The next evolution in search and in digital marketing is right around the corner. The search engine and search experience have undergone many adaptations since the early search engines of the 1990’s from keyword matching and universal search results to the more recent voice search.
What can we expect next? Search Generative Experience, or SGE. Powered by the latest advancements in generative AI, SGE will provide users with more relevant and personalized search results.
In the continually evolving digital landscape, it is vital for businesses to stay at the forefront of these changes in order to seize opportunities, increase brand visibility, and stay ahead of competitors.
Are you ready? To help you prepare and optimize your site for SGE, we will cover:
- What is Search Generative Experience?
- What does SGE mean for your digital marketing?
- The potential impact of SGE on rankings and strategy.
- 5 easy steps to prepare your site for SGE.
What is Search Generative Experience?
Search Generative Experience (SGE) is an exciting step toward revolutionizing the search landscape through the power of generative AI. Imagine typing a question into Google and discovering a search results page that delivers a more direct answer that’s not only informative but personalized and dynamic. This is what SGE aims to deliver within the realm of Google Search. It’s not just a search results page; it’s a new way to explore and interact with information.
Users will still encounter the familiar web results they’re accustomed to, but the SGE result will be featured at the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) to deliver a more comprehensive and informative experience from a single search.
Generative AI models, like the ones powering SGE, are becoming exceptionally adept at grasping the context of queries, including the user’s intent and interests. This means that in addition to keyword matching and relevancy, SGE can decipher intricate questions to provide answers that are more accurate, relevant, and helpful.
Features of SGE
When a user types a query into the search engine, SGE will provide a snapshot that summarizes key information from the top sources with links to multiple websites so users can dig deeper if they want. Below the snapshot, users will be able to ask follow-up questions. The context is carried over from question to question, creating a natural, conversational way to search.
For commercial queries, SGE will get a snapshot of important factors to consider when purchasing that product. The snapshot will also feature purchase options that include product descriptions, reviews, ratings, prices, and images.
Users searching for local results will see an SGE snapshot with a map, five local businesses relevant to their query, and customer reviews for those businesses.
It’s important to note that SGE is not yet available to the public at large. Google has released a beta version, offering a sneak peek to select users on Google Search Lab. When SGE is fully released it will not only change the way consumers engage with search results, but it will also change how businesses market their products and services.
What Does This Mean for Your Digital Marketing?
The advent of SGE means businesses will need to pivot the way they approach content creation and strategy to make their brand visible to their target audience. It’s not just about matching keywords anymore. Understanding user intent is now just as important.
Businesses and marketing professionals will need to ask themselves, “What is the user truly seeking, and how can our content best address that need?” in order to create content that:
As SGE strives to understand user intent better, content strategy must evolve in tandem to ensure digital marketing efforts remain effective and user-centric.
Capitalize on Advantages and Be Aware of Limitations
One of the key benefits of SGE is that it enables users to conduct searches in a natural, conversational manner, making it easier for them to find products or services that match their needs. When a website is included in an SGE snapshot, it should translate to more qualified website traffic.
Moreover, SGE can increase visibility and click-through rates by providing comprehensive and informative content summaries in search results. Users are more likely to click on results that they can readily understand and that offer the information they are looking for.
To capitalize on these advantages, it’s crucial for businesses to optimize their websites for AI search engines, ensuring they remain at the forefront of this transformative search experience.
SGE is still being fine-tuned. In its current experimental phase, some limitations have been noted. For example, not all queries will generate an SGE snapshot. It’s often restricted to queries related to medical and financial topics (Your Money, Your Life content) and areas with data voids.
Another limitation is the potential for some search results to contain inaccurate or contradictory information, as generative AI, while advanced, isn’t infallible.
Potential Impact on SERP Rankings and SEO Strategy
It’s difficult to say definitively what impact SGE will have on SERP rankings and website traffic, but there are some effects that can be expected:
- Competition for top rankings will intensify.
- May see a decline in organic traffic. This can be caused by two main consequences of SGE:
- SGE snapshots will occupy significant SERP space, pushing organic results further down the page
- Users may not click on website links if they receive a satisfactory answer in the SGE snapshot
In regards to SEO strategy, it can be expected that:
- Search results will feature content with specific, helpful answers to user questions.
- Search queries will become more specific and conversational.
- Long-tail keywords will become more important.
As SGE rolls out, it will be important to create content that is rich in both keywords and intent and remains dynamic as we learn more about the impact of SGE on rankings and strategy.
Preparing Your Site for SGE in 5 Easy Steps
Even though SGE is still in testing, it is important to start preparing your website for its inevitable release. Being proactive and optimizing your website now means you can hit the ground running when SGE is released and stay ahead of your competitors.
Here are some actions you can begin taking now to prepare:
- Content Clusters Strategy
- Develop a strategy centered around core topics, sub-topics, and commonly asked questions on your website.
- Collect Reviews
- Start accumulating reviews for your products or services immediately.
- Encourage detailed reviews highlighting specific product aspects and why customers love them.
- Implement Schema Markup
- Ensure your website has proper schema markup in place, as SGE often draws information from these structured data formats.
- Create Engaging Content
- Focus on producing comprehensive, specific, and valuable content.
- Prioritize E-E-A-T factors (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) in your content.
- Optimize Content for AI
- Format your content in a way that’s friendly to AI algorithms.
- Consider using lists, tables, and bullet points, as they are more likely to be recognized and featured by SGE.
The future of digital marketing is quickly evolving- don’t get left behind! Professional Punch can help optimize your site with content that is attractive to both your target audience and AI. Contact us to get started.