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Search Generative Experience (SGE)

Search Generative Experience (SGE)

Search Generative Experience (SGE)

Google is firing on all cylinders to develop a new way to deliver AI-driven answers to queries. They call it Search Generative Experience (SGE). In this piece, we will review all you need to know about SGE and how you can be prepared before the roll-out.

Interest in AI searches is booming 

Over the last year, interest in AI has exploded, as businesses across the world are implementing it. Statista, a global online platform, performed a survey in 2023 which demonstrated that AI-driven search engine experiences were the most requested AI feature.

A key point of focus for Google

Google itself has issued a statement emphasizing the importance of AI for their enterprise and how they have been an “AI-First Company” over the last eight years. One of their goals has been to transform the search experience in a more interactive direction and ensure that users are not merely served passive information. Hence their new feature, SGE. 

What is SGE? 

SGE is currently an experiment run by Google under their Search Labs umbrella, where they test various search features. They create AI-generated responses to user queries and the responses are currently ranked at the top of the search engine results. This data is taken from the best-ranked organic results for the given query.

You can see an example of an SGE answer below:

You can ask follow-up questions

Similar to any of the familiar chat bots, users will be able to ask follow-up questions in the browser by using SGE. As a result, this will reduce the need to navigate to external pages for more detailed information.

Dynamic search results

SGE generates dynamic search results on the basis of the search intent. The results can be shown in various content formats including blogs, company listings, ratings and reviews as well as images and videos. According to Google, SGE will be particularly valued by younger audiences (age 18-24), as they tend to prefer interactive platforms with diverse forms of content.

What are the implications of SGE for SEO? 

Although it’s difficult to predict the exact effects of SGE on external sites, there might be a risk that organic search results will receive less clicks, when answers are provided straight on the search engine. 

Featured Snippets

Google’s Featured Snippets (the concise answers at the top of the search results) has influenced the click frequency on the remaining organic listings, since 2015 where it has appeared on various formats. The implementation of Featured Snippets can decrease the CTR for the organic pos. 1 by almost a third, according to data from Sistrix.

Another point of concern regards how SGE will reward authoritative sites as sources, which will reduce the visibility and space for smaller sites.

Is it possible to prepare yourself? 

There are currently no definitive best practices for optimizing towards SGE. By the time it is introduced, it will be crucial to note which type of content and questions are rewarded by SGE and adapt your content accordingly. It’s also worth noting that SGE answers are not static and change each time a query is made.

A few things to keep in mind: 

  1. Make sure to have structured data in place to describe the content for the search engines.
  2. Make sure that your images are optimized in terms of subject, resolution and alt-texts.
  3. By achieving a high organic ranking on your important keywords already, you will likely be increasing the probability of SGE using your data in its answers and that your site will be used as a source.

SGE will transform how we search

Once the SGE is fully rolled out, it will certainly take time to be widely adopted, but there is no doubt that it will radically change the way we search… It’s just a matter of time.

FAQ

Will SGE affect SEO work?

SEO efforts will need to be adapted to respond to the SGE’s capacity to understand and process natural language and advanced software analytics. This means that traditional keyword optimization needs to be complemented by building content that clearly and authoritatively answers the questions that users may have. Understanding and optimizing for user intent is also increasingly important.

What are the implications of Search Generative Experience (SGE) for the future of search results?

SGE is set to revolutionize search results by offering powerfully generated and personalized answers to search queries. Instead of presenting a list of links, SGE will give users direct answers based on the AI’s understanding of the underlying intent of the query and available data.

What can I do now to prepare for the launch of the SGE?

To prepare for SGE, you can start by ensuring that your content is detailed, relevant and, above all, adds value to the user. Work on improving the user experience of a page so that visitors can easily find what they are looking for and will be inclined stay longer. Focus on mobile optimization, page speed and structured data to ensure your website is technically ready for new AI-driven technologies. In addition, you can experiment with new content formats, such as more detailed FAQ sections, long-form and insightful content, as well as video and other multimedia elements that can boost engagement.