How Facebook’s AI Can Affect Your Digital Marketing
26 September 2017 17:50pm
The AI is getting smarter. This line is often spoken with dread in sci-fi novels, but for digital marketers of today, it’s a cause for hope.
While AI hasn’t taken over the world yet, it is getting better at deducing the intent behind search queries. What this increased intelligence means for consumers are more relevant search results.
For digital marketers, it means we have to step our game up. Facebook is an excellent place to start. Facebook’s AI has already impacted social media SEO in significant ways. But how has it done this? And what can you do to get ahead of the curve?
Let’s take peek behind the curtain at Facebook’s AI science.
What is an AI?
As most of us know, AI stands for artificial intelligence, but there’s more to it than that.
Facebook and other companies such as Google and Microsoft are at the forefront of AI research and have already released AI assistants.
In the case of Facebook, you have M and the chatbot ParlAI (pronounced par-lay), both designed for interaction with consumers via the messenger app.
Here, these programs can answer questions, make recommendations, and conduct general search queries. The goal is to tailor each experience to each consumer.
It all revolves around the concept known as deep learning.
In a nutshell, deep learning is a complex series of algorithms wherein data is entered and compared against other data across a neural network.
Eventually, a conclusion is reached that simulates human thought.
As Yann LeCunn, director of Facebook AI Research (FAIR) said in a company video, “AI is an extension of our brains much like a car is an extension of our legs.”
This science may seem all well and good, but what does it mean for SEO?
Well, it means that niche marketing will play a bigger role in determining rankings and demand for premium content will rise. Speaking of which…
The phrase “content is king” has been spouted so often in the SEO conversation, it’s become a cliché.
But there’s a reason for that.
78% of consumers believe that organizations that produce custom content are interested in building relationships.
These same consumers will also be more likely to share that content on Facebook.
Quality content will also make you more valuable to Facebook, specifically Facebook AI.
On the flipside, increased automated understanding of content will lead to a crackdown on the bottom of the barrel.
In fact, Facebook AI has already started.
Similar to Google’s Penguin Penalty, Facebook has devalued or outright blocked ad-heavy sites with little to no content.
They’ve also begun a war on fake news.
During the 2016 election, teenagers in Macedonia created political sites featuring outlandish articles about Donald Trump.
One such article declared that Hillary Clinton would be indicted in 2017 for crimes related to her email scandal.
The story was completely false but generated over 140,000 shares, reactions, and comments on Facebook.
To curb this spread of misinformation, AI has also gained the ability to flag false stories confirmed by fact checkers.
This practice is to ensure only the best content gets through. As to what the best content is, well…
It’s no surprise that we live in a visual society. If you need proof, look no further than the rise of Snapchat, Instagram, and Pinterest.
With the advances in AI, Facebook and other search engines can determine what’s in a video or image and how relevant it is to the consumer. This new search factor places greater emphasis on visual SEO.
Like content writers, visual content creators now have to put more time into research.
This research can mean anything from photo credits to keyword specific tags.
In the case of video, it’s a little more advanced.
You have to incorporate length, a relevant thumbnail, and a keyword appropriate description in addition to everything else.
It’s extra work, but if you want Facebook AI to find you, it’s worth doing.
As text goes by the wayside, in place of infographics and such, the cutting edge of SEO will be visual.
Now’s the time to think of how to get that photo found.
Once you do, you may want to link it back to your site. When it comes to those links…
Pickier Link Selection
In the past, a common SEO practice was the buying and trading of links.
To rank, sites have to show search engines they contain relevant information. By buying links from other pages or linking to irrelevant ones, sites could move up on the SERP.
Facebook AI wants to make sure this practice stays in the past. We mentioned already that sites with thin content receive less value.
Well, links to those sites or irrelevant links will suffer the same fate. Organic link building is now mandatory. The AI can tell if users stay on your site and for how long.
You’ll also want links relevant to your niche. For example, if you own a site dedicated to baseball bats, you probably shouldn’t link to reviews on hockey pucks.
Yes, they’re both sports, but you don’t play hockey with a baseball bat.
The key to effective link building in the age of AI is selectiveness.
Find the influencers in your niche and link to their sites, that way Facebook AI won’t think you’re shady.
Of course, once you have the links and the content, you then have to go beyond computers.
Optimized Mobile Searches
We live in a phone first world. More people use smartphones to peruse the Internet than computers.
The same applies to social media.
30% of Facebook’s 1.32 billion users only use it on their phones. If you don’t optimize your site for mobile browsing, you’re going to miss out.
Then, you have to think about voice searches. Remember M?
Voice searches tend to be less concise than a typed search. They’re also more conversational.
The AI will decipher the meaning, but your site should be optimized for more conversational answers.
Facebook AI Wants to Eat Up the Spam
At the end of the day, better AI means the death of black hat SEO practices.
They’re not going to be duped as easily anymore, and the best way to get on their good side is to do things the right way.