How Google’s SGE Impacts SEO and What You Should Do
Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) puts AI front and center on your SERPs. This AI-powered search feature has the potential to reshape how websites rank and the way users interact with search results, which leads us to the ultimate question — how could SGE impact SEO? Follow along as we explore the impact of Google’s SGE on SEO and provide actionable strategies to help you stay competitive in this evolving search landscape.
Understanding Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE)
Google’s SGE is an AI-powered search feature that aims to provide users with a more personalized and interactive search experience. It organizes web results in a snapshot format, offering an overview of relevant information and links that cater to the user’s specific search query.
But SGE goes beyond traditional search results. Users can now ask detailed, complex questions and receive more personalized answers. Then, they can ask conversational-style follow-up questions, simulating a more interactive exchange between the user and the search engine.
Note that SGE isn’t currently available to everyone online. It’s only available through Search Labs.
The Intersection of SGE and SEO
With the introduction of SGE, digital marketers may feel the need to adapt their SEO strategies to align with this new search experience. But before you do, consider this: SGE results may be delivered in a new way but they still include organic results!
Per Google, “SGE is rooted in the foundations of Search, so it will continue to connect people to the richness and vibrancy of content on the web, and strive for the highest bar for information quality.”
While the full impact of SGE on SEO is still unfolding, we feel it’s best to revisit our top tried and true SEO best practices.
1. Emphasize Content Quality and Authoritativeness
Sound familiar? Implementing quality content has been at the top of every good SEO recommendation list for years, and that isn’t changing now. As SGE prioritizes relevance and authoritativeness, it’s essential to continue focusing on creating high-quality, valuable content that addresses users’ needs.
Additionally, building domain authority and earning backlinks from reputable sources are crucial for positioning your content as a trusted source of information. Instead of aiming for short, snippet-style answers, invest in comprehensive, in-depth content that covers a topic thoroughly.
SGE has been “purposefully trained to carry out tasks specific to Search,” explains Google, “including identifying high-quality web results that corroborate the information presented in the output. These models are used in tandem with our core ranking systems to deliver helpful and reliable results.”
What models? The same Google ranking models as before, and the same ones that prioritize content!
2. Conduct Comprehensive Keyword Research
Keyword research forms the foundation of any successful SEO strategy. Stay on top of emerging trends and search patterns by conducting regular keyword research. Identify relevant primary and secondary keywords that align with your target audience’s search intent. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and Moz to uncover valuable keyword opportunities.
Comprehensive keyword research is especially important for SGE’s conversational mode, which “uses AI to understand when a person is searching for something that is related to a previous question. It carries over context from previous questions to reformulate the query to better reflect the intent.”
To be served in these results, your content has to match the search intent. Speaking of…
3. Optimize for Long-Tail Keywords and Search Intent
SGE’s emphasis on conversational user experiences means that optimizing for long-tail keywords and natural language is crucial. After all, the internet is full of content. Make yours specific. But optimizing for the right keywords is only half the battle — it’s just as important to understand search intent.
What would a person have searched in order to find your content? Were they wanting to navigate to your brand’s website? Were they looking for product comparisons? Or were they hoping to make a purchase? What might they ask next? Conduct thorough keyword research to identify specific keywords that reflect the searcher’s intent.
4. Focus on Engagement and User Experience
Engagement metrics are expected to play a significant role in determining which content gets featured in the SGE snapshot. Ensure your content is easy to navigate, with clear headings and comprehensive FAQs. Optimizing for mobile and improving core web vitals, such as page load speed, is also essential for providing a seamless user experience.
5. Monitor and Analyze Performance
Regularly monitor and analyze your website’s performance using tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Track key metrics: organic traffic, engagement rate, impressions, clicks, keyword position movement, and competitor rankings. Constant monitoring can help you identify areas for improvement and implement data-driven optimizations to enhance your website’s SEO performance.
Will SGE Replace SEO?
Google’s Search Generative Experience will not render SEO obsolete. However, we can expect this AI-driven search tool to change the way we interact with and experience content on the SERPs. We’re long past the days of 10 blue links helping us navigate the internet. SERP features such as knowledge panels, map packs, People Also Ask, featured snippets, and more have delivered us information in new and unique ways — all in favor of providing the best possible answer to our search queries.
SGE will do the same. It will not replace SEO, but rather it will present quality content from across the web in new ways and allow searchers to interact with the content like never before.
As Google explains, SGE is “a customized integration of generative AI in Search that is rooted in our core Search ranking and quality systems, which we have been honing for decades.”
SEO is the first step to making sure your website and content are found within Google’s Search ranking and quality systems in the first place!
“It’s still early days for SGE,” says Google! While it’s tested and tweaked, you can make sure your site is ready for SGE by emphasizing content quality, conducting keyword research with an understanding of search intent, creating a good on-page user experience, and always monitoring performance.
Pro tip: You don’t have to do it alone. We do “everything search,” and can help ensure your site’s technical SEO health and content are primed and ready for SGE rendering.