The search engines are getting smarter. As the engineers behind the algorithms continue to improve the efficiency and power of search engines to provide better results, the ways in which you manage your SEO will also change.
Understanding how machine learning will impact search gives you a better idea of what factors will be most important in your future rankings.
What the Algorithms are Learning
One of the goals of today’s engineers is to find a way to allow machines to do most of the work independently. Traditionally, machines receive inputs that direct them in different processes in order to provide the proper output.
But now, advanced engineering allows for the use of layers of neural nets, which create more complex networks. This is very similar to the way in which the human brain works.
Each layer serves to identify key features of incoming information. This is ideal for providing search results to users. The search engine can more effectively identify all of the features in a given page to provide the best results possible.
Which Features Matter?
Your webpages have a lot of information for search engines to consider. For example, the data related to your outbound and inbound links work to create an overall link profile.
But there is also information related to the activity that occurs on a page. The ways in which users interact with your content will influence how search engines index and rank your site.
SEO uses this information to help the search engine algorithms index pages accordingly. Naturally, this can influence your rankings on a given SERP as it gives users the information they’re most likely looking for.
Staying One Step Ahead
The new developments in machine learning are essential to the future of your SEO strategy and campaigns. It provides a tactical framework from which to begin your approach to improving and maintaining your rankings.
More importantly, as an SEO professional, you’ll need to understand these changes along the way and help your client or organization see the value in the strategy you’ve implemented.
There will also be less clarity in what inputs and factors matter most for getting results. Machine learning may actually leave the engineers knowing less about how algorithms are ranking pages.
As the systems take over, you’ll need to consider whether those same factors are still relevant to your SEO.
Ultimately, this continues in the direction that many have already been seeing. Websites whose content gives search engine users the most relevant and useful information will come out ahead.
By providing content that gives the search engines higher quality results, you’ll be positioned to stay on top of your SEO and marketing activities.
Providing strong content that meets the needs of users is still at the core of a successful SEO campaign. Although machine learning will transform how algorithms work (and perhaps the engineer’s ability to control them), the goal of search engines is to provide the best results for their users.
With time, you’ll need to stay current on which factors will give you the greatest return for your investment. Understand these will change over time. Change is the only certainty. Knowing what changes are happening will ensure your long-term SEO success.
Let us know how you’re staying current with the changes in SEO in the comments below.