Machine learning in the search industry is alive and well with RankBrain allowing Google to better understand the context and the relevance of the words used for searching. RankBrain is how Google interprets user intent — the basis and mandate of all smart content marketing strategies today. Machine-learning technology assists the Google algorithm to understand new words and the context behind new queries. The more search marketers understand this, the easier it is to meet the relevancy, informational and contextual needs of the searcher as identified by Google.
In its simplest form, machine-learning technology processes massive data sets seeking out patterns in the data. Yet, this technology has experienced a lot of pushback by people who believe machine learning will snatch away many people’s employment, but this is unlikely. Consider this whitepaper, which estimates that by 2025 each of us will have a data interaction every 18 seconds. That’s an incredible amount of usable data. The tracking of these interactions is the user behavior data most search marketers would find invaluable. But the data created from these interactions is too large of an amount for any human to sift through.
Search engine optimization (SEO) reaches into all corners of an organization’s activities in the business world. There’s top-heavy pressure on search professionals to understand and make use of the data that we have at our fingertips.
Further to that, data needs to be categorized before it’s applied in any context. For example, rich data can help you predict your consumers’ behavior, big data helps you track and predict trends and raw data can give you the insights you need to streamline processes.
But working through massive data sets to derive insights you can turn into actions is an enormous task. Enter machine-learning tools. SEO professionals who embrace machine learning are setting themselves up for success. There are quick wins to be had even before the work starts. For instance, if you can enhance your search strategy’s performance with machine-learning enabled SEO tools, you have immediately increased your value as an employee. Also, while data analysis provides forecasting opportunities, machine learning tools can help you derive real-time insights and optimize accordingly. By embracing this technology, you help prevent human error and your team works with accurate data outputs.
Machine-learning technology is sophisticated and will provide a slicker, more streamlined process for any search marketer or SEO professional. However, it cannot replace the human element in marketing or sales strategies. The data identified as valuable needs to be used cleverly to drive search marketing efforts and optimization tactics. No machine can replace the power of the human brain analytically or creatively.
Check out this Harvard Business Review article Collaborative Intelligence: Humans and AI Are Joining Forces in which H. James Wilson and Paul R. Daugherty discuss what machine-learning technology cannot do. They consider three ways that humans impact this technology in every interaction:
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