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How Artificial Intelligence Is Powering Search Engines


Whether you are a customer searching for your favorite products online, a writer looking for the latest statistics, or a business owner learning SEO skills, you are using a search engine to get answers. And search engines are pretty interesting! You open up your favorite one, add some related keywords and click to search. Within a fraction of a second, you get thousands of results for your entered keyword. It seems like magic. Except that it isn€™t!

Search engines can perform the way they do because of the algorithms they have and a lot of brilliant people powering them. With time, humans are getting better at making algorithms. Brilliant minds of today even have access to machine learning. So algorithms are designing algorithms that are smarter than themselves. If you have ever wondered about the role of artificial intelligence in how a search engine works and if there are any ways you can utilize it for your SEO, you have landed at the right place. Let us dive into the important details about search engine artificial intelligence. 

How Search Engines Are Using AI To Get Smarter

Google, Microsoft, and several other tech giants are investing in artificial intelligence. That€™s because they are using it to make their search engines smarter and more sophisticated. Thanks to the use of AI, it€™s easier to find more relevant and authentic information through these search engines. Here is how search engine artificial intelligence is helping to connect users with the content they are searching for.

Quality Control

There was a time when certain €œSEO specialists€ learned about the basic ranking signals of search engines and used that information to design shady practices. We now know them as black hat SEO techniques. Aggressive keyword stuffing, invisible text, and cloaking are to name a few. These practices were used to make up to the first page of SERPs, no matter what. This may have been useful for the people who were designing them but they damaging to the search engines. Users were not directed to the content that was actually relevant but one that was manipulated to appear at the top. Search engines are using AI for pattern detection. This enables them to separate low-quality spam from high-quality relevant results. Low-quality content has the following patterns in common.

  • Multiple uses of synonyms and stop words
  • Several outbound links to unrelated and low domain authority pages
  • The high occurrence rate of the spammy keyword.

These patterns are discovered using machine learning. Artificial intelligence in SEO assists in quality control by utilizing data from user interactions. It can effectively detect new spammy patterns and flag those as well. It is predicted that soon AI will take over the responsibility entirely.

Create Complex Ranking Algorithms

If you want to make it to the top, it€™s imperative to understand the role of artificial intelligence in SEO. Other than quality control, search engine artificial intelligence is helping to make new ranking algorithms. How big of a role AI plays in creating algorithms are yet to be known but all major search engines are using them. Technically, artificial intelligence learns from heaps of data coming from user interactions to rank algorithms. The machine creates an optimal list of possible outcomes and learns from each of the variables. Thus search engines can identify new ranking signals. For example, Google displayed a certain search result at the fourth number but the click-through rate is higher than the first one. The next time a user searches for the same keyword, the result will jump to the top.

NLP Helps Understand Search Queries

As humans are mainly using search engines, they must be able to understand human language. Although search engines are computer applications, AI is helping to better identify user intent. Natural Language Processing, or NLP, is a separate field of artificial intelligence that is dedicated to teaching computers to comprehend our written language.  The SERPs show that Google and Microsoft are using NLP to understand search queries. Developers at Yandex reported that they could use all previous searches of a user and utilize them to optimize future searches. This practical implementation of AI was found to increase the click-through rate by 10%. This is quite important in understanding the role of artificial intelligence in SEO.

Image Analysis To Understand Photos

Users can search for their desired content by simply adding a photo. Image search is another incredible application of AI. Did you know that every passing second, 1087 and 4000 photos are being uploaded to Instagram and Facebook respectively? You can imagine the numbers for all of the remaining applications and software. Analyzing and cataloging these millions of photos is an arduous task but not for artificial intelligence. Machine learning helps to analyze shapes and color patterns and pair them with the existing data to display the most relevant images.

Improvements In Targeting And Ad Quality

According to Google U.S. patents US9773256 and US20070156887 on ad quality, artificial intelligence can be used to improve an otherwise weak statistical model to provide the most relevant ads to its users. It isn€™t about the content only but search engine artificial intelligence is influencing Ad Rank. This not only benefits the users but the business owners investing in paid marketing campaigns.

How Is Local SEO Influenced By Artificial Intelligence?

Whether you are a marketer or business owner, you must understand how artificial intelligence in SEO can influence your website ranking and hence your annual revenues. It€™s quite simple. Search engines are getting better at bringing out the most relevant results. If you are using the most relevant and useful content for the user, you can win the game. You have to be good at technical SEO and maintaining citations at web directories such as Google My Business, Yelp, and CityLocal Pro. There are some common citation mistakes to avoid for local SEO so that your business does not hurt its authenticity in the eyes of SEs and users. As AI is powering search engines, focus on the quality and relevancy of the content you are posting.

Like brands and people, search engines have reputations to protect. All they want is that the user trusts and uses the particular search engine the most. AI is pretty effective in sorting out high-quality results from poor results. So before posting any content online, ask yourself this question. Is my content useful, relevant, and something Google wants to serve its users? If yes, you are along the right lines already.