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Daniel Foley Carter Director at Assertive

Artificial Intelligence and the Impact on the SEO Industry


A New Era of SEO: The Integration of Artificial Intelligence


As the digital landscape evolves, search engine optimization (SEO) has become an indispensable aspect of online marketing. In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a game-changing force, transforming the SEO landscape and the way businesses approach search engine optimization. SEO has evolved progressively over the last 20 years – as Google’s algorithms have evolved – more factors become assessible with artificial intelligence – for example Rank Brain (Google’s AI infusion into a core algorithm) allows Google to use artificial intelligence to better assess website quality, content quality, positive signals and more – this is a long way ahead when you consider just 10 years prior – Google was still using keyword frequency as a way of gauging what a page is about. 

When it comes to AI and SEO – RankBrain is a case of search side AI as opposed to user side AI.

RankBrain is designed to better understand and interpret user queries, especially complex or ambiguous ones, by analyzing the context and intent behind them. It helps Google deliver more relevant and accurate search results by considering factors such as:

  • Search query semantics
  • User behavior data
  • Historical search patterns
  • Relationships between words and phrases

By continuously learning from user interactions and search data, RankBrain refines its understanding of language and context, enabling Google to provide an enhanced search experience for users.

Now – with the release of chatGPT (from openAI) as well as Microsoft’s Bing / OpenAI relationship (and Google BARD) – users have the ability to significantly speed up processes and output in a way that will directly impact the SEO industry.

For example – content writers can utilise AI to significantly improve content output – both with things such as fact checking, content frameworks, FAQ / SCHEMA generation and lots more! 


AI’s Impact on Search Algorithms and Ranking Factors


AI algorithms, such as Google’s RankBrain, have significantly influenced search engine rankings. These advanced algorithms can better understand user intent and deliver more relevant search results by analyzing various factors, including:

  • Contextual relevance
  • User behavior
  • Semantics and natural language processing

 This has made it crucial for businesses and SEO professionals to adapt and stay ahead of the curve to ensure high search engine rankings.

AI’s true impact on search is growing rapidly – as LLM’s (large language models) evolve alongside processing power – AI’s ability to enhance and improve result quality grows.

With AI – ranking factors can be diversified further – looking at a wider array of trust factors such as things around E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authority, Trust) – this will help to improve result quality – providing better, more trustworthy results – thanks to the utilisation of AI and being able to better understand things such as content quality, intent satisfication, main content and supplementary content, information reliability/accurancy and lots of other factors that can be used to shape search results.

Google has never disclosed the exact number of ranking factors it uses in its search algorithm. However, it is widely accepted that there are over 300 ranking factors that Google considers when determining the position of a website in its search results. To add complexity to it – Google can apply factors in a randomised way – effectively erradicating any potential for reverse engineering.

These ranking factors can be broadly categorized into several areas, including:

  • Content quality and relevance
  • Technical SEO factors (e.g., site speed, mobile-friendliness)
  • User experience (e.g., time spent on the site, bounce rate)
  • Backlink profile (e.g., the number and quality of backlinks)
  • Social signals (e.g., shares, likes, and comments on social media platforms)
  • Local SEO factors (e.g., Google My Business listings, proximity to searcher)

It’s important to note that the weight and importance of each ranking factor may vary depending on the type of query and the specific industry. Google continuously updates its algorithm, which means that the list of ranking factors and their significance can change over time.

With artificial intelligence gaining momentum – it’s likely that we’ll see ranking complexity evolve – site owners / content producers genuinely will have to work harder than before to provide high quality landing pages (we see in Google’s search quality rater guidelines mention of PQ rating – page quality rating). 

It’s very likely that we’ll see user behaviour being MORE of a weighted factor – with AI able to process HUGE amounts of data – understanding results that are a better fit for a wider search audience (or providing enhanced personalisation) will be key in improving search / quality of results.



Leveraging AI in Keyword Research and Content Optimization

AI-powered tools are enhancing the keyword research process by providing more accurate and relevant suggestions. These tools can analyze vast data sets to uncover hidden opportunities and trends, allowing marketers to create content that targets high-potential keywords.

Furthermore, AI-driven content optimization tools can help in crafting content that meets search engine criteria, including:

  • Readability
  • Semantic structure
  • Keyword distribution
  • Content length


By employing AI, content creators can optimize their content in real-time, ensuring it’s relevant and engaging for the target audience.


The Role of Machine Learning in Link Building and Backlink Analysis


Machine learning, a subset of AI, is playing a crucial role in link building and backlink analysis. By analyzing vast amounts of data, machine learning algorithms can identify valuable link-building opportunities and assess the quality of backlinks.

This enables SEO professionals to prioritize high-quality backlinks and avoid potentially harmful ones, improving the overall link profile and contributing to higher search engine rankings.


AI-driven Technical SEO Audits and Recommendations


AI-powered tools can automatically conduct comprehensive technical SEO audits, identifying issues related to:

  • Site speed
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Duplicate content
  • Broken links

By providing actionable insights and recommendations, these tools help SEO professionals address technical issues, enhancing user experience and boosting search engine performance.


Embracing AI for Personalization and User Experience


AI allows for increased personalization in digital marketing, enabling businesses to deliver content tailored to individual user preferences and behavior. By analyzing user data, AI can help create personalized content, enhancing user experience and fostering brand loyalty.

In addition, AI-driven chatbots can improve user experience by providing instant assistance, resolving queries, and guiding users through the customer journey.


Preparing for the AI-driven Future of SEO


As AI continues to shape the future of SEO, businesses and SEO professionals must adapt and embrace these technologies to maintain a competitive edge. By leveraging AI-driven tools and strategies, marketers can:

  • Conduct more efficient keyword research
  • Optimize content more effectively
  • Streamline link building efforts
  • Improve technical SEO audits
  • Enhance personalization and user experience

By staying ahead of AI developments and integrating these technologies into their SEO strategies, businesses can ensure their online presence remains strong and their search engine rankings continue to soar.


Daniel Foley Carter

Daniel Foley Carter is an SEO Evangelist – with over 2 decades of SEO experience – Daniel has extensive experience in all facets of SEO from technical SEO, auditing and strategy development through to AI, Python for SEO, link acquisition & SEO testing. Follow Daniel on LinkedIn at

Daniel Foley Carter Director at Assertive