Artificial intelligence is becoming a very real thing – in fact, Google has already rolled out a technology called RankBrain that helps it deliver search results better. With AI playing a part in search engines, digital marketers will have to alter their search engine optimization efforts in order to get their businesses to the top of search engine results.

Here are a few ways AI may affect SEO:

Black Hat Techniques

With the word “intelligence” in the term, it’s no surprise that AI will make it harder and harder for digital marketers to use black hat techniques in order to gain rankings and popularity. Things like keyword stuffing, hidden content, cloaking, gateway pages, duplicate content, and other techniques meant to trick search engines won’t be as successful with more intelligent technology in place.

Page Rankings

As AI algorithms learn more about what pages people click on and what’s relevant to the searchers, they’ll alter their results. What once ranked high in search results may rank further down on the page as search engines determine what’s important in each website.

On another, computerized support means fewer people answering requests to re-list or reconsider websites that were hit by penalties. This means marketers will have to work harder to please search engines on the first try.

Content Relevance

To piggyback on our prior point, content will be more important than ever to AI algorithms. Search engine spiders will analyze website content more than ever and look for relevant, valuable, and quality content. Digital marketers will have to make sure their web page content is unique from other businesses and beneficial to their readers. In addition, AI will be looking for fresh content, so marketers will probably want to start regularly updating their blogs.

Altered Search Terms

As technology increases, people are using more than just desktops to surf the internet and search terms are changing. On devices like tablets or smartphones, search terms may be shorter and more to-the-point, which means exact keyword phrases and long-tail keyword phrases will likely not be as pertinent. With elements like keyboard length, limited search times, local searches, and more, search terms are becoming more varied and AI search engines will no longer be able to limit their results to certain words or phrases.

Optimization of Visual Elements

In an article by Mention, Sam Mallikarjunan, Head of Growth of HubSpot Labs, says visual content will have an increasing influence on SEO: “Search engines are getting good at knowing what a video, audio clip, or image is actually about.” With that being said, digital marketers will need to optimize visual elements just like they optimize content in order to make the most of their SEO efforts.