Searching for answers - what does the future hold for SEO?

Future for SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most rapidly evolving industries of our time. It constantly keeps us on our toes and I think that is part of its attraction. But, how will advancements in technology impact this volatile industry? Will artificial intelligence (AI) have a positive or negative effect on search? What will this all mean for the future of SEO? We share our findings.

Artificial intelligence

AI is everywhere lately and it seems to be all that people talk about. It is also not going anywhere fast. In fact, it is widely expected that AI will have a substantial impact on all things related to marketing.


We have been experiencing the effects of AI in search for a while now, actually since Google released the algorithm known as RankBrain. The aim of this is to help search engines acknowledge the context of the query and help them to better understand what the user really wants and to not just separate the process of each individual word. This is becoming much more relevant due to the popularity of voice search, which uses more natural language.

Data dreaming

Another increasingly popular tech term is ‘big data’ which, is intrinsically linked to AI. The data allows AI to function and also for machine learning to transform the way in which we search. Humans can only process a certain amount of data; it is here that AI comes in – to do things that we cannot. AI search is moving in this direction and is slowly replacing and improving on functions that humans cannot complete (or at least, cannot complete to a high standard). We are looking to utilise the processing power of all things binary to our advantage.

It’s not new to see bots trying to create content and it was actually impressive enough to make it past the first round of screening for a national literary prize in Japan. Granted, it’s not as amazing as something an experienced copywriter or journalist could manage, but this is just the start. In a couple more years’ bot-created content will more than likely be a viable alternative for businesses wanting to develop content as part of an SEO campaign.

Bridging the human gap

AI will make the SEO process smoother, quicker and more automated, leaving humans to add the creative icing on the cake. We can try to give bots as much sentiment and emotional intelligence as possible but at the end of the day, they’re simply not human.

We’ve already seen some of the issues with the new algorithms. Take, for example, the proliferation of fake news across the web in recent times – as smart as these algorithms are, bots still can’t distinguish between what’s real and what’s not. That takes careful human judgement. As long as this is still the case, humans will remain an essential part of any marketing or SEO campaign.

What AI means for SEO

Regardless of whether we like it or not, AI is going to change the face of SEO in the coming years. Concerns will be higher around campaigns led by AI rather than humans – such as, worries around spun content and an over-reliance on automated campaigns. But, this will only pave the way to make automation campaigns increasingly human.

AI is able to crunch and interpret massive amounts of data and is continuously improving at learning and understanding the intent of its user. Put this understanding with big data and this is basically how to create a campaign that can specifically target the right audience, knowing exactly what they want and what they are looking for.

What does this mean for search marketers?

The continuous use and development of AI means that we will see a shift in priorities in the coming years when it comes to the tasks that we dedicate most of our time to. Data led tasks look more likely to be automated and this will allow us to concentrate on the more creative aspects.

We ought to be ready that the process of content creating will alter and face the fact that not all blog content will come from humans in the future. For some, this may indeed cause concern however, people will always want to read content that is written by humans. At the very least, it is probable that we will see content researchers replaced by software counterparts.

Voice search

According to research firm ComScore, around 50% of all searches will be voice searches by the end of this year. Voice search is rapidly gaining in popularity as a result of Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. According to Gartner, around 30% of all searches will be done without a screen at all by the end of this year. Let’s imagine how this could alter within the next 5-10 years.