In recent weeks, Google has introduced its highly anticipated Search Generative Experience (SGE) to select users, revolutionising the way we interact with search results.
This groundbreaking feature harnesses the power of generative AI, providing users with dynamic and informative responses directly within the search interface.
In this blog post, I delve into the key aspects of Google’s SGE, its implications for various industries, and the opportunities it presents for eCommerce sites.
Join me as we explore this paradigm shift in the world of search.
Understanding the Power of Google's Search Generative Experience
Google’s SGE, which was initially previewed at the Google I/O event, has surpassed expectations in terms of its prevalence and impact. Users on the labs waitlist were granted access to this new generative experience, which is now available across multiple devices when logged in to Google.
Notably, Google Pixel users benefit from an immersive and Google-centric mobile experience, underpinned by the generative AI.
The generative experience is particularly prominent, appearing in over 80% of all search queries.
However, it’s important to highlight that certain queries, such as those related to news and stock prices, do not trigger generative responses. The generative results come in two forms: immediate processing upon query completion or the option to generate a response manually.
Understanding the patterns of generative responses is an ongoing process. Health-related queries, for example, tend to have limited generative responses, while other queries like “brain tumor” yield comprehensive generative results.
Interestingly, the generative option is not automatically presented for most brand queries, but there are exceptions. Navigational queries, such as “LinkedIn” or “LinkedIn login,” also offer the option to generate results.
The Impact on Informational Queries
One of the most significant repercussions of Google’s Search Generative Experience is its potential to disrupt the organic traffic landscape for informational websites.
Established platforms like Investopedia and Wikipedia, which heavily rely on organic search traffic, are likely to experience a significant loss as generative responses replace the need for users to visit these sites.
The blogging sector is also witnessing a major shift as queries related to high search volumes and now generate generative results. Prominent travel sites like Future Fit Training in the UK may face a significant impact due to the emergence of generative responses.
Not only that, but citations are not included even when the text is copied 100% from the blog post. This is not generative AI because we enter the field of copywriting issues.
The Power of Real-Time and Transactional Results
Google’s SGE emphasizes real-time data, ensuring that generative responses are up-to-date and relevant. Users searching for information like “mortgage rates” are presented with the latest data, providing a valuable resource for financial decision-making. Even transactional queries, such as “mortgage calculator,” generate generative results, enhancing the user experience and providing a seamless search journey.
Navigational Queries, Shopping, and eCommerce Opportunities
Google’s SGE encompasses a wide range of search intents, including navigational queries. Even when searching for well-known brands like “Bank of America claims,” users are given the option to generate a response manually, ensuring flexibility in accessing the desired information. Shopping queries are also impacted by the Search Generative Experience.
While ads still appear in search results, generative boxes have started replacing some ad spots. This shift highlights a new opportunity for eCommerce sites, particularly those with strong coverage for free product listings.
With the SGE, organic links take precedence over ads, creating a favourable environment for eCommerce businesses. By effectively managing product feeds, structured data, and optimisation tactics for free product listings, eCommerce sites can capitalise on the increased visibility and potentially attract more organic clicks.
It’s worth noting that Google showcases different product listings at the top and bottom of search results, requiring stores to adjust their strategies for optimal placement.
Balancing Generative AI and Featured Snippets
Contrary to initial expectations, Google’s Search Generative Experience coexists with featured snippets. Featured snippets, still a part of search results, appear below AI answers when triggered.
This unique combination presents users with two prominent answers to their queries, offering a richer and more diverse search experience. From an SEO perspective, this integration provides publishers with continued opportunities for visibility and traffic.
However, one area that requires improvement is the attribution of content used within AI answers. In some cases, the visible links at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) are presented as the primary sources for the generative AI answer.
This attribution may not always accurately reflect the original sources. Enhancing the precision of attribution for exact match text usage is crucial for maintaining transparency and ensuring fair credit to publishers.