Does AI Help or Hurt SEO? 7 Important Things You Need to Know in 2020

By: | June 18, 2020 | Tags: , , , , ,

What are the goals of artificial intelligence?

Clearly, the goals of AI are to help us.

This goes without question.

Yet, there are many disadvantages of artificial intelligence.

In fact, recently, on an episode of Shark Tank, one of the sharks, Lori Greiner, insisted there is too much technology in society and refused to fund an invention that used AI on those grounds.

Guest author Irfan Ak points out the goals of artificial intelligence in SEO while at the same time making the disadvantages of artificial intelligence in SEO all too clear.

7 Ways in Which AI is Transforming SEO

Irfan Ak


Artificial intelligence and machine learning have transformed every facet of our lives. Search engine optimization is no exception to this rule. SEO trends are rapidly evolving. This is quite evident from the constantly changing search engine algorithms which make life difficult for search marketers. Gone are the days when you can stuff your content with keywords and secure a top spot on search results. It is not that easy anymore.

Today’s search engines are smarter than ever before especially, after the advent of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Just like in app development, the main focus is on fulfilling user intent, relevancy, and authority along with hundreds of different ranking factors before ranking web pages. If you are interested in knowing how artificial intelligence will impact SEO, then you are in the right place.

In this article, you will learn about seven ways in which artificial intelligence is transforming search engine optimization. 

By the time you’re done reading this post, you will know the advantages and disadvantages of artificial intelligence in SEO. Then, you can decide if the beneficial goals of artificial intelligence outweigh the disadvantages of artificial intelligence.

Let’s begin by learning the goals of artificial intelligence.

What are the goals of artificial intelligence in SEO?

Goals of Artificial Intelligence

Better User Experience

The sole purpose of all these algorithm updates is to deliver a better user experience. Search engines like Google are more focused on giving searchers the information they are looking for while keeping them on their website. Due to this, Google has introduced several new features such as rich snippets, knowledge graph and more. 

Users get the answers there and then they do not have to click on any search listing, which improves their user experience. On the other hand, this is bad news for businesses as their organic reach is declining because users are not clicking on their search results. According to a study, more than 50% of Google searches end without a click.

Instead of striving to rank on the first page of Google, businesses should look to get featured on these snippets and knowledge graphs. For that, they will have to fulfill user intent and tailor their content in such a way that it answers user queries. In short, they should start putting users first and think from a user perspective.

Host blogger’s comments: Irfan points out one of the disadvantages of blogging. Since the start of Featured Snippets, people can find the answers to their search queries without clicking on a blog post. Therefore, Google’s Featured Snippets boxes cost bloggers traffic.


Featured Snippets

If someone Googled, “What Ubersuggest alternatives can I use?” The answers appear on the screen. People see the answers and don’t have to click the Mostly Blogging link which results in less traffic for me.


RankBrain is a part of Google core algorithm that it uses to rank web pages. It uses machine learning to understand the meaning of a searcher’s query. In fact, it can also identify the context behind a searcher query and deliver appropriate results.

This means that Google now looks far beyond exact match keywords and focuses on synonyms and related phrases and words. This will force search marketers to shift their focus from keywords to related key terms. 

This allows it to deliver better results even if you type in a long and complex query as it can now understand the context and simplifies the query before fetching the results.

We might see other search engines leverage machine learning to develop a better understanding of searchers’ queries so they can deliver the results users are looking for and fulfill a searcher’s intent. 

Content and Link Quality

With Google investing heavily in artificial intelligence and machine learning, we might see its applications going far beyond RankBrain. Search engines like Google will use artificial intelligence and machine learning to evaluate the quality of content as well as the quality of links created by search marketers. 

Content and links are two important pillars of most SEO strategies. With search engines judging pages based on page and domain level authority and trustworthiness, digital marketers will have to acquire backlinks from authoritative websites in order to rank higher in search engine ranking pages.

Professionally written content backed up with facts and figures from reputable sources will also rank higher.


Search results tend to vary significantly from location to location. If you search for the same query in two different locations, your search results will vary.

Search engines also analyze searcher history and demographic information to show personalized results to users. In the future, we might see search engines using artificial intelligence to make intensive predictions about users based on their search data and history. 

This means that the day when we will see predictive searches and recommend searches before we even need is not far away. An internet marketing specialist needs to understand that and can capitalize on this opportunity to gain a competitive advantage.

Unfortunately, search engines usually tend to stay tight-lipped about these advancements so search marketers might have a hard time optimizing their content for these queries.

Smart Results

Google is no longer just a search engine. It is now directly competing with businesses. How? By keeping users on Google. It has made drastic changes and introduced new features so they can provide information users are looking for on search results. Knowledge graph and different types of features snippets are the best example of that. 

Moreover, Google is also featuring videos and even podcasts thanks to natural language processing capabilities. This means that search engine ranking pages no longer consist of only organic results.

This increases the competition and makes it harder for businesses relying only on organic results to rank on Google but it also provides them the opportunity to adapt to changes and optimize their content in such a way that it gets featured in rich snippets and knowledge graphs.

Related: If you’re interested in smart tools, you might be interested in smart blogging gadgets.

Real-Time Changes

What makes artificial intelligence special is its ability to analyze large data sets quickly. With Google using AI to its full potential, we might see more frequent algorithm updates. Unlike the past, these updates might be smaller in nature, but they will become more frequent. Back in the day, the frequency of updates especially major updates tends to be lower and we used to see major updates after six months. This will no longer be the case.

AI Content Generators

Artificial intelligence will not only be used by search engines. It will also be used by search marketers. We might see more and more search marketers using AI-powered content generators. Even though the content produced and distributed through these AI-based content generators (also called “AIbots”) falls short when it comes to quality and needs some more time to mimic content produced by humans but the pace at which artificial intelligence is evolving, we might see this happening very soon. 

How will advancement in artificial intelligence and machine learning transform search engine optimization? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Related: Articoolo, the Writing Robot, generates content.

Author Bio:

Irfan Ak is a digital marketing manager of Branex, a Toronto web design company & a guest blogger on various websites. He has worked with various other brands and created value for them.

Wrapping Up: Goals of Artificial Intelligence and Disadvantages of Artificial Intelligence

Host blogger’s comments:

Readers, Irfan raises interesting points. While the goals of artificial intelligence in SEO are clearly to help the search engine user, does AI in SEO help the content creator?

Disadvantages of Artificial Intelligence Takeaways:

If Google’s Featured Snippets box costs bloggers traffic, then is hurting bloggers one of the disadvantages of artificial intelligence?

Creating stellar content that matches users’ queries is no longer enough. In 2020, search engine marketers need to include data from reputable sources and build links to their posts after publication.

Search results vary from location to location. Therefore, the success of our efforts to rank on Google might change depending on the location of the search engine user.

Search engine marketers try to please Google’s frequently changing algorithms, but Google is tight-lipped about how to make those algorithms happy.

In order to compete, bloggers have to insert videos and even make podcasts.

Finally, bloggers might eventually be competing against AIbots, AI-powered writing bots.

I look forward to your opinions in the comment section. Are there more advantages or disadvantages of artificial intelligence in SEO?

Readers, please share so search engine marketers learn that while the goals of artificial intelligence may be to help us, there are many disadvantages of artificial intelligence especially in SEO.

  1. Shamsudeen Adeshokan

    Hi, Janice,

    Every good thing comes along with it, some loopholes, too. Technology is not exempted.

    Yes, your first point on the list is a very valid one. Ranking on the top (#1 spot) no longer guarantees the most traffic. Featured snippet kills traffic to the page. I have seen this many times, and it happens to me.

    Thanks for sharing, Janice, nice reading your blog today.

    • Janice Wald

      Thank you for coming by. I used to get so excited when I made the featured snippet box but now I realize it doesn’t guarantee traffic. A shame.

  2. Nikola Roza

    Hi Janice and Irfan,
    I think A.I. can be both good and bad for the web.
    Good in a way that it can streamline content creation significantly. Bad that it can be used to churn out endless machine-written garbage that can clog up the web in no time.
    Only time will tell, but I think smart marketers are going to start considering how to incorporate AI into their processes.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Nikola,
      Great to see you here. Thanks for adding to the discussion. AI can contribute content, but it will be voice-less, without personality. That takes the human touch.
      I responded to your email, by the way.

  3. Mac

    Yes absolutely right,
    New AI Algotrithms are changing the way SEO is being done on search engines. One Example is Google Tranlator which has improved a lot in last couple of years and now due to latest AI technology it can tranlate content from one language to another in a very efficient manner with 100% accuracy.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Mac,
      Thanks for contributing to the discussion with your excellent example.

  4. amit Kumar

    SEO is a great way to rank on SERP’s. But for this you need some SEO tools that can help you a lot.

  5. bangla news

    I need automatic high quality backlink generation software. Can anybody help me about it?

  6. Acadru

    Artificial intelligence is playing such a crucial role not even in defining search query to provide better user experience but also in from future perspective is is going to play a vital part in human life.

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