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google SGE und ihre Auswirkungen auf die SERp

How will Google SGE affect SEO in the future?

Artificial intelligence is not bypassing the search engine giant Google either. Google is working on innovative solutions to integrate AI into search engine results. And since May 2023, the child has a name: Google SGE. The Google Search Generative Experience has been available in Google Labs since then and the first testers in the USA, India and Japan have already been able to try it out.

SEO experts are predicting major changes for digital marketing with the official launch of this new tool. In this article, we explain what is planned and what challenges and opportunities await you.

What is already known about Google SGE - All information at a glance

The dynamic world of search engines is being significantly changed by artificial intelligence. Here is the most important information at a glance:

  • Google will use AI in the future to generate answers for users.
  • The new tool is currently only available in Google Labs.
  • The US market, Japan and India can already test the tool.
  • Initially only available in English.
  • End of the test phase and publication in Europe not yet known.
AI snapshot with a Google SGE response
Image source: Google Labs

A lot will change for users in particular with the Google SGE. Once again, Google has focused its latest update on improving the user experience. In the future, Google’s artificial intelligence will generate an answer to every search query. This response answers the user’s questions comprehensively and clearly, with links to the websites that were used as sources. While several smaller search queries are currently still being made, Google can fully answer a complex topic with just one very specific search query. Accordingly, users are relieved of the work of researching.

Conversation with Google SGE
Image source: Google Labs

And another feature accompanies the Google SGE. In addition to the generated answer, the user can start a conversation with Google and ask the search engine further questions. The AI remembers the previous process and thus simulates a natural chat situation. The following answers are also always accompanied by source links.

Artificial intelligence in Google - curse or blessing?

We are currently in the middle of the development of artificial intelligence. While a lot has already happened, a lot will continue to change in the future. This presents both private individuals and companies with challenges, but also makes life a lot easier.

For users

The update to Google’s Search Generative Experience is definitely aimed at users. They should be able to consume information faster and more clearly in the search engine. Users who are already familiar with interactive artificial intelligence such as ChatGPT will definitely benefit from this. The advantage that the Google SGE can summarize websites in short key points will also save users a lot of research work.

Of course, information generated by artificial intelligence should always be treated with caution. Google has already announced that the Google SGE will not generate answers if it cannot find clear sources in order to avoid incorrect statements. However, even if the SGE’s statements are supposed to be reliable, it is always important to scrutinize the answers with a critical eye.

For the business

The new developments in the world of digital marketing have become even more interesting with artificial intelligence. It remains to be seen if the opportunities outweigh the risks. The extent to which you can benefit from Google SGE certainly depends on the type of website you have. In general, experts see a great opportunity for e-commerce, as products can be offered and presented to users in an even more appropriate and specific way.

However, affiliate marketers will most likely have to take a back seat. As users’ traffic is already being intercepted in the SERPs, the visibility of affiliate ads on websites will most likely decrease. The same problem occurs for publishers. Getting clicks and impressions on certain posts will become much more difficult. But no need to immediately imagine the worst! The Google SGE will change a lot, so you will have to adapt your strategy. Optimize your content for the Google SGE now and carry out tests as soon as it arrives in Germany.

Increasing conversions despite falling traffic?

What currently goes against the logic of anyone who has ever dealt with search engine optimization could become reality in the future. The comprehensive information provided by the Google SGE will significantly shorten the customer journey. Anyone who currently spends a long time looking for information on various websites will receive in the future all the information needed with just one search query.

A quick example: you are about to go on a hiking vacation and urgently need a rain jacket. At the moment, you are most likely making various search queries such as: Weather Dolomites July, rain jacket hiking vacation, rain jacket in test, what is the lightest rain jacket etc. You then gather information from various websites and decide on the jacket that you think suits you best.

In the future, your search query could look like this: light rain jacket for a 10-day hiking trip to the Dolomites in July

Google SGE will prepare a detailed answer that covers all your points. And not only that. Google uses the Google Shopping Graph to offer you products that best match your search query. The path from search query to conversion is therefore significantly shortened. If you can convince Google that you have the right product on your website, this could have a positive effect on your conversions.

So focus on bottom-of-the-funnel content on your website. And, this will be nothing new for you: Provide your website visitors with helpful, well-researched and quality content. That way, you don’t have to worry about your conversions.

Google SGE and search engine optimization = what does the future look like?

Google promises websites to place links prominently and offer even more link opportunities. Google CEO Sundar Pichai announces:

We are surfacing more links with SGE, and linking to a wider range of sources on the results page, creating new opportunities for content to be discovered.

But the Google SGE is threatening the traffic on our websites. This cannot be ignored. Users get to see much more comprehensive answers to their search queries directly in the SERP. The need to obtain further information on a website is decreasing. But this doesn’t necessarily have to be worrying. If you are well-prepared, you can even benefit from this update.

Here are the most important tips at a glance to make your website Google SGE-ready:

  • Focus on your niche, use long-tail keywords
  • Optimize the Google Shopping Graph
  • Set incentives for reviews
  • If possible, focus on local packs

Higher conversions with long tail keywords

Traffic losses are probably unavoidable, but it is not impossible to remain present in the SERPs and with users. If you are well-informed, you have the chance to make your website SGE-ready in advance. The answer here is “long tail keywords”.

Webmasters can use them to present themselves as professionals in their field and offer content on specific topics. The more detailed and researched the content on niche topics is, the more Google will reward it. As soon as your content is used as a source for the Google SGE, users will also recognize your site as trustworthy. With the prospect of users’ search queries becoming more and more precise, you have a great opportunity to make use of artificial intelligence.

The Google Shopping Graph as a key element

Bicycles for sale in the SERP with Google SGE
Image source: Google Labs

If you want to have an e-commerce presence, you will not be able to avoid the Google Shopping Graph. With the Google SGE, this will probably become even more important, as the AI will use your information for its generated answers. This is also announced by Vice President Elizabeth Reid in the Google blog:

When searching for a product, you’ll get a snapshot of noteworthy factors to consider and products that fit the bill. You’ll also get product descriptions that include relevant, up-to-date reviews, ratings, prices and product images. That’s because this new generative AI shopping experience is built on Google’s Shopping Graph, which has more than 35 billion product listings — making it the world’s most comprehensive dataset of constantly-changing products, sellers, brands, reviews and inventory out there.

For this reason, it is now more important than ever to present the data in the Shopping Graph in the most optimized way possible. This includes, among other things

  • high-quality photos
  • Videos, if available
  • Structured titles and descriptions
  • current ratings

Social proof is becoming increasingly important

As Google has already observed in recent years, the AI update will also focus more and more on social proof. Recommendations and reviews lead to good positions in the SERPs. Obviously, Google SGE does not want to suggest products to its users that may not be good. Good reviews are the be-all and end-all here. If you’re not already doing so, incentivize reviews on your website now, send your customers a newsletter to rate your products after purchase, etc.

Local SEO benefits from the update

The so-called Local Packs, which contain brief information on companies nearby, will also receive a further push forward with the Google SGE. According to an analysis by SearchEngineJournal, a third of all Google SGE results contain a Local Pack. Here too, companies can now start to take action by creating new local packs and optimizing their local SEO. Here are some simple tips for optimizing Local Packs:

  • Provide complete information about your business
  • Assign your business to the correct category
  • Describe your business in detail including services, products etc. and give your customers a good idea of what to expect.
  • Upload quality photos and videos
  • Maintain your reviews: Encourage reviews and get in touch with your clientele by responding to them.
  • Make use of Google Posts
  • Activate the messaging tool to communicate directly with your customers.

Google Gemini and the Search Generative Experience

Just seven months after the announcement of the Google SGE, the search engine’s developers announced Google Gemini in December.

While Microsoft also integrated artificial intelligence into its Bing search engine shortly after the release of Open AI’s ChatGPT platform, Google had to follow suit. This was followed shortly afterward by Google Bard, which was quickly criticized for making incorrect statements. For a long time, this Google tool was not as well-developed as its biggest competitor from Open AI.

However, with the large amount of data that Google owes to its market power, the search engine was able to catch up in the following months. In the blog post from December 6, 2023, Google presents the Gemini artificial intelligence, which is said to be a lot ahead of its biggest competitor, GPT-4. This AI was tested in 57 subjects, such as mathematics, law, coding, history, etc., and outperformed the competition almost every time. Google DeepMind goes into detail here and shows various ways in which this artificial intelligence can be used. Gemini has already been integrated into Google Bard and is said to provide faster and better results. It is therefore to be expected that Gemini will also find its place in Google’s Search Generative Experience.

Prepare for Google SGE now

Although there is no information yet on when the Google Generative Search Experience will be released in Europe, it is important to make some preparations now. Always keep the latest developments in mind in your SEO strategy and look for new solutions. The extent to which this update will change traffic and conversions will become clear as soon as it will be completely published. Then it will be important to test out the new opportunities as much as possible and thus develop the best strategies.

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Lisa Winkelmann

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