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Using AI for content discoverability

AI tools are already helping publishers improve the discoverability of their content. Brian Alford, founder and CEO of Bright Sites, looks at what’s possible now and what’s coming down the line.

By Brian Alford

Using AI for content discoverability

Q: How can AI aid content discoverability?

A: The exciting part is that there is already a lot that can be achieved to enhance content discoverability and SEO with AI if used responsibly and in a controlled manner. Publishers should be naturally cautious but there are a range of expert technology partners that can help guide them through the initial set-up and continuous improvement journey.

There is a range of back office – ie. in the CMS – ways for AI to promote content discoverability including smart tagging and categorisation of content using real-time data from search engines including Google Trends and other data sources to enhance keyword research. These SEO audits and recommendations need to be displayed to the journalists in a way that is integrated into the content creation process in the CMS otherwise it’s another tool they have to log into which makes the process more time consuming and less likely to achieve the desired results.

Other areas that are possible right now are content planning for event based content, ensuring the content complies with the publisher’s editorial style guide, automated linking to other articles and topics pages, headline optimisation and identifying when existing content could benefit from being updated.

The ability to analyse entire archives of content across multiple formats opens up new opportunities, for example, turning print archives into digital text and video content which is good for SEO and content discoverability.

With GenAI content, content that has been generated by AI, it’s very easy to get excited by the concept of ‘free’ content and end up with sites full of low quality content that is not useful for the users, counters the quality journalism the journalists are producing and will be treated as spam by search engines risking the publication getting penalised.

Q: What will be possible in the future?

A: While what’s possible at the moment is exciting, what will become possible is even more so! The AI landscape is developing rapidly and some of these changes will be available sooner than people anticipate.

Personalisation, even hyper-personalisation, will become more advanced by using more data points and algorithms specific to each user and how they like to consume content, location of user, whether they are at work, travelling or home.

This means that each user could view the content in a different way and the publisher will be even more the gatekeeper of fact checking and content quality across multiple formats including audio, video and text and AI tools will be able to assist with these tasks, opening up the possibility of real-time, two-way conversations between users and publishers. This poses challenges for how to optimise content for SEO as what Google sees may not be what most users see, so the SEO techniques will evolve.

There will be more of a focus on predictive analytics and AI will become better at predicting future trends in content consumption. AI will be able to predict what topics and types of content will become popular, allowing publishers to create relevant content ahead of time.

Automated content creation will evolve so that it can be verified, fact-checked and be reliable. Enhancements in natural language processing (NLP) will enable AI and LLMs to understand the current pitfalls and quality issues that arise from raw GenAI at the moment as well as understanding what’s important for users and therefore search engines. This will lead to more advanced SEO techniques including voice search optimisation.

In addition, content discoverability techniques will become real-time and may enable content to be adjusted in real-time responding to how stories and events unfold and performance data.

The interface between journalists and recommendation tools will evolve beyond text and charts about what’s happened in the past into more natural chat experiences, for example, voice conversations with AI bots to interrogate data and dive deeper into the reasoning of the recommendations.

Three top tips

  1. Focus on content quality and relevance, and follow best practice. AI tools and techniques should be used to enhance and not replace the quality that we currently maintain by journalists through the ‘human touch’. Use AI to refine, optimise and automate tasks that are repetitive but the content should remain relevant and provide genuine value to the users.
  2. Innovate, explore and experiment. Publishers that integrate this into the development, product and editorial process early on are more likely to succeed.
  3. Partner with tech companies who focus on high-quality tools and understand the values of publishers, and who can embed AI tools and processes into the editorial tools that publishers are already using rather than adding more tools to the already-cluttered tool suite editorial teams use.

Brian and the other contributors to our AI Special took part in an ‘AI Special – Q&A’ webinar on Wednesday, 26 June. You can watch the recording by registering here.

About us

Bright Sites is a leading tech company producing innovative content creation systems for publishers including our flagship product, Flow, an AI-enabled publishing platform. Flow is a versatile, high-performance CMS with liveblogging, ecommerce and AI and automation workflows enabling publishers to take advantage of the latest advances in AI.


Tel: 07719 019091


This article was included in the AI Special, published by InPublishing in June 2024. Click here to see the other articles in this special feature.