Artificial Intelligence and machine to machine learning in SEO

What does artificial intelligence (AI) and machine to machine (M2M) learning mean for SEO? We take a look...

While the idea of bringing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine to machine (M2M) learning to everyday life seems far-fetched, the reality is that we’re already beginning to realise some of the possibilities.

Google recently announced through Bloomberg that they have significantly improved the Hummingbird Algorithm with an artificial intelligence program called RankBrain. Its aim is to provide users with the most relevant answers to their search queries by suggesting results that don’t necessarily contain any of the words they used in their search. This goes further than previous algorithm updates as it is effectively trying to guess at words that would have a similar meaning, providing google with a better understanding of ambiguous queries.

Machine learning is essentially trying to train computers to recognise patterns and then interpret new unseen data and relate it to their existing knowledge.

In an interview with Greg Corrado, a Senior Research Scientist at Google stated, “RankBrain uses artificial intelligence to embed vast amounts of written language into mathematical entities — called vectors — that the computer can understand. If RankBrain sees a word or phrase it isn’t familiar with, the machine can make a guess as to what words or phrases might have a similar meaning and filter the result accordingly, making it more effective at handling never-before-seen search queries.”

As the third most important factor in determining the place of the search engine results page (SERP) it is a highly essential processing tool within Hummingbird. It’s been dealing with the 15% of search queries it gets a day, roughly 52.5 million, that it has never seen before.

What this means for SEO is that getting the basic things like references and citations are exponentially more important as for Rank Brain to reference your site it will need to have been quality content on a reputable site that best serves the user.

While we’re not at Minority Report, I Robot, Ex Machina, or Blade Runner or any other futuristic film level just yet, the Internet of Things (IoT) – a concept that would see everything, all objects, from your chair to a teacup would become connected, producing data and exchanging data – is not that far-fetched.

By Kathryn McKelvie, SEO Executive