How will “AI First” Impact Your SEO?

In 2017, Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, announced that the company will focus on becoming an, “AI first” company. This year, he unveiled Google Duplex, a new technology for conducting natural conversations to carry out “real world” tasks over the phone. But more important for digital marketers, how will all of this impact SEO?

Typically, there are two opinions when it comes to AI first practices. Either AI will be better and more efficient at your job and replace you, or it will compliment your role and become another useful arrow in your digital marketing quiver. The sharp SEO expert will realize that the second option can be a reality as long as they stay ahead of the game.

Furthermore, AI already plays a pivotal role in digital marketing as it is a core technology used in search. Google’s RankBrain technology uses machine learning to make sense of the content it crawls. RankBrain deduces motive from ambiguous queries and uses feedback to hone the accuracy of its results.

With Google’s dedication to AI first development and the crucial role AI plays within search, it is imperative that digital marketers look at how to harness AI to improve their SEO.


There is no better tool or technology for processing and interpreting large amounts of data than AI. Artificial intelligence can recognize patterns in what appears to be random jumbles of data.

Some routine tasks where AI can help SEO performance include:

  • SERP performance.
  • PPC spend management.
  • Site performance management
  • Competitor insights.

In all of these situations, AI can discover fresh insights that would otherwise stay unnoticed. Those insights can, in turn, identify content opportunities by linking intent to content. Additionally, SEOs can invest in more long-tail content when AI highlights underlying needs within a customer journey.


Digital marketers are acutely aware of how much time SEO can take in their day-to-day functions. Automation has always been a search marketers ally. AI can drastically reduce the amount of time SEOs spend on tedious tasks such as:

  • Keyword research.
  • Tag management.
  • Internal linking.
  • Content optimization.

Start by breaking down these tasks into sub-tasks and then score their automation potential from 0-10. Once you have prioritized these task, you can use rule-based automation to handle the simpler jobs.


Personalization helps SEOs create relevant and practical experiences for the individual customer. In order to achieve this at scale, you will need to use AI as a core part of the process.

The basics of personalization remain unchanged. First, you must create content by persona, customer journey stage and channel. From there, you can use connotatively specific pages to associate query and intent. AI can be used to publish content at the right time on the right channel.

AI first technology will continue to increase in the years ahead. Savvy search marketers will need to stay apprised of artificial intelligence in order to harness its power for their SEO. AI can and should be used for insights, SEO automation, and personalization strategies.

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