The evolution of SEO: how AI is reshaping content creation in 2023

A content writer writing content on their laptop
AISearch Engine OptimisationUser ExperienceWeb Design

In the breathlessly ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, an understanding of how search engines interpret your web site and web content has always been useful, if not essential, if you want to be found. However, the past year in particular has seen some big changes in the way AI is impacting SEO and our understanding of it. In short, the message is the same one we’ve always sought to share, which is to write authentic content targeted at your users but with an awareness of the trends and language people are currently engaged with. And if you run your own website, make sure it performs quickly with a design that works well across devices.



AI-driven NLP is revolutionising content creation, bringing a much deeper understanding of language to all major search engines. Google, for instance, is increasingly focusing on understanding the intention and context of both the user’s search query and of your content to deliver more accurate search results. Google’s BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, if really you want to know) update is central to their strategy – a powerful algorithm that aims to interpret the context of words in search queries. The good news for writers creating content with integrity, aimed authentically at your audience is, that there’s a much greater need to write words that people want to read. Packing your content with exact key words and phrases is looking very naughties and much less likely to deliver the search impressions it once did.

Understanding user intent is becoming a major tenet of the AI-shaped digital marketing world. AI algorithms, analysing the behaviour of users, can now better discern what people are really looking for. For example, if a user types “Gainsborough” into a search engine, they might be seeking information about the artist, want to visit the Museum or stay in the Gainsborough hotel. AI’s understanding of user intent is helping people find what they’re looking for with greater ease.


AI-powered content generation tools like Chat GPT are fast becoming part of the workflow of content creators. AI being able to generate full length articles from just a title seems hugely helpful, but it’s just as helpful for you competitors and there’s a genuine danger of content replication, samey articles and – as you’re probably aware if you’ve read some of the major mishaps content creators, writers and even lawyers have brought upon themselves by trusting AI-generated content – AI can simply lie.

A growing area of algorithm development for search engines is also its increasing ability to detect AI generated content in what seems like an arms race between search engine AI detection and AI generation. If AI deployed by search engines detects that your article is AI generated, it’s likely to be of a lower value for the terms you use than the content you write – or at least partially rewrite – yourself.

All of the above means that it’s really important to review AI-generated content, shape it for you audience, and crucially, make sure it works well with your organisation’s tone of voice and the language you normally use.


AI-driven predictive analytics tools are fast becoming indispensable for some content creators. Tools like BuzzSumo and Google Trends use AI to analyse vast amounts of data so that you keep up-to-date with emerging trends and popular topics. This means that content writers have tools at their disposal to create content that’s more likely to gain traction. So, if a predictive tool reveals that mentions of “fixie (one speed) bicycles” are on the rise, perhaps it’s time for your bike building business to, if not to actually make a fixie, write some content explaining why fixies might not be a good solution for the hilly terrain of Bristol.


AI’s role in determining search engine ranking factors is also growing. When search engines first began appearing, they focused strongly in small amounts of metadata in the head of your page. Today, machine learning models assess hundreds of variables to rank web pages and variables that go way beyond your content. This has led to a greater emphasis on user experience, page loading speed, and mobile-friendliness. We’re clearly biased, but it makes it more important than ever to have a website that works well with responsive cross-device design, considered content design and uses caching tools with modern graphics formats to make for faster page loads. Tools like Lighthouse (which you can use with in Google Chrome to measure your website’s performance) are a useful way to see how your website is doing.

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