In a world where we have instant access to information, Google, the search engine giant, has consistently pushed the limits of technology. Once again, they’ve embarked on a new journey with their innovative experiment, the Search Generative Experience (SGE). This ground-breaking project intends to transform the way people engage with information online by leveraging the power of AI.
In this article, we will delve into the world of SGE, check out its features and consider the potential impact of these changes on businesses and their websites.
What is Search Generative Experience?
SGE is Google’s experiment that uses AI to generate relevant answers to user queries. It incorporates features that blend AI-powered search results into Google’s search engine responses.
The SGE search results include a section of AI-created summaries, images, videos, and links, depending on the search query. Below the AI-generated summary, Google shows sponsored links, organic search result pages (SERPs), rich snippets, and the “People Also Ask” sections.
Currently, SGE is in the experimental stage and is not broadly available to users. Yet, this innovative approach could redefine how we use Google and raises various questions about the future of search engine marketing. How should website owners and digital marketers deal with changes?
At this point, we can only make educated guesses. Still, staying informed and learning about this technology will help us prepare for the future.
What Features Does SGE Offer?
The Search Generative Experience offers a variety of new features, including:
1. AI Snapshots
SGE leverages AI to generate unique replies to multi-faceted queries by collecting data from different sources. Google calls this feature a “snapshot.” The snapshot aims to offer precise responses to highly specific, in-depth questions.
However, Google maintains its commitment to emphasizing website content and ensuring substantial traffic continues to reach sites. This is excellent news for businesses that rely heavily on paid or organic search traffic.
SGE displays three links next to each snapshot, accompanied by eye-catching thumbnails. This level of transparency helps to build trust with users. Also, every claim is supported by external sources, a crucial aspect considering the concerns about the accuracy of other AI tools like Bard.
2. Vertical Experience
The vertical experience is designed to assist users with shopping and local searches. Since these searches have a primarily commercial intent, SGE presents users with a list of products. An AI-generated description, customer reviews, details on pricing, and a small picture accompany each product in the results.
When users click on one of the options, they can see a larger photo and gain information about various stores offering the product. Price comparisons, stock availability, and other helpful information are also provided.
3. Conversational Mode
The conversational mode responds to follow-up queries while remembering the search context. If users want to utilize this mode, they can select “ask a follow-up” or opt for one of the suggested next steps beneath the snapshot.
What Does SGE Mean for Websites?
Every update to Google’s algorithms impacts SEO, brand strategy, and how users search. Similarly, the introduction of generative AI into search could cause significant disruption.
Some websites might experience a drop in traffic, as AI could answer specific queries directly. But despite these changes, there’s a silver lining. Google values high-quality, authoritative content and will continue to honor it. Here are some considerations you should keep in mind:
1. Original Content Fuels AI Learning Process
If websites stop producing content due to a lack of traffic, it could pose a challenge for AI. This is because AI depends on content written by humans to learn and get better. In this scenario, the AI’s learning process may hit a roadblock as there will be no new content to train on.
2. Human-Created Content Still Reigns Supreme
People prefer to read content created by other humans. They tend to value the opinions and insights of experts, especially when it comes to reviews. To thoroughly understand a particular subject, it’s crucial to explore content produced by those with relevant experience in the area.
3. SGE Will Provide Links to Relevant Websites
AI snapshots act as a starting point for users to explore a diverse range of content and perspectives on the internet. Google will provide links to relevant websites, enabling users to delve further into topics they want to explore. This allows businesses to craft original, high-quality content that people will want to read.
4. Google’s Relationship with Advertisers
Around 58% of Google’s yearly revenue comes from ads displayed in search results. Companies pay to promote their websites at the top of Google’s SERPs. However, breaking the bank to appear below AI-generated results is significantly less beneficial for business.
Additionally, Google Network ads make up 11% of Google’s total annual revenue. Advertisers bid through Google to get their ads displayed on popular websites. However, if these websites stop attracting as much traffic, they will naturally stop bidding for ad space.
5. Generative AI Can’t Provide Answers To Every Query
SGE has some limitations in addressing particular subjects. This could be because there’s insufficient information or the topic is complex, sensitive, or personal. This presents an excellent opportunity for websites to create valuable content and fill in those information gaps.
6. Potential Limitations of SGE Results
Considering AI’s current limitations, these changes will roll out slowly to maintain users’ trust. Google recognizes these shortcomings of large language models, including:
- Hallucinations: AI language models can sometimes produce information that doesn’t align with facts.
- Misinterpretations: These models can misconstrue or distort the intended meaning of the input data, leading to incorrect responses.
- Biases: AI language models may perpetuate or intensify the biases in the data they were trained on, which could result in biased or discriminatory outcomes.
The Future of Search: How Should Businesses Prepare for SGE?
By incorporating generative AI into search engine inquiries, SGE enriches these searches with more context and information. Users can immediately see a summary of what they’re looking for. This could lessen user interactions with both organic and sponsored links.
This innovation means digital marketers and businesses might have to change their plans to fit with SGE’s AI-powered search system. To gear up for possible changes, concentrate on the following:
1. Providing Value and Expertise
In the era of AI-generated content, businesses with truly valuable and creative content can stand out. While AI can churn out a large amount of content, it can’t offer nuanced insights and expert knowledge like humans do.
Companies should strive to provide unique viewpoints and comprehensive knowledge in their respective niches to establish themselves as credible sources.
Also, sharing insights from industry experts and specialists can significantly increase the credibility and reliability of your content. This strategy strengthens your reputation, helps build a connection with your audience and industry leaders, and sets your brand apart.
2. Utilizing Various Social Media Channels and Content Formats
Social content is expected to become even more important due to its human touch and ability to showcase authentic points of view. This includes all the media people post on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube, and ranges from podcasts, webinars, and videos to written posts.
Social content provides a personal feel that balances out the mechanical nature of content created by AI, making it crucial for creating real engagement, trust, and a sense of connection with your audience.
3. Humanizing Your Brand
Companies can create an authentic and relatable online presence by showcasing the people behind their brand. This can be done through:
- Crafting unique “About Us” sections that spotlight team members’ backgrounds and passions.
- Personalizing content through signed blog posts, establishing a direct and relatable connection with readers.
- Sharing the expertise and stories of various team members.
By focusing on this approach, businesses can build genuine relationships with their audience, creating trust and a sense of familiarity in the overcrowded online world.
4. Content Optimization
Businesses should look into strategies for optimizing conversational search to make their content easier to find. This can include the use of long-tail keywords and natural language phrases. Generally, companies that adjust their SEO strategies to fit with advanced AI algorithms will have a greater opportunity to appear in search results.
And there you have it! We hope our article helped you grasp this novelty in the world of search engines. To sum it up:
- Google’s SGE experiment uses AI to reshape search results, offering contextually relevant responses and AI-generated summaries.
- SGE introduces AI snapshots for specific queries, a vertical experience for online shopping, and a conversational mode for follow-up questions.
- SGE could affect website traffic, but quality content remains essential for user trust.
- SGE might struggle with complex topics, and AI’s limitations, like biases and misinterpretations, present potential challenges.
- Businesses should focus on unique expertise, embrace social content, highlight the human touch, and optimize for AI algorithms to thrive in the evolving search landscape.
Ready to Take Your SEO Efforts to the Next Level?
Currently, the SGE is not yet accessible to the general public. It’s still in the testing phase, with access granted only to those who apply and get accepted onto a waitlist.
Since this is an evolving project, there may be significant changes as Google continues to improve its AI technology. Our dedicated team of SEO specialists is committed to staying on top of all updates related to Google’s SGE, so stay tuned for more of our blog posts on this subject.
Contact us and discover how our digital marketing expertise can help boost your online presence!