The Next Era in Search: Unpacking SGE, Google’s Generative AI Search Tool


Diving into SGE - Generative AI in Search

Expected to launch in Q1 2024, SGE is the latest evolution in Google’s searching algorithm. Let's take a peek at what search results look like now compared to what they might be with SGE.

Immediate Observations
  • Secondary signals from Google, especially reviews on your Google Business Profile, appear to hold more weight.
  • Typing “public relations” into the search bar with SGE suggests more emphasis on local intent, which could be a game-changer.
  • Where have the familiar blue search results gone in SGE? Dive deeper and scroll on, scroll on.
  • If you click on the SGE result, The Creative Company, in this instance, the link only opens our knowledge graph in the right column. The link click does NOT take the user to The Creative Company’s website. This is your key takeaway.
    Potential SGE Impacts: What Does This Mean for My Business?

    Dive into SGE via Google Labs to uncover its implications for your organization. Presently, only non-Workspace users can test the waters of this beta feature. Reflect on these:

    • Does organic traffic from our website play a pivotal role in achieving our strategic objectives? If it's a secondary concern, you're likely safe.
    • Analyze your traffic sources. If branded traffic is your strength, fortify your Google Business Profile. However, if non-branded organic traffic is your mainstay, consider a deeper dive into SGE through tests and potential audits.
      Unsure About SGE's Benefits or Drawbacks? Here's a Plan of Action

      SGE aside, with Covid and TikTok, our average human attention spas are at an all-time low. Here are a few steps you can take now:

      1. Improve Content Clarity: Ensure your website’s content is clear, logical, and structured. Generative AI models are parsing content, so they'd more easily understand well-organized content. Utilize headers, subheaders, bullet points, and structured data markup when possible.
      2. Rich & Relevant Metadata: Generative AI systems might rely heavily on metadata to quickly understand and categorize content. This includes meta descriptions, alt text for images, schema markup, and other on-page SEO elements.
      3. Content Depth & Breadth: Focus on comprehensive coverage of topics. Generative AI might prioritize content that covers a topic in-depth and from various angles, recognizing it as a valuable resource.
      4. Know Your Users Intent: SGE could push search engines further towards semantic search — understanding context rather than just keywords. Tailor your content to cater to topics and context, not just keyword stuffing.
      5. User Engagement Metrics: A generative AI might consider user engagement metrics (like bounce rate, time on page, etc.) as indicators of content quality and relevance. Ensure your content is engaging and relevant to reduce bounce rates and increase dwell time.
      6. Regular Content Updates: Keeping your content fresh and updated might be even more crucial as search engines leverage generative AI search models that can understand the timeliness and relevance of content.
      Will using Chat GPT help?

      Ha! Chat GPT-4, the paid version, was not very helpful when writing this article. Quoting Chat GPT-4:

      As of my last training cut-off in January 2022, “SGE” as a specific term related to “generative AI in Search” is not a widely recognized or established concept.

      Yet, the competition is fierce, with Google, Open AI, Bing and others all striving for AI supremacy!