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Google SGE - The Future of Organic Search Results with AI

Flemming C. Lund

Head of SEO & B2B Marketing

With over 10 years of experience in everything related to Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn, Flemming is a true specialist when it comes to both SEO and B2B lead generation.

Google has already introduced its update; Google SGE (Search Generative Experience) - and with it, we are facing a new era in online search. It revolutionizes the way we interact with information on the internet by integrating advanced AI into relevant, in-depth, and contextually appropriate search results.
The technology is still being tested, but we will likely see it further rolled out in the search results in Denmark during 2024.


For most of us, the internet is a go-to when we lack knowledge. Here we seek out everything we don't know, what we are unsure of, and what we are interested in. It gives us all a broader understanding and a sense of security, knowing that we can always find the answers we seek.

And the traditional search is conducted through a variety of different keywords and methods of using them. Then, we are presented with a direct match for our queries and other content that may be relevant. This leads us onto websites that can provide more in-depth answers.

Herein lies the difference with SGE.

SGE uses generative AI to understand our intent behind the query, and from that understanding, generates informative answers that go beyond simple keyword matches. In addition to delivering a list of links, as we know it, SGE will offer a cohesive, direct answer or a short article summarizing knowledge from multiple sources to provide us with the best answer. This creates a more conversational and contextual search experience.

As a user, you will not experience a big difference in the way you conduct your search when you approach Google. You enter your search query in the search field as always. The difference is instead in the way Google processes and responds to your query, and how search results are generated and presented.
You will experience easier access to knowledge.

And this can be significant for SEO specialists, who now need to adapt strategies to meet the new way in which Google understands and processes queries and the way we as users retrieve our knowledge.

But it's not just the organic search results that are affected by SGE. The same applies to Google Shopping results and other forms of advertising on Google. If you work with advertising, SGE is also something you should keep in mind.


What is Search Generative Experience (SGE)?

Search Generative Experience (SGE) is Google's latest innovation in search technology. As such, it is worth getting to know, especially if you work with search engine optimization (SEO) and would like to improve your methods and thereby your results.

The technology has not yet been fully rolled out in Denmark, but it is expected to happen during 2024. Therefore, now is the time to create an understanding of the technology, so you can integrate it into your strategies as soon as possible - in that way, SGE can become a competitive advantage.

SGE uses generative artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the way we search and interact with information on the internet. It is an advanced AI technology, specifically Google's AI model called ‘Gemini’, that attempts behind the scenes to understand complex user queries and from them generate informative, in-depth, and relevant answers.
By analyzing and understanding the context behind search queries, SGE can offer more nuanced and precise answers than traditional search methods. And this means that users gain access to a richer and more intuitive search experience with more comprehensive and precise answers.

GE's core functionality lies in its ability to understand the intent of a search and, based on this, to generate in-depth, relevant answers without necessarily having to click through to a website. And this is a significant change from traditional search methods, where Google has primarily focused on keywords and fixed algorithms and often delivered ‘unintelligent’ and sometimes irrelevant search results.
With SGE, the search experience becomes more fluid and conversational, opening up a new dimension of user interaction with digital platforms.

With that said, SGE represents a shift towards a more dynamic and customized search experience that can better handle the complexity and nuance that characterizes human curiosity and the information needs we encounter every day.


Why should we engage with Search Generative Experience (SGE)?

Search Generative Experience (SGE) signals a revolution in search technology, and its potential extends far beyond current SEO practices. Thus, we may be facing some fundamental and new rules that change the way information is searched for and presented on the internet. Therefore, we all need to consider them when working with search engine optimization (SEO) in particular.
Here, an adaptation of current strategies might be necessary.

New demands will be placed on a deeper understanding of both technology and user behavior, as quality, context, and user intention become even more important factors for online success.

And this can cause concern.

For when SGE generates cohesive, text-based answers, does it mean that the content behind the many links suddenly loses its relevance?
We do not yet know the full consequences of the implementation of SGE, but it seems that you risk losing precious clicks from the search engine to your content, as Google attempts to summarize the information from your website directly in the search results. Therefore, it is important that you understand how SGE works and what you can do to optimize your content now.

Ensure your content is:

  • Well-written and easy to understand: Use clear and concise language that is easy for the target audience to understand.
  • Informative and useful: Provide users with valuable information that helps them solve a problem or answer a question.
  • Unique and original: Create content that stands out from what is already available online.

It needs to be in-depth and unique, motivate users to click, and provide more detailed information than what SGE can offer.
This includes offering extra value that cannot be easily summarized by AI, such as user experiences, detailed case studies, expert insights, and interactive content.

Thus, the focus should not only be on developing content that is optimized for various search engines; instead, the focus should be on content that is engaging and informative, encouraging the reader to directly engage with your website - that is the good user experience and feeling AI cannot replicate.

Moreover, it is still very important that the content adheres to Google's recommendations around E-E-A-T and Helpful Content.

And the same applies to the general web design.
Therefore, now is the time for upgrading and updating your entire site - content, design, functionalities. Everything must form a higher and well-thought-out unity.

But to bring the concern up again, "no".

Google will always indicate the sources used to generate the cohesive answer with links. This means that the user can be led to the various websites through them. Therefore, SGE can be a valuable partner. Not only will the websites appear in the search results we are familiar with, but they can now also receive additional attention when they are cited as sources in an SGE answer. It's a significant recognition that testifies that your site has high relevance and quality, as Google selects the pages that manage to provide expert answers and that generally have a good reputation. This can be, for example, through mentions on third-party sites and social media.


How will the Search Generative Experience (SGE) affect user behavior and interaction with generative search results?

"But what about the users' search habits?"

We have already learned to interact with AI.
We embrace the technologies behind artificial intelligence everywhere and make them a part of our daily lives - to ease work tasks, to become more efficient, and to challenge ourselves. Therefore, our search habits will likely also change as SGE becomes a bigger part of Google. We will probably prefer more conversational-like interactions with the search engine, and at the same time, we will expect more in-depth and contextual answers presented easily and understandably directly in the search results.

And we become quickly spoiled.

Thus, users' expectations will change significantly. We will demand more from the various websites, which therefore must continue to improve to remain relevant.

This may mean that professionals working with SEO, design, and conversion optimization will need to consider new ways to structure and present content to promote engagement and interaction. Websites may need more dynamic and responsive design elements that can better handle the varied user queries and thus offer richer and more interactive user experiences that not only surpass but complement the search experience SGE offers.

It's not about working against the new technologies, but trying to understand them so they can become a valuable partner.


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