How will Google SGE

Impact organic traffic?

How will Google SGE impact organic traffic?

What is Google SGE, and how will it impact organic traffic? While there’s no definite answer yet, Curamando’s SEO specialist, Nicole Godor, lays out the hard facts and gives us a glimpse of what lies ahead and how you should adapt to stay ahead of the curve.

By: Nicole Godor on March 15, 2024 | Reading time: 5 minutes

With the rise of generative AI, Google started conducting experiments early in 2023 to enhance the search experience. Google’s launch of the Search Generative Experience (SGE) could mark the start of a new era in search. This article provides an overview of the current knowledge we, the SEO expert team at Curamando, have acquired surrounding Google’s Search Generative Experience. The content is based on the most recent official information.

As the Search Generative Experience is in a beta phase, the information in this article is subject to change as the experiment progresses.

What is Google SGE?

The Search Generative Experience is an experiment created by Google that aims to enhance the search experience with generative AI. Unlike similar AI tools, this experience is integrated into the search result page and allows you to explore topics in-depth faster. The experiment is available for anyone to test and feedback.

How do I access Google SGE?

You can access “SGE, generative AI in search” at Google Search Labs, among other experiments. This experiment is currently available on Chrome Desktop and the Google App in over 120 countries and seven languages. If Google SGE is unavailable to test in your country or language, you can access it through a VPN.

How SGE works

When searching on Google with SGE activated, you may see an AI-generated overview at the top of the search engine result page (SERP), including AI-generated answers. This overview will be automatically generated for specific queries. However, for others, you can choose whether to create this overview. In instances where there is a need for more quality and reliable information or queries related to explicit, dangerous, or sensitive topics, SGE is deliberately programmed not to produce any snapshot. Google labels these areas as “data voids.”

As of today, the information shown and the visual appearance of the overview vary depending on the search query and search intent. If you are searching for a product to purchase, for example, ”Dog cages for hatchbacks,” the overview will present a range of relevant products, complete with descriptions, prices, images, ratings, and links to different websites. This shopping experience is based on Google’s Shopping Graph, so you will notice that the visual presentation resembles Google Shopping Ads.

Regardless of the search query you enter, relevant suggestions for follow-up questions will be displayed below the overview. Additionally, you can ask your own follow-up questions. This feature is designed to facilitate further exploration of a specific topic.

 

Where does Google SGE collect information to add to the AI-powered overview?

When analyzing the AI-generated results, we found that SGE can create and serve unique answers without any overlap with the standard search results based on learnings from different websites.

The overlap refers to comparing the content inside the overview to the standard search results page. This is something we will explore more in-depth going forward.

To what extent will Google SGE impact organic traffic?

Various factors, such as industry, search queries, search intent, and the state of the AI-powered overview, could influence organic traffic. Let us examine two scenarios.

Scenario 1: If the snapshot generation requires user interaction based on a specific query, your organic traffic could be affected depending on whether the users choose to generate the snapshot and your content is not included.

Scenario 2: If your website’s content falls into the so-called “data void,” meaning SGE does not generate a snapshot because it lacks confidence in the available information, you will most likely see no impact as the SERP will remain unchanged.

How do I optimize my website to appear in the AI-powered overview?

The answer to this question is what we are all searching for; at this stage, we can only make assumptions. We believe various optimization techniques could be necessary, depending on the factors mentioned in the previous answer. Experimenting and analyzing the AI-generated results for different search queries relevant to your business could provide valuable insights and guide you on potential techniques to incorporate into your SEO strategy.

For instance, if you aim for your website’s recipes to be featured in the AI-generated results, it would likely be strategic to start testing relevant searches and analyzing what is included in the AI-generated results. For example, incorporating user reviews could be beneficial if they are consistently associated with recipe results.

Summary and next steps

Before and after Google fully launches SGE, you must experiment, analyze, and monitor what is included in the overview and how it is generated. With a deeper understanding, you can apply techniques to your SEO strategy that enable your website’s content to appear in the AI-powered overview. You can maintain a competitive edge in organic search by staying up to date with the latest developments and case studies.

If you are interested in a workshop, discuss this further, or if you have any questions regarding Google SGE and how it might impact your organic traffic, please get in touch with us.

About the author

Nicole Godor is an SEO Consultant at Curamando. She is a part of the SEO and Content team, working with technical SEO, content and external factors. She has experience working within both B2C and B2B sectors across various industries.

Get in touch!

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