In the ever-evolving world of digital marketing, staying ahead of the curve is essential. We want to shed some light on Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE): A significant development that could impact organic traffic.
While this technology is still shrouded in mystery, we’ll explore what we know so far and how to prepare for the changes that lie ahead.
What is Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE)?
Google SGE, or Search Generative Experience, is a new way of searching the web that uses artificial intelligence to generate new content and responses based on your query. This means that instead of just retrieving pre-existing information from the web, SGE can provide you with more tailored and informative results.
SGE is still under development, but it is expected to have a significant impact on the SEO landscape. SEO professionals are already trying to figure out how to optimize websites and content for SGE, but it is still too early to say exactly how it will work.
There are several theories around how SGE will impact organic search, both positively and negatively. It’s reasonable to assume that SGE might lead to a decrease in organic traffic of up to 30%, much like the effect that featured snippets had on some search results. However, the impact varies based on factors such as your industry, business model, and the types of keywords you target.
One crucial point to remember is that user adoption of AI-generated overviews will take time and if there’s no AI overview for a query, the impact on traffic is close to zero.
What We Know About SGE So Far
SGE is set to disrupt the traditional Search Engine Results Page (SERP) landscape by taking up considerably more screen real estate. For many queries, these auto-generated overviews fill the entire screen on desktop and require scrolling on mobile. If ads are added to this, either above or below the AI overview, regular organic results will get pushed down more than they do now.
Comparison between SERP layouts with the regular search on the left and SGE-powered search on the right
What’s intriguing about Google’s SGE is that it displays three search results, which doesn’t seem coincidental. Given that the top three results have historically garnered the most clicks, it appears that Google has extended this practice to the Search Generative Experience.
Screenshot Of Google SGE SERP
As seen in the screenshot above, the top three results remain prominent in SGE. Our interpretation is that Google’s inclusion of the top three results in SGE reflects their intent to continue highlighting the most frequently clicked web pages in search engine results.
This is because those are the webpages that have always mattered most, but as can be seen in the screenshot above, there is a link to more search results.
There are also some experimental SGE SERPs where Google embeds contextual links within the generated summary. Contextual links can be considered a win for sites linked within a summary because in general those kinds of links tend to get more clicks than image type links that look like ads.
If an AI overview is presented, CTRs of regular organic results might drop
It is possible that when there’s an AI overview presented, the click-through rates (CTR) for typical organic search results may decrease. If your website is well-ranked in the regular organic results but doesn’t appear in the AI overview, you will possibly experience a decrease in CTR.
This is an obvious outcome because content positioned above the initial view (above the fold) holds greater importance, both on websites and in search results. As is the case with any search engine results page (SERP) featuring various elements. The presence and positioning of these elements can impact CTR.
Things to Avoid
In your preparations for SGE, there are certain pitfalls to avoid. It’s essential to recognize the high level of volatility in SGE, meaning that the same query can yield very different results at different times. It’s also important to avoid investing too much time in models and frameworks to predict traffic loss, as these numbers can vary significantly.
Why do we care?
Change is inevitable, and in the world of digital marketing, it’s often frequent and significant. Rather than being reactive to sudden shifts in algorithms or search engine features, we believe in proactive adaptation. SGE’s impact on SEO is still unfolding, but by understanding what we know and what we don’t, we’re better prepared to navigate this evolving landscape.
In the highly competitive digital marketing industry, knowledge is power. Staying ahead of the game and adapting our strategies before our competitors do can be the difference between leading the way and falling behind.
SGE represents a pivotal shift in how search results are presented, which can greatly affect organic traffic and online visibility. Staying informed about SGE is our commitment to ensuring continued success.
As we delve into the era of Search Generative Experience, it’s essential to remain vigilant but not overly fixated. While SGE’s potential impact on organic search is significant, the best strategy may be to focus on what you can control and measure now. The digital landscape is ever-changing, and the ability to adapt to these changes with agility and knowledge will ultimately determine your success.
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