Quick Enquiry

Google Search Generative Experience: SEO Strategies To Prepare Your Websites

Posted By Gaurav | 02-Apr-2024 | Search Engine Optimization
SGE, which stands for Search Generative Experience, seems to bring revolutionary change to how search works. This AI-powered feature by Google aims to create a more natural way to conduct research. For more information, continue reading!
google-search-generative-experience-seo-strategies-to-prepare-your-websites

Google is constantly trying to improve its user experience. Advanced technologies like AI (Artificial Intelligence) have opened up many more opportunities for search engines to automate processes and improve the experiences of searches. Continuing its efforts, Google has added SGE (Search Generative Experience) to its search result pages. Although it doesn’t appear for every search query as of now, most queries (over 85%) show up an SGE response on top of all search results. Before diving further into this, let us start with the basics of Google SGE and how it works.

What is Google SGE?

Google SGE (Search Generative Experience) is an AI-powered feature on Google’s search result pages that allows users to see the key points of a web page without clicking on the page’s link. This program is aimed at creating a more natural way to conduct deep research on a topic. Instead of clicking through different pages, users can see all the relevant information on the SERP itself. 

Although ‘featured snippets’ were already there in Google’s SERPs, SGE is an even more advanced platform that provides a wider range of information to users, including relevant images, links, etc. Apart from all this, Google SGE also allows users to ask follow-up questions on the SERP itself instead of opening a new tab for it. This is howGoogle is trying to simplify research for users and streamline the entire process through SGE. 

How Does SGE Work?

When a user initiates a search, Google SGE shows an AI-generated snapshot of key information about the searched topic before showing any organic results. As soon as the user clicks on the top response, it generates more responses, which include links to related web pages, images, product descriptions, and others. Users also get an option to ask a follow-up question as well. 

As mentioned earlier, Google SGE is an AI-powered platform that uses an LLM (Large Language Model) to transform the way users interact with Google, i.e. the way they search for a query and receive information. It allows users to ask more complex questions instead of just simple search queries. The key element of the SGE is a colored AI-generated snapshot that is shown above all the organic results on Search Engine Result Pages. 

This dialog box provides a comprehensive answer to the user query by collecting relevant information from various web pages and sources. It also contains links to the references and relevant images that users may find relevant. It acts as an introduction to the topic and encourages users to dig deeper into the topic by referring to the source URLs or asking follow-up questions. However, Google doesn’t show this AI snapshot for each query. Simple queries that can be answered without AI support are handled without SGE only. 

Is SGE a Threat To Brands & SEO?

Although SGE is a wise initiative by Google to improve users’ search experiences, it may impact websites and their SEO efforts negatively. Let us understand how:

1. Cause a Drop in Traffic for Organic Listings:

As per a report, SGE results may show up for around 86% of all the search queries. Based on this, a 30% drop in organic traffic has been estimated. With SGE, some industries like healthcare, e-commerce, etc, are getting affected more than others. Although SGE response includes URLs to relevant web pages, research has found that more than 62% of these URLs are from domains that are outside the top 10 organic search results for that particular query. 

2. Higher Competition for Retailers:

Google SGE is highly likely to show product listings from the resellers or distributors of a brand rather than the brand itself. If your products are sold elsewhere, those resellers may appear in the SGE response of Google, which will impact traffic to the brand’s official website or official product pages.

3. Consumers May Get Frustrated and Leave SERPs:

In Google SGE, there are so many clicks that users have to go through before they reach the actual product listing page. This may lead to frustration in consumers. They might leave SERPs and choose to purchase the product from other marketplaces, where they can quickly buy things in a few clicks. However, Google is constantly trying to improve the SGE interface for a better user experience.

SEO Strategies to Appear in Google SGE

It’s quite difficult to say to what extent SGE will impact your website. Instead of getting upset about the loss in organic traffic, you must start focusing on how you can optimize your website content to appear in SGE responses. Here are a few important tips to consider:

1. Assess The Impact of SGE on Your Website’s Organic Traffic

The first step you can take in the process of optimizing your website for SGE is determining how SGE could impact the current organic traffic to your website. You can create a risk assessment sheet like the one below, which has been created by an international SEO consultant - Aleyda Solís. 

Identify which type of search queries show an SGE response and if that SGE response includes a link to your site or not. If yes, that’s very well. If not, mention the traffic erosion potential of that response. Also, check the source URLs included in the SGE response and try to add missing information (if any) to your web pages. 

2. Don’t Focus Solely on Keyword Research & #1 Keyword Rankings

Using Keyword research as the foundation stone of your content strategy will no longer work. You need to adopt a different approach now. Instead of using traditional keyword research tools, use search engines to find relevant keywords around which you can create content. By the time keywords are updated in these tools, those keywords are already old. You can instead focus on queries that you see under the ‘People Also Ask’ section or just type a keyword phrase in the search bar and look for search queries that appear below. 

Similarly, focusing on gaining #1 keyword rankings is also not that valuable now. As per research, most of the links in Google SGE responses are from domains that are outside the top 10 organic search results. So, even if your pages are among the top few results for specific keywords, that is good. The pages that are not ranking well in SERPs might manage to appear in the SGE snapshots. 

3. Use EEAT to Showcase Your Content

As Google is continuously prioritizing user experience, it is important to use EEAT (Experience, Expertise. Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) to showcase your content. Content that is genuinely helpful for users is prioritized over content that is just optimized with keywords and links to manipulate search engines.

In a recent study, it was found that most of the top-ranking results on SERPs had more affiliate links than informative text compared to the web pages having lower rankings. Probably, this is the reason why SGE doesn’t pick up the top 10 organic results as its sources as these pages are the most optimized for search engines. Therefore, it is recommended to focus on creating helpful content rather than just focusing on incorporating keywords and over-optimizing your web pages to manipulate search engines. 

4. Prioritize Middle and Bottom Funnel Content

As Google SGE now answers most of the top-of-funnel customer queries, you can prioritize creating content for middle and bottom-funnel. Customers further down in the purchase funnel are more likely to view content on your website and eventually convert into paying customers. For example, Google SGE may show results for keywords like ‘activities to do in Mumbai.’ You can target more long-tail keywords like ‘cost-effective activities to do in Mumbai with family.’ Such keywords will give you a better opportunity to make your content rank and attract relevant audiences. 

5. Protect Your Brand

When a user searches for your brand name in Google, SGE may show responses that include links to unowned sites. As the SGE snippet is not taken from your website, but it is a comprehensive piece of information that AI has created using multiple sources, including third-party websites that mention your brand, reviews websites, and others.

This often restricts potential customers from reaching your official website. To minimize this, you can optimize your brand pages like the ‘About-Us’ page, encourage your customers to leave positive reviews about your brand on third-party sites and use schema makeup to communicate information about your brand.

6. Keep An Eye on Algorithmic Changes in SGE Features

As Google has still not launched SGE completely and it is still rolling out, it is quite important to keep an eye on its ever-changing features. It seems like the features of SGE are highly dynamic as major differences have been seen in its responses even when the search queries were identical. There are plenty of changes happening to Google SGE every time. Therefore, it is advisable for website owners to track these changes and stay updated on changes related to their industry.

SGE Optimization Tips for E-Commerce Websites

There are a few ways, as mentioned above, to optimize your website for Google Search Generative Experience. As a major impact has been seen on e-commerce websites due to SGE, here are a few tips for e-commerce site owners to optimize their websites to appear in SGE:

  • Focus more on optimizing your product pages than the category pages. Use descriptive content for each page.
  • Use comprehensive schema makeup, such as pricing, descriptions, reviews, rankings, etc. 
  • Create supporting content around your website, such as buying guides, product comparisons, etc. 
  • Gather product reviews from your customers and also encourage them to leave your product review on third-party websites. 

What Can We Expect in The Future?

The first question that appears here is when will SGE be launched globally. It is still not rolled out completely in Europe and Germany, while it is already available in 120 countries, including the US and India, and in 7 different languages. No official date for the complete global launch of Google SGE has been announced yet.

Moreover, as SGE is still developing, it is quite hard to say how much impact it will have on websites and SEO. While some studies estimate traffic losses of up to 30 to 40%, some researchers still remain skeptical. The only thing that can be said now is Google SGE holds the utmost potential to change the entire scenario of how search works. 

What MadHawks’ SEO Experts Have to Say?

Looking at the prevalence of SGE results, we can say that Google SGE is going to have a huge impact on the majority of websites and SEO. Some industries like e-commerce, electronics, healthcare, etc, are seeing more negative impacts than others. Our SEO experts advise website owners to focus more on creating helpful and informative content based on EEAT. This will probably make your web pages appear on SGE responses even if they have poor search engine rankings. For any further information or assistance, contact us today!

FAQs

1. How does SGE impact SEO?

Ans. Google SGE may have a huge impact on SEO as it seems to prioritize well-written content more than well-optimized content. Most of the links included in SGE responses are not from the top 10 organic results. 

2. What are the benefits of Google SGE?

Ans. The most significant benefit of Google SGE is that it allows users to conduct deep research. They can start from a basic introduction, which is the AI-generated response of SGE, and further build on the topic by clicking on the images and reference URLs provided along with the response. It even allows users to ask follow-up questions. 

3. What is SGE in digital marketing?

Ans. Google SGE may impact important pillars of digital marketing, including SEO and PPC as SGE response is shown above all the organic and paid search results, which reduces the visibility of these ads and webpages. 

4. How do you rank in SGE?

Ans. In order to appear in SGE, you can prioritize long-tail keywords instead of top-of-funnel queries. Moreover, writing more descriptive and informative content may help. Instead of just focusing on SEO tactics, focus more on writing helpful content.

5. How do I optimize content for SGE?

Ans. To optimize your website content for SGE, you need to shift your focus from writing just keyword-optimized content to writing genuinely helpful content. Even if your content doesn’t rank well on search engines, it may appear in SGE if it contains relevant information.

Gaurav Yadav
SEO expert

Gaurav Yadav is a skilled SEO expert with over 8 years of experience in digital marketing. He specializes in technical SEO, content strategy, and link building, and has a proven track record of driving organic traffic growth for a diverse range of clients. With his expertise in various verticals, he can execute industry-specific SEO strategies for SAAS, BFSI, healthcare, lifestyle, and education.