results in less time.

Now that you understand what machine learning is in SEO and how it can affect your online business ranking, it is time to start adapting your marketing strategies accordingly.

Machine Learning SEO - How to do it?

One thing you should understand is that it is certainly not going to be easy to rank in the post RankBrain environment. You can rightly assume that Google’s search algorithm has grown itself a brain and now detects your website more closely and sharply for relevancy.

But there’s a catch. Google’s RankBrain has reportedly had a positive impact on all those websites which have been providing very relevant content for the target user. So, what you need to do is know who your target audience is and improve your website content to make it more relevant to the search queries. Here are some ways to do just that.

Improve Your Search Snippets

‘Search Snippets’ continue to remain an important SEO factor as Google’s machine learning algorithm also uses them to determine the subject and the relevancy of your web pages.

RelatedWhich Ranking Factors Are Crucial for SaaS SEO

A Search Snippet contains the Title, URL and a brief description (Meta Description) of the web page and is usually shown in search results for relevant search queries. This should be very clear, relevant and easy to understand, giving both the search engines and users a clear idea of what your page is about.

RelatedThe Secrets of Meta Descriptions and SEO

In terms of the latest RankBrain algorithm, it has now become important that your search snippet answers the potential search queries of a user. This is also important for achieving great click-through-rates. This is why question-based pages have increased in popularity in recent years.

Besides improving your snippets to make them more relevant and user-specific, you should also work on developing content which is based on those snippets and provides further information on the topic.

For instance, if a user is searching for a phrase “How to watch movies online”, he/she is most probably looking for websites that can tell him where or how to watch movies online. If your website does the same, make sure that you tell it clearly in the snippet area.

Focus more on your target keywords

Finding and using target keywords is not just about Google’s Adwords tool, you should also learn to analyse search results and find relevant keywords from there. For instance, if one of your competitors is ranking for a keyword/phrase and also getting good traffic, you should probably also focus on that keyword, if it is relevant to your business.

As far as optimizing for machine learning goes, you should re-evaluate your keyword strategy to:

Make sure that your target keywords are strictly relevant to the content on a web page or post;

Focus also on words/phrases which are closely related to or associated with your main keywords;

Use keywords in your meta description, images alt tags and other parts of the content in a very user-friendly and understandable manner.

Your page will automatically rank higher if the content answers whatever query a potential user may have.

Engaging and Relevant Content

Content remains one of the most important factors for search engines to determine the worth of a web page. Besides writing clean and informative content which is user-focused and easy to read, you must also include relevant and associated keywords/phrases, trying to answer users’ queries by your content. Here are some tips:

Keep your content strictly relevant and useful for the target user.

Form easy to read language and try to be conversational in your content.

Optimize your site content for humans, and not for machines.

Make sure your keywords are consistent and make sense.

Try to answer users’ questions in your content.

Imagine how a user would search your business and then answer that query in the content on your page.

Give appropriate headings to your content.

Research and Implement What Works for You

Research your industry and competitors to find out what is working for them and whether they are being recognized by Google. If so, try following their strategies on your own site to achieve better results.

For instance, you can try following the design structure of a website which already ranks well in Google. It may help your site become more friendly to users and search engines.

Also, take a look at how the top-ranking sites prepare their snippets, what keywords & URLs they are using to become relevant and attract users. Make sure to follow them only if your own website is relevant.

Update Your Website Regularly

If you don’t update your content and site regularly, it will eventually become out of date and of no use to the users. And Google will not rank a content which is not useful for the users. So, update your site on a regular basis and use only fresh and relevant content for today’s readers.

Website updating is not just about the content but it also covers design and structural changes, (as & when required), adding infographics, updating images, etc.

Even if you have a business website with nothing much to update, it is generally a good idea to add a dedicated blog section which will keep the new content flowing for the site visitors.

Conclusion

As they say, Change is the Only Constant. It is even more true in the online space, where things change at a very fast pace. If you do not change your site or SEO strategies for too long, someone else with a better site and SEO will surpass you in search rankings.

Do not make the mistake of considering Google’s Rankbrain as a machine-preferred search algorithm. On the contrary, it has been designed to filter and rank user-focused content over machine-preferred. The sole aim of Google’s machine learning based Rankbrain algorithm is to provide impeccable user experience in terms of efficient search results. Machine Learning is just Google’s another update to improve search results. It is time that you also update your business and SEO campaign for better results.

Liked the blog? Feel free to share your views and suggestions in the comment section below. You can also share our blog on your social media with friends who might benefit from it.

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