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The future of SEO – AI & Machine Learning

Thanks to advances in artificial intelligence, SEO is rapidly changing and evolving. SEO methods that used to work have been replaced by more modern – and complex – strategies. Contemporary SEO has moved far beyond simply worrying about keywords. Today, advanced algorithms dig deeper to actually understand content

. Search engines look at everything from backlinks to the behavior patterns of search engine users.

Understanding Google

In order to understand SEO, you have to understand how Google works and what it’s goals are. Google’s main audience is people who use their search engine. Google wants to make sure that when a user searches for something, they get back a variety of results to choose from. In order for brands to attract visitors and customers, they have to use the type of SEO that people are searching for and that Google will rank.

Content Marketing

Google wants to understand the content of a website beyond the keywords that are used. In order to do this, they added a component to their algorithm called RankBrain. RankBrain overlooks SEO keyword density in order to truly understand what the content delivers

In order to get ranked by Google, you have to pay attention to on-site and off-site content marketing. On-site content marketing means that the content is well written and relevant, which will engage readers and encourage shares on social media and other platforms. If you have too many ads or ads that have poor placement, like above the fold, you may be penalized by Google, because they only want to rank content that targets real audiences. Off-site content marketing refers to things like guest blog posts.

In order to maximize your content marketing efforts, keep the following tips in mind. When curating content, divide it into categories and make sure that visitors can easily access related content. Make it a priority to network with bloggers in your industry or an industry that’s closely related. Analyze your competitors and dig into Google Trends to make sure you’re using the correct search engine keyword phrases. Lastly, try to post your branded content to websites like SlideShare and YouTube whenever possible.

Link Building

Link building is a major component of SEO. Back in 2012, Google smartened up regarding link building shortcuts. Website owners who had been purchasing links were penalized. Though some feel that link building died after that 2012 update to Google’s algorithm, many experts believe that link building is still highly effective. However, it may not be the same type of link building that it was in the past. Today, things like directory links aren’t enough. Instead, website owners have to tap into influencer networks and put some effort into in-depth content research in order to use link building effectively.

In order to use link building today, it’s important to keep certain tips in mind. Don’t just look for targets that will build your links; reach out to those who will also help increase recognition for your brand. Look for targets that will drive traffic; attracting search engines isn’t enough anymore. Seek out opportunities where influencers will mention your brand on social media. Strive to write guest posts that will be published on authority websites. Lastly, when creating a content calendar, analyze your competitors to find out the hot topics you should be focusing on.

Local Search

If you own a localized business, it’s important to pay attention to citations. This refers to any mentions of your business that include your business name, phone number and address. It’s common for reputable businesses to show up first in search engine results, which is excellent for increasing your brand’s visibility. Make sure to use your actual business address – Google doesn’t want to promote your PO Box or a virtual office. In order to rank in localized search results, signup for Google Business. You’ll get a postcard for verification sent to your business address.

Your goal should be in the top three search results, because those are what’s shown on the first page of search results. These three listings will be highlighted and include citations. On top of improving brand awareness, ranking this highly means that Google will be looser with your business when it comes to link building. Very popular websites aren’t penalized as often, so you have a bit of leeway when it comes to link building.

When it comes to citations, it’s important that you always write your business information in the same way wherever you enter it. Your address should always be in the same format and you should always use the same phone number. Whenever you enter your business information, you should track the citation location in a spreadsheet. This way, if you end up moving your business, you’ll know exactly where you need to update your information.

Mobile Search

The mobile search niche is growing in popularity and it doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down any time soon. Google wants every website to also be mobile-friendly. In order to be ranked on mobile search, this is a requirement for your website. Mobile links can rank highly, so making sure you have a mobile version of your website is a great way to increase your visibility.

In order to maximize your mobile presence, there are a few tips to keep in mind. Make sure to optimize any content and linking within the app, because Google will search these in order to help users find what they’re looking for. Responsive websites are beneficial for both mobile and desktop users so that they can easily view your website on any screen. Make sure to link to your mobile website from your regular website. Lastly, don’t forget to publish your app in the Google Play store, the Apple store or both.

Modern SEO is ever-changing and it’s nearly impossible to cover every single aspect of it in one single article. Knowing the basics and then keeping up with the changes, specifically one that Google makes to its algorithm, is the best way to stay on top of trends and know what to expect.

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