blog post | marketing

Official POV: SGE and the future of the SEO landscape

Josh Muskin Team Photo
Josh MuskinHead of Sales & Marketing

Table of contents

  1. What is search generative experience (SGE)?
  2. How will SGE impact SEO?
  3. What does this mean for your website?
  4. Key updates to SEO SOPs
  5. Recommended actions
  6. Summary and takeaways

Talk to an SGE expert

Blog posts are great! But sometimes, it’s just easier to talk it out. Reserve 30 minutes with an SGE expert and get 30 hours worth of value.
Book a call

What is search generative experience (SGE)?

Search Generative Experience, as implemented by Google, represents a transformative step in the evolution of search technologies, integrating generative AI to enhance the overall search experience. This innovation redefines traditional search mechanisms by offering more intuitive, context-rich, and interactive responses.

Key Features of SGE:

  • Complex Query Handling: SGE enables users to ask more intricate and descriptive questions, going beyond basic keyword searches.
  • Quick Insights with Comprehensive Links: Users can rapidly grasp the essence of a topic. SGE provides succinct summaries or insights, along with links to detailed and relevant web content for further exploration.
  • Enhanced Productivity Tools: Within the search interface, users can now quickly start tasks like drafting documents or generating images, streamlining the creative process directly from the search query.
  • Conversational and Suggestive Interactions: SGE supports conversational follow-up queries and offers suggestions for next steps, making the search process more fluid and user-centric.

Google’s Search Generative Experience is not just a technological upgrade; it’s a reimagining of how users interact with information online. By combining the power of AI with a deep understanding of user intent, SGE offers a more personalized, efficient, and engaging search experience. As this technology continues to evolve, it will likely have a significant impact on how we seek and interact with information on the internet.

How will SGE impact SEO?

Position 0

Similar to how Google’s featured snippets (Position 0) currently operate, Google Search Console (GSC) will likely pull information for SGE in a similar manner. The content that ranks in this zero spot will have a substantial influence on the answers generated by the AI. This makes achieving Position 0 even more crucial as it could directly feed into the AI’s responses.

SEO strategies will need to focus more on crafting content that is succinct, informative, and directly answers user queries. This involves optimizing for featured snippets, FAQs, and other concise formats that are likely to be favored by the SGE system.

High-Quality Content

In the SGE-driven SEO landscape, the emphasis on high-quality, authoritative content becomes more crucial than ever. This shift indicates a move away from traditional keyword-driven strategies towards producing content that is deeply user-focused. Such content should address the diverse needs, questions, and interests of users, catering to various perspectives.

Visual content, including images and videos, will also play a significant role in enhancing engagement and findability. As Google’s SGE aims to offer comprehensive content experiences, integrating various media types aligns with the goal of providing a richer, more diverse search experience. This approach is especially important for capturing attention at later stages of the buyer’s journey, like consideration and decision, where engaging and persuasive content is key.

What Does This Mean for Your Website?

The introduction of Search Generative Experience (SGE) by Google is not just an evolution in search technology; it’s a call to action for website owners and content creators. Understanding how SGE impacts SEO leads to crucial insights on what your website needs to adapt and thrive in this new landscape.

Emphasizing Position 0

  • Strive for Featured Snippets: With SGE, achieving Position 0 or featured snippets becomes more crucial. Your website should aim to provide clear, concise answers to commonly asked questions in your niche. This involves structuring content in a way that it can be easily picked up by SGE for quick answers.
  • FAQs and Structured Data: Enhance your website with a robust FAQ section and use structured data to increase the chances of your content being recognized and utilized by SGE.

Committing to High-Quality Content

  • Authority and Expertise: Content that showcases expertise and authority in your field is paramount. This involves in-depth research, citing credible sources, and providing comprehensive information that adds real value to your audience.
  • User-Centric Approach: Shift your content strategy to focus more on what the user is genuinely interested in. This includes understanding user intent, addressing their pain points, and providing solutions or insights that are both informative and engaging.

Visual Content Integration

  • Leverage Images and Videos: In an SGE-driven environment, visual content becomes a powerful tool for engagement. Incorporate relevant images and videos into your content strategy. This not only makes your website more appealing but also aligns with the diverse content forms favored by SGE.

The emergence of SGE signifies a pivotal shift in how websites should approach SEO and content creation. The focus is now on delivering content that excels in quality, relevance, and user engagement.

By aligning your website with these evolving trends, you position it not just to cope with the changes but to capitalize on the new opportunities they bring.

Key updates to SEO SOPs at WMX

High Value Content

Focus on creating content that provides deep value, combining thorough research, expert insights, and user relevancy to stand out in the SGE-influenced SEO landscape.

Cater to Different Search Journeys

Develop tailored content strategies for various stages of the search journey, from initial awareness to decision-making, ensuring each piece aligns with specific user intents and queries.

Optimise for Engagement

Enhance user experience by optimizing website design, load times, interactivity, and incorporating engaging visual content such as images and videos.

Proper Schema and Markups

Implement structured data using schema markups to help search engines better understand and display your content, thereby improving visibility and accuracy in SGE results.

Top recommended actions to take advantage of SGE

  1. Optimize for Long-Tail, Natural Language Queries:
    • Shift focus towards optimizing content for longer-tail, conversational keywords that align with natural language searches. This approach is crucial as SGE supports more detailed, question-based queries, and the relevance of head keywords is diminishing.
  1. Enhance Semantic Relevance:
    • Ensure content is semantically relevant to targeted queries. This involves using related terms and contextually appropriate language to improve the chances of ranking in Google’s AI-driven search results.
  1. Create Diverse Content Types:
    • Diversify content beyond traditional written formats. Develop and optimize unique content types like personalized images and videos, particularly for queries likely to return such results in SGE.
  1. Focus on High EEAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness):
    • Produce high-quality content demonstrating expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Secure brand mentions across the web to enhance credibility and improve chances of ranking in AI search results.
  1. Invest in Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) and User Experience (UX):
    • As SGE may lead to decreased click-through rates (CTR), it’s vital to invest more in CRO and UX enhancements. Maximize the value of each visit by optimizing the user journey and increasing the likelihood of conversions.
  1. Monitor and Adapt to SGE-Driven Changes:
    • Regularly analyze how SGE impacts search trends and user behavior. Be prepared to adapt strategies promptly to stay aligned with evolving search patterns and AI-driven result preferences.

Top reactions from SEO SME’s

To quote Danny Sullivan: Because those who are making good, people-first content should be fine. So for us that means doing what we're doing. Not relying on AI content to bloat our site, continuing to write content that easily digestible for both people (and Google).
We will always have to do the basics of SEO well with the title tags, good ux, schema, ect because that is how AI sort of builds it algorithms but going over and above will be making GREAT content is what will produce the best results.
Because SGE is going to decrease CTR, this also supports the argument that more time needs to be invested in CRO and UX enhancements. Clicks will be much harder to obtain, so if we are actually able to drive those organic page visits from a traditional listing in a SERP, it's critical that we maximize that traffic as much as possible and make every visit count. Traffic volume is going to shrink with SGE (outside of our control) but CR and UX is something in our control.
Because SGE is going to decrease CTR, this also supports the argument that more time needs to be invested in CRO and UX enhancements. Clicks will be much harder to obtain, so if we are actually able to drive those organic page visits from a traditional listing in a SERP, it's critical that we maximize that traffic as much as possible and make every visit count. Traffic volume is going to shrink with SGE (outside of our control) but CR and UX is something in our control.

What to take away from this

As the landscape of SEO and digital marketing evolves with the advent of SGE, it’s important to recognize both the challenges and opportunities this change presents. By proactively adopting effective strategies and embracing these innovations early on, your brand can secure a strong position in the increasingly AI-dominated search environment.

Despite the rapid changes in how information is accessed online, the core principle remains steadfast: the creation of high-quality, original content that genuinely addresses your audience’s queries and adds value is more crucial than ever. Staying committed to this fundamental approach will be key to thriving in the new era of search.

Download as a PDF

Get all the SGE goodness in an easily digestable PDF. No form, no gate, just click & open the PDF directly in your browser. Enjoy.

Download PDF

Most newsletters suck...

So while we technically have to call this a daily newsletter so people know what it is, it's anything but.

You won't find any 'industry standards' or 'guru best practices' here - only the real stuff that actually moves the needle.

You may be interested in:

How to outsmart your competitors in digital marketing

How to outsmart your competitors in digital marketing

On this week’s session of The Growth Clinic, Camille Bosley (Director of Strategy at WebMechanix) shows you how to get the upper hand on your digital marketing competitors. Watch this session to get the frameworks, strategies and tactics to win....
Read this