Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve surely heard about machine learning over the past couple years. At its core, machine learning allows computers to continuously learn without needing to be reprogramed; they evolve and change with the data they process.
While you may not realize it, machine learning is present all around you. Everything from those targeted ads you’ll see online to the movies Netflix suggests you is based partially on machine learning. And since you’re reading this, you’ll probably guess what comes next: machine learning and how it affects SEO.
We know machine learning is being implemented in a plethora of different fields and applications, but how exactly does it affect us as SEOs and what skills will we need in order to keep up in the near future? In the past if a client were to suddenly lose search visibility or conversions, it could have been attributed to a change in algorithm or traced back to a number of poor on-site SEO tactics, but with the rise of machine learning we now have to consider it as a force to be reckoned with, especially with the roll-out of Google’s RankBrain back in June 2016.
RankBrain is essentially Google’s artificial intelligence machine learning system that helps to asses the SERPS. So is RankBrain currently responsible for the way sites are ranked now? No, it’s simply another part of Google’s algorithm used to process the billions of pages online and serve you the most relevant results possible.
Why is this all changing? What’s with all the updates?
In life, the only constant is change – the same can be said about nearly everything, including Baidu SEO, and as SEOs we should be happy because it not only keeps things interesting for us, it also allows us to continue making the web a better place.
If you’re a seasoned search professional, you know that back-in-the-day gaming the system was relatively easy. Black-hat tactics gave us nearly surefire results and link farms were plentiful. However, say you ranked for a keyword with particularly high search volume and upon making their way to your site users immediately bounced – how would that make you feel? Have you really accomplished your goal as an SEO? Maybe, if you’re only concerned about ranking for a particular phrase or keyword. But does that help businesses or netizens? Not really. If anything, it’d probably frustrate them more.
This is precisely why Google and other search engines continue to evolve. They want you to enjoy surfing the big waves of the internet; spending more time cruising big breaks as opposed to paddling out.