Lacie Thompson, Chief Growth Officer at New Engen
December 18th, 2023
Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) has made waves within the digital marketing world, and for good reason: a brand new search experience is on the horizon. So, what is this SGE, how does it work, and (most importantly), how do we expect this new experience to shake things up? Let’s dive in and explore all that we know so far about the new SERP and how it could impact your brand.
The buzz started back in May, when Google announced that it would be testing a new search experience. By August, Google had released its Search Generative Experience under the radar within the Google Search Labs experiment platform. Fast forward now, we anticipate that SGE will be rolled out any day.
What’s so different about this search experience? First of all, it's powered by Google’s AI and will focus on providing users with personalized and conversational results. Google has continued to refine its personalization capabilities throughout the years, but this new experience allows natural language processing capabilities to serve results that not only match search intent, but also match a specific user's conversational attributes. Essentially, Google wants its results to read less like your computer and more like advice from your big sister.
In the images below, you can see the SERP as we know it today depicted on the left, and the new SGE SERP layout depicted on the right. The most obvious change is a sizable decrease in the landscape occupied by Paid and Organic results, and a sharp increase in real estate devoted to Google-driven results.
Current Google SERP Layout
⭐️ Google SERP Layout with SGE ⭐️
Let's break this down more.
Google is trying to create a sticky user experience from the SERP, by providing users with a diverse set of results and instant access to many forms of content in as little space as possible. Therefore, we as search marketers expect there to be an increase in zero-click searches, meaning brand impressions and interactions that occur on the SERP without the user clicking away from Google.
Within this space, Google is relying on is knowledge graphs to fill the SERP with Product Images, Reviews, Content Snippets, Bulleted lists, Citations and links to articles from authoritative editorial sites, Q&A’s, and the ability to refine your search and ask a follow-up. This gives users more ways than ever before to find the answers they are looking for straight from Google.
As stated above, we expect to see a rise in zero-click searches from this experience due to the vast amount of information the user is getting directly from the SERP. Because of this, we may have to shift our strategies for search visibility. Here is what we're focusing on to continue driving awareness and traffic from Google for our clients:
Google’s new SGE is destined to change the way users and brands alike interface with the SERP, and marketers will need to continue to evolve their brand strategies holistically - this latest development is another reminder that no marketing stack will succeed in a silo.
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