We’ve reached the end of our AI-powered SEO series. We’ve now explored the use of machine learning technologies to significantly improve our SEO efforts, understanding what content will work best and who to reach out to for link creation.
What’s next depends on who we are as marketers.
The Marketer With Some SEO Responsibilities
For the average marketer whose responsibilities include SEO, but SEO is not your primary job responsibility, the techniques in this series should serve you well. You’ll need to be the “glue” that joins each step to the next step, applying human judgement along the way.
By and large, most marketers will fall in this category, and that’s appropriate. You also have the freedom to pick and choose among the techniques we’ve reviewed. Not every technique is applicable to every business. For example, the influencer/key opinion leader mapping step applies to companies with a social graph. Some industries simply have little to no social media presence, and so we’d need to use either a different form of influence mapping or skip that step entirely.
That said, for the average marketer, using these AI-powered SEO techniques will give you a significant advantage over all but the most well-funded competitors, until SEO vendors catch up. Be an early adopter and start creating your SEO advantage today.
The Full-Time SEO Professional
For the marketer whose responsibilities are primarily SEO, we should consider another kind of AI-powered SEO: deep learning-powered SEO. Deep learning takes machine learning techniques and chains them together, each step using data from the previous step. Much of the data manipulation and feature engineering in each of the steps in our process is something that could be automated, given enough time and budget.
I would expect the leading SEO vendors, if they have any sense at all, to be applying deep learning to their existing SEO techniques and tools. A sufficiently skilled and motivated developer and data scientist could transform our entire AI-powered SEO process into a single massive piece of code, powered by deep learning. This software would execute the process in full, from beginning to end, ingesting data sources and propagating results forward and backwards along the chain.
Creating a system like this, with deep learning technologies, will be an expensive and intensive endeavor. However, the first companies which manage to do it well will create a nearly insurmountable first-mover advantage. Their ability to attract organic search traffic will leave rivals at a severe disadvantage, with shrinking traffic and lower growth.
The Future of SEO is AI
Whichever path we find ourselves on, the future of SEO is AI, because the present-day search engines are powered by AI. We are not smart enough as mere humans to outsmart the machines of massive companies like Microsoft and Google. Only by applying the same technologies and powers do we stand a chance of creating search advantage in our marketing.
Finally, don’t forget the most basic fundamental: search algorithms will continue to evolve to surface what consumers want. At the end of the day, there’s still a human on the other end of the search query, so if you have no capabilities in AI, all is not lost. You simply must create amazingly great content.
I wish you the best in your own AI-powered SEO endeavors!
The AI-Powered SEO Process
- Step 1: Inventory - understand what we have and how it performs.
- Step 2: Enrich - building off what we have, see what else is out there
- Step 3: Validate and Select - check that we’re working towards high-volume topics, make choices from the topic buffet of what to pursue
- Step 4: Extract - determine what else makes the top performing pages work so well from a content and topic perspective
- Step 5: Predict - understand the seasonality of our chosen topic
- Step 6: Construct - improve or create new content for our chosen topic
- Step 7: Associate - explore Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) who are influential in our topic’s space
- Step 8: Distill & Reach Out - understand what sites our KOLs share and their search authority, pitch our new content to our KOLs and their media sites of choice
- Step 9: Wrap Up/Conclusion - review where we've been
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