'AI will alter the role of the SEO practitioner': How SEO giant sees AI, the future of search analytics and beyond

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(Image credit: Semrush)

With regular Google updates and the introduction of AI additions to SERPs, creating meaningful, actionable and valid data insights remains a formidable challenge. The massive Google leak that occurred shortly after our interview could make it even more complex. 

Semrush is one of the most popular SEO tools on the market and has been busy building more features that extend its reach beyond search engine optimization. We talked with Marcus Tober, SVP Enterprise Solutions, at Semrush about the challenges large enterprises have for data analysis and how AI is going to help SEO practitioners.

AI additions to search results create a new dynamic that can make visibility harder to track. Plus, having content appear in AI-generated results can take away traffic that might have otherwise been directed to sites. 

This is creating a shift as digital marketing goes beyond traditional SERP visibility requiring SEO professionals to adopt tools to enhance online presence across platforms like Tiktok, YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Interview with:
marcus tober
Interview with:
Marcus Tober

1. How is Semrush going about tracking the unending stream of Google AI Additions to SERPs? How are you monitoring these changes and how does it feed into your systems? 

Our company employs advanced tools like Semrush’s Position Tracking and Sensor to monitor Google’s AI additions to SERPs. For example, we track AI Overviews to see when and how our clients’ sites are featured. Position Tracking allows us to monitor site visibility for specific keywords, while Sensor tracks the frequency of AI Overviews across various industries. This data is seamlessly integrated into our systems, ensuring our SEO strategies are always up-to-date and optimized for maximum visibility and impact. 

2. What convinced Semrush to add another more expensive plan to its portfolio? How does that move reflect what's happening in search? 

We developed the Semrush Enterprise platform to cater to the needs of large enterprise companies that often require extensive data analysis and pattern recognition, which is complex and time-consuming due to their diverse teams. 

Built from the ground up over the past two years, the platform is designed specifically for large-scale businesses to enhance their digital marketing operations, productivity, and online visibility. Automation and smart insights save valuable time, making it easier to get stakeholder buy-in with the right data visualization and reports.

Our platform allows users to quickly generate and share visually impressive dashboards, facilitating faster decision-making and improved efficiency. This strategic move reflects the growing demand for comprehensive and efficient data solutions in today's evolving search landscape. It also emphasizes the critical importance of speed, accuracy, and actionable insights in optimizing SEO strategies.

We believe Semrush Enterprise is one of the single biggest points of innovation in the SEO space in the last decade, and seeks to increase growth marketers and SEO managers’ output and productivity by more than ten times

3. With the rise of AI and services like SEP (Semrush Enterprise Platform), how do you see the role of the SEO practitioner evolving and what's the end game? 

Similar to its impact on other industries, AI will alter the role of the SEO practitioner, shifting its focus towards more strategic and analytical work. AI excels at handling routine administrative tasks such as data analysis and pattern recognition, freeing practitioners to concentrate on interpreting insights, refining strategies, and leveraging emerging trends. 

The ultimate goal is to foster a symbiotic relationship between AI and human expertise, empowering SEO professionals to utilize AI-driven tools to inform and enhance their decision-making processes, thereby achieving even more effective and efficient outcomes.

4. I've noticed that SEP includes a marketplace for SEO freelancers. Can you tell us more about this and how it works? 

Our Semrush Enterprise platform offers a curated network of on-demand SEO experts and professional support. With just a click, customers can access top SEO talent for one-off projects or ongoing work directly within the platform. By eliminating the vetting and administrative processes, users can receive strategic guidance and tailored solutions in areas such as mobile, local, or technical SEO, ensuring their strategies are optimized for maximum impact and success. 

5. What does SEP bring to the table that allows SEO professionals to extend their visibility beyond traditional SERP into, say Tiktok, Youtube, Facebook, Linkedin and other proprietary platforms? 

The Semrush Enterprise platform is built on top of a scalable data management system, which allows customers to complement Semrush data with various third-party and customer-related sources. Sources like various Analytics platforms or Youtube can easily be integrated which enables a centralized view of performance metrics across multiple channels. 

These insights are complemented by competitive intelligence tools, allowing users to analyze competitors' strategies and refine their own approaches accordingly. The platform also features a content marketing toolkit for tailored content creation, social media management for post scheduling and engagement tracking, and specialized video optimization tools for platforms like YouTube, ensuring maximum online visibility beyond traditional SERP pages.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.