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What is Google SGE & How it Will Impact Future of SEO?

Saket Mittal

Learn How Google SGE Features Affect SERP & SEO.

Google Search Generative Experience With AI

Navigating the internet can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack with the abundance of information available. Finding precise, trustworthy, and relevant information amid generic responses can be tough.

Google knows this and has been working hard to solve the problem. Their latest creation, Google Search Generative Experience (SGE), uses advanced artificial intelligence to change how we search. SGE transforms from a simple fact-finding mission into an interactive, personalized experience.

In this blog, we will explore this innovative feature and see how it changes our experience finding information online. Explore the future of search with SGE & unlock a new era of user-centric, AI-powered search experiences.

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What is Google SGE?

Google's Search Generative Experience (SGE) is a revolutionary innovation to reshape how we interact with search engines. Unveiled at Google's I/O conference in May 2023, this feature harnesses the power of generative AI to provide a more personalized & efficient search experience.

Unlike conventional search engines that merely present a list of relevant links, Google SGE is designed to offer a holistic understanding of a topic.

It does this without the user needing to scour multiple web pages. This sophisticated AI understands search queries & generates tailored content that surpasses what traditional search methods can't deliver.

For example, when searching for "What is Interaction to Next Paint", Google SGE will craft the content for you. It eliminates the need for further clicks & finding the right content. You can check the web pages used to extract the information and further ask follow-up questions to dig deeper.

Example of Google SGE Result
Example of Google SGE Result

This new feature is accessible on all devices in 120+ countries and is available in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Korean, etc. However, Google will extend its language capabilities as the tool evolves.

Google has also actively sought user feedback to perfect the SGE system before making it accessible to other countries. The information they gather will be essential in ensuring the system caters to user needs while maintaining the quality of search results.

How Does Google SGE Work?

Google SGE leverages the power of Large Language Models (LLMs), such as PaLM (Pathway Language Model), to process & analyze vast amounts of text data. When a user enters a search query, SGE sends the query to the LLM, which accesses & processes relevant information from Google's vast knowledge base. The LLM synthesizes this information into a clear & concise summary presented as an AI-powered snapshot.

Google employs rigorous quality assurance processes to ensure the information presented is accurate, up-to-date & reliable. It involves leveraging automated algorithms & manual reviews to verify the generated content.

To be eligible for inclusion in Google SGE, content must meet certain quality & relevance criteria. It includes well-written, informative, and engaging content for users. It also ensures that personal or sensitive information is handled according to privacy policies & regulations.

Features of Google SGE

Conventional search engines such as Google & Bing provide users with a list of website links that correspond to their search queries. Nevertheless, this method has certain drawbacks.

For instance, it may pose challenges in identifying the most relevant results. It can also be time consuming to navigate through numerous websites to locate the desired information. Let us look at the feature of Google's Search Generative Experience.

1. Conversational Search: SGE enables users to engage in a natural back-and-forth dialogue. It allows them to ask follow-up questions & refine their search without having to retype their queries.

2. AI-Powered Snapshots: SGE generates AI-powered snapshots that provide concise overviews of complex topics. These snapshots summarize key points, links to the sources, images/videos to help users quickly grasp the essence of a topic.

3. Next Steps and Related Topics: SGE suggests relevant next steps & related topics, guiding users further into exploring a particular subject. It helps users discover new information & broaden their understanding.

4. Dynamic Web Links: SGE dynamically updates web links based on the user's search journey. It ensures that users can always access the most relevant & up-to-date information.

What Are the Limitations Of Generative AI in Google Search?

Despite its remarkable progress, generative AI in Google search still faces certain limitations that need to be addressed for further refinement:

1. Data Dependency: Generative AI relies heavily on training data. While this can lead to advanced modeling, the risk of biased or incomplete data can result in inaccuracies. Also, the data might not reflect recent developments, potentially leading to outdated outputs.

2. Contextual Understanding: Generative AI models excel at pattern recognition & text generation but often struggle with contextual understanding. It leads to irrelevant or misleading responses, highlighting the need for advancements in this area.

3. Bias and Fairness: Biases in training data persist as a challenge for generative AI, leading to unfair or discriminatory responses. Careful curation & data evaluation are essential to minimize biases and ensure fair generated content.

Google SGE v/s Bing Chat

Google Search Generative Experiences (SGE) and Bing Chat are both cutting-edge technologies transforming how people interact with search engines. These two technologies have unique approaches to delivering users with accurate & personalized search results.

The table below compares some key differences between Google SGE and Bing Chat:

Factors Google SGE Bing Chat
Self Awareness SGE often attempts to answer irrelevant queries, resulting in mediocre-quality results or worse. Bing Chat is more "self-aware" and knows when it can provide a good answer or not.
User Experience SGE results often retain a closer resemblance to traditional search. Bing Chat provides a more engaging and interactive search experience, powered by ChatGPT technology.
Links in AI Answers Google SGE usually only provides links in carousels from the sites where it draws information. Bing Chat is rich with links to sources, providing users with a comprehensive set of information.
Redundancy with SERP Features Results often overlap with Featured Snippets and Maps. Offers a refreshing breadth of links beyond the usual SERP features, enhancing the depth of information provided.

How to Access Google SGE Feature?

To access the Google SGE feature, individuals must meet certain eligibility criteria based on their country, device, and age group. As of now, SGE is available in over 120 countries & territories. This new feature is currently accessible by two specific age groups - those between 13-17 (only in the US) and 18+. It can be accessed through the Google app or Chrome browser.

How to Sign Up for Google Labs?

Once the above conditions are true, follow the steps below to access Google SGE features on your devices:

1. Open the Chrome browser on your device.

2. Ensure you are signed in to your Google Account with "Incognito mode" turned off.

3. Go to the Google Labs website and click 'Get Started.'

4. Turn on the SGE experiment.

5. If applicable, review and agree to the Terms of Service for the experiment.

6. Click "Try an example" to access AI-powered overviews and ask follow-up questions in search.

Google Search Predictive Recommendations With AI

Google SGE utilizes generative AI to provide an enhanced search experience with more accurate & relevant results. It impacts various SERP features, improving their overall quality & usefulness for users.

The experts at Quattr did a deep-dive on how Google SGE looks different from traditional SERP on both desktop & mobile for various searches. Here are our results.

Google SGE for SERPs with FAQ, People Also Ask, & Knowledge Panel Features

In traditional SERPs, FAQs, People Also Ask, and Knowledge Panel information are displayed in separate sections below the organic search results.

FAQs are often presented as a list of questions & answers within the organic results, while People Also Ask displays a list of related questions at the end. The Knowledge Panel appears at the right and summarizes factual information about a specific topic or entity.

Google SERP Results with FAQ, People Also Ask, & Knowledge Panel in Desktop
Google SERP Results with FAQ, People Also Ask, & Knowledge Panel in Desktop

When clicking Generate, Google SGE will answer your query using distinct sources. You can gain insights into the sources used for content generation & toggle the viewing option at the top right corner of the AI-generated result. It underscores the importance of delivering high-quality content aligned with users' search intent.

Google SGE for SERP with FAQ, People Also Ask, & Knowledge Panel in Desktop
Google SGE Results with FAQ, People Also Ask, & Knowledge Panel in Desktop

In the Google app with SGE, the generative AI response is presented first, followed by the sources from where data is extracted. After that you will see the knowledge panel, people also ask, and organic search results.

Interestingly, the sources chosen by SGE may not always align with the top organic search results, highlighting the unique perspective it brings to information presentation.

Google SGE for SERPs with the Local Pack Feature

When searching for specific queries related to local businesses or establishments, Google SGE provides similar answers to the local pack results.

Google SGE for SERPs with the Local Pack Feature in Desktop
Google SGE Results with the Local Pack Feature in Desktop

However, the top results within the local pack generated by Google SGE may differ from the standard local pack displayed on the SERP.

Google SERP Results With Local Pack Feature in Desktop
Google SERP Results With Local Pack Feature in Desktop

On mobile devices, the generative AI response aligns closely with the desktop, followed by the customary local pack & organic search results.

Google SGE for SERPs with Sitelinks

For certain queries, Google prompts users with an option to generate an AI-powered overview.

Google SERP with Sitelinks
Google SERP Results with Sitelinks

Clicking "Generate" triggers the creation of content sourced from third-party websites.

Google SGE Results for Sitelinks in Desktop
Google SGE Results with Sitelinks

The generative AI responses were mostly similar when searching on mobile devices. The sources were the same, but the copy was slightly different.

Google SGE for SERPs with Product Details & Store Listings

The traditional SERPs primarily focus on displaying the sponsored products, followed by SERP listings.

Google SERP Results with Product Details and Store Listings
Google SERP Results with Product Details and Store Listings

When users search for products to purchase, Google SGE goes beyond the standard SERP listings by incorporating advice on what to look for in a product. They emphasize providing comprehensive guidance & suggestions before presenting organic search results.

Google SGE Results with Product Details and Store Listings
Google SGE Results with Product Details and Store Listings

The mobile experience of Google SGE further augments this by generating advice & product recommendations, ensuring users make informed decisions.

Google SGE for SERPs with Sponsored Ads & Featured Snippets

The typical SERP results showcase sponsored ads alongside featured snippets, People Also Ask sections, and organic search results.

Google SERP Results with Sponsored Ads and Featured Snippets
Google SERP Results with Sponsored Ads and Featured Snippets

Google SGE diverges by omitting the display of ads. Instead, it incorporates ads from six sources, as mentioned.

Google SGE Results with Sponsored Ads and Featured Snippets
Google SGE Results with Sponsored Ads and Featured Snippets

The generative AI response from the Google app remains similar on mobile, albeit drawing from multiple different sources.

Google SGE for News and Top Stories

When users search for the latest news, Google SGE generates content from the seven most recent news sources.

Google SGE Results for News and Top Stories
Google SGE Results for News and Top Stories

In contrast, standard Google SERPs typically display top headlines related to the search query, followed by the organic SERP listings.

Google SERP Results for News and Top Stories
Google SERP Results for News and Top Stories

On mobile, Google SGE presents the seven most recent news sources, but some news was simultaneously different for the same query.

Google SGE Results for News and Top Stories in Mobile
Google SGE Results for News and Top Stories in Mobile

This integration of Google SGE with news-related queries emphasizes real-time updates and diverse news sources.

Google SGE for SERPs with Images

In certain queries, such as "Wikipedia logo," Google SGE responds with a definition sourced from articles around the web. It is followed by other relevant information about their logo & the images of their logo.

Google SGE Results with Images
Google SGE Results with Images

On the other hand, standard Google search results start with the Wikipedia website and show the logo in the knowledge panel.

Google SERP Results with Images
Google SERP Results with Images

The generative AI response on mobile resembles this behavior, providing a definition and other related information about their logos. It is followed by images and the typical SERP listings, including the People Also Ask.

Google SGE for SERPs with Video

When searching for queries like "how to update Windows 10 to 11," Google SGE offers advice from five sources. After that, it shows the embedded YouTube video to watch the tutorial.

Google SGE Results with Video
Google SGE Results with Video

In contrast, traditional SERPs showcase featured snippets & SERP listings. It also shows the carousel of relevant videos with key moments. It allows users to select segments based on their specific needs.

Google SERP Results with Video
Google SERP Results with Video

Google SGE on the mobile app also follows the same format and shows information similar to its desktop version.

Google SGE for SERPs with Events

For queries related to upcoming events, such as "upcoming events in Chicago," Google SGE offers a comprehensive list of suggestions from multiple sources.

Google SGE Results with Events
Google SGE Results with Events

Standard Google search results provide a list of events in a calendar format. It is followed by the SERP listings.

Google SERP Results with Events
Google SERP Results with Events

Google SGE extends this list on mobile by incorporating additional sources, further enriching the event-related search experience.

Google SGE with Code Tips

Certain queries, such as "javascript code functions," trigger code tips if enabled in Search Labs. Generative AI in Google SGE provides immediate solutions to these queries.

Google SGE Results with Code Tips
Google SGE Results with Code Tips

In contrast, standard Google search results typically offer links to find similar solutions.

Google SERP Results with Code Tips
Google SERP Results with Code Tips

The Google app extends this functionality to mobile users by providing Code Tips, accompanied by the People Also Ask section & organic search results. It enhances the search experience for developers & programming enthusiasts.

How Does Generative AI Impact Google Search Results & SEO?

Altering the Snippet Extraction Process

Generative AI changes how Google extracts featured snippets from websites. Google can now extract snippets from any part of the web page that best matches the user's query. This change requires SEO professionals to ensure that the entire content, not just the initial part, is optimized & provides comprehensive answers to potential user queries.

Facilitating Voice Search Optimization

Generative AI helps voice assistant tools understand & respond accurately to conversational queries. SEO strategies, therefore, need to accommodate this trend by focusing on long-tail keywords & questions that users are likely to ask verbally.

Improving Personalized Search

With the implementation of generative AI, Google SGE can offer more personalized search results based on a user's preferences and past searches. This can greatly improve user experience, but SEO experts must adapt techniques to consider user intent and personalization. Keyword strategies should not just focus on exact keyword matches but also cater to these predictive searches.

Cultivating the Search Predictions

Generative AI will transform SEO as a profession, but careful application is still essential due to the potential for incorrect uses. Technical SEOs may be better positioned to handle the change that generative AI brings than those specializing in content SEO.

SEO strategies will likely evolve to leverage more data-driven insights to optimize content and improve rankings. As generative AI advances, SEO strategies will likely shift to incorporate more predictive analytics, personalized content, and hyper-personalized search engine results pages (SERPs).

The Future of Search with Generative AI & Its Impact on SEO

As Google's Search Generative Experience (SGE) redefines the search landscape, businesses must adapt their SEO strategies to stay ahead of the curve. This shift prioritizes user experience, momentarily overshadowing brand-owned companies. However, it presents a larger opportunity to enhance content quality and relevance, ensuring long-term success.

The future of SEO is exciting with the integration of AI. It brings new challenges, but it also offers a lot of opportunities.

It's crucial to stay alert to this technology's evolution and what it means for organic search. This could involve trying new strategies or refining traditional ones to keep up with the changing landscape. It's an exciting transformation that’s worth embracing!

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Google Search Generative Experience FAQs

Is SGE available on all searches?

SGE is not available for all searches. It is currently being tested on limited queries, primarily those related to complex or multifaceted topics. This indicates that the AI-generated content is limited to specific topics and contexts.

Can Google SGE replace traditional search results?

Currently, SGE is not intended to replace traditional search results. It is an additional tool to enhance the search experience for specific queries.

Does Google Search Generative Experience affect the search result rankings?

By providing direct answers within the search interface, Google SGE significantly reduces the need for users to click on results or spend time looking for pertinent information. This undoubtedly affects click-through rates and dwell times, two critical ranking factors in Google's algorithm.

About The Author

Saket Mittal

Saket Mittal is a Marketing Analyst at Quattr and helps drive traffic to the website by improving user experience. He is a an expert Quattr platform user and takes charge in improving product experience and conversions. Saket writes about content marketing, website optimization, and expert tips on how to use Google Search Console for content SEO.

About Quattr

Quattr is an innovative and fast-growing venture-backed company based in Palo Alto, California USA. We are a Delaware corporation that has raised over $7M in venture capital. Quattr's AI-first platform evaluates like search engines to find opportunities across content, experience, and discoverability. A team of growth concierge analyze your data and recommends the top improvements to make for faster organic traffic growth. Growth-driven brands trust Quattr and are seeing sustained traffic growth.

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