Recently, we wrote a piece about artificial intelligence. Most people will agree that they notice how Google, in particular, utilizes AI to help deliver relevant content and advertising to individual users. Google uses a program called RankBrain to sort through billions of web pages and finds the ones that are most pertinent to the user based on particular queries and behaviors.

RankBrain is essentially a machine-learning algorithm. What’s that, you ask? Georgia Tech News explains it by saying, “A subcategory of artificial intelligence, machine learning deals with the construction of algorithms that enable computers to learn from and react to data rather than following explicitly programmed instructions.” In other words, it not only reads the data, the machine also learns how to react to the data.

The longer AI is able to monitor activities and behavior, the better it becomes at interpreting the data and predicting what activity or behavior comes next. This is why AI is also expected to have a greater influence over traditional search results by improving its capabilities through continually updating algorithm processes and improving automation.

To put into relatable terms…let’s say that during basketball season, you never miss a Bulls game. And, on most of these nights you order a pizza from your local pizzeria. When you do this (although you may not realize this is happening) your phone, laptop, tablet and maybe even your TV are tracking your behavior. So, the next time you pull up Google it might deliver basketball stats to you because it knows you follow basketball. Or, it may even give you the hours of that local pizzeria you order from along with the capability to call right then and there and place your order. This is because it anticipates that behavioral habit you’ve put into place based on past phone calls to the same pizza place during the time that you are watching a digital cable provider showing Chicago basketball. This is a very simplified example, but hopefully it helps you understand how Google “instinctively” knows what you like.

The question most marketers are asking is, what will this do to SEO? We have that answer coming up in our next blog.


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