Since the dawn of the industrial revolution in the 18th century, businesses have found profit in automating and mechanising everyday tasks. While the steam engine powered machines back then, today, artificial intelligence (AI) has taken its place by automating operations across industries that utilise technology. SEO is no different.
Robots or AI have been assuming new roles, and programmatic technology and predictive analytics have been in use for years to help deliver targeted messaging with incredible efficiency. Google’s RankBrain, which utilises machine learning to deliver search results, has been a major ranking signal since 2016. As the SEO industry is no stranger to AI, it’s now fair to ask the question, “Are machines going to be a threat to SEO professionals?”
The SEO industry has always been a world of contradictions. Many people, for example, would think that an algorithm-based industry already has all of its operations automated. But the necessary shift to quality control opened up too many scenarios and possibilities for a program to contend with. Most SEO operations require human intervention and analysis for effective execution, which comes with pros and cons for providers of SEO services.
The Human Element
Human influence allows the industry to anticipate and react to potential problems in a timely and creative manner, which is especially useful on the quality side of things. This is the reason many Google representatives are saying that their main quality algorithm—Panda—will probably never get automated.
Humans are also critical to a successful SEO strategy because only actual living, breathing people can truly understand human search patterns when using tools such as search engines and social media networks. For instance, machines and AI can never understand how a mother with a screaming baby at midnight searches differently compared to a nanny searching for the same product in the middle of the day. Humans search based on emotions, something machines have yet to replicate.
The Downside of Relying Purely on Humans for SEO Services
The downside to depending heavily on manpower when it comes to SEO services is, as it always has been, the dent in speed and efficiency. The longer a webmaster works, the slower they get and the higher the chances of human error, which is why it’s necessary to delegate some responsibilities to the machines. Automation is the ultimate advantage that AI offers – improvements in efficiency, speed and cost savings that allow providers of SEO services in Australia to shift their focus on key areas that impact user experience.
After all, even though AI helps marketers and SEO specialists decide, filter, manage, and present complex sets of big data, human input and analysis remains necessary to monitor and control results. Over-reliance on AI can be a drawback as AI is just a reinforcement, not a replacement to ensuring a successful SEO campaign.
Deciding on which function to give to tools isn’t as easy as it sounds, as there are still aspects of SEO that tools can’t completely account for. The process becomes much simpler, though, when webmasters consider the areas wherein computers hold a significant advantage over the human brain. One such area is visualisation.
The Vision of Machines
Webmasters sometimes have to visualise the internal linking structure of a website so that they can better understand the cardinality of the links and identify orphan pages, if there are any. Webmasters can do this of course, but it’s a laborious process that’s prone to errors and confusion as the website becomes more elaborate and complex.
A tool would simply go through the website, trace the links throughout the pages and present it in a way that makes it easier for the webmaster to see how all the pages relate to each other. Delegating this job not only makes this aspect of web analysis go much faster, it also makes it easier for the webmaster to formulate a solution to any problems they detect.
In this regard, SEO itself will improve by leaps and bounds due to AI. There has been great progress already made due to a collection of new, real-time data streams. AI will help providers of organic SEO services optimize visual content better, target conversational keyword clusters, improve voice search, cut down on grey hat or black hat tactics, provide better user experience, create efficient reports, and make better informed decisions to their overall strategy.
Man vs Machine: How to Keep the Balance in Professional SEO Services
Google has said time and time again that their search algorithm chases the intent of users – a clear signal that providers of SEO services should stop chasing the algorithm. This means that creating content for humans still comes first. In this regard, your SEO efforts should focus on the wants and needs of your customers. While tools automate a lot of SEO processes, emotions such as human curiosity and empathy are still beyond the grasp of machines and AI. SEO professionals will not become a thing of the past under any circumstances, because these elements are unique to human nature. Planning a marketing strategy is also a uniquely human occupation.
However, mastering your SEO toolset gives you more opportunities to grow in the industry. Machine learning, in particular, empowers SEO professionals to reap deeper insights from larger datasets and gain access to far more intelligence than what could otherwise be obtained through manual analysis. Machine learning can quickly assess the changes of an audience’s behaviours due to major disruptions in the market, such as the recent experiences brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. With machine learning and other tools, it’s easier to recognise patterns in behaviour that point to opportunities and areas for improvement.
But at the end of the day, how you interpret and respond to those changes still lie within the domain of SEO and marketing professionals. Technology, be it tools or AI, cannot replace the analytical and creative human thought process and experience that effectively determine the right steps to take to respond to those insights. The people who provide professional SEO services in Australia cannot be replaced. In fact, they’re more important than ever.
The tools, technology, and AI used may be sophisticated but it is the people of SEO who drive analytical and creative processes that simply cannot be replaced by machines. When you want to ensure a truly holistic SEO strategy, it’s crucial to facilitate collaboration between machine and man.
Find the Perfect Balance at SEO Services Australia
Effective SEO is a balance between man and machine, working together to find simple answers to complex problems. If you’re looking for people who are familiar with striking that balance on a regular basis, contact us today.
At SEO Services Australia, we provide SEO services designed specifically to increase your brand’s overall online visibility. We combine in-depth keyword research using the latest tools in the industry with the expertise and experience of our SEO professionals. We’ve helped dozens of brands in Australia and beyond achieve the results they deserve – a spot on Google’s top rankings.
Talk to SEO Services Australia today and we’ll work with you to deliver creative and efficient solutions that will make your website stand out from the rest of the competition.