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Google SGE and The Future of Search in 2024

Google Search Generative Experience is the new AI-powered Search that will transform how we see results. Learn more about Generative AI and its impact on SEO.

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Quick Overview of Google SGE


In 2023, Google released for the first time the Generative AI in Beta version in the US only. The idea was to have users test the new AI-powered Search in Chrome and send feedback to Google in order to clean all mistakes, bugs and irrelevant information and believe us that kind of feedback was a lot.


Throughout the year, Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) started to improve in terms of interface, working carousels, links, cards, information and overall results. With the start of 2024, Google released it officially for the US and it is preparing to roll out in 120 more countries in the next couple of months supporting new languages and bringing new upgrades. This means that this will be a very important year to understand the completely new and revolutionary environment that is about to be created for all SEO specialists, agencies and business owners.


Thus, in this article we will share everything that we know so far from our tests that affect not only organic results but also local. But first we will quickly explain the idea behind Google SGE and its meaning.


What is Generative AI in Google Search (SGE)?


Generative AI is using the power of artificial intelligence in order to transform the Search experience and give more structured and contextual data to its users from a single search.


Generative AI Google SGE Result for Search Downtown Miami


From this single AI-powered search, users are presented with more information about the topic of their question or inquiry with links, locations, videos, text, suggestions and a carousel of websites. Depending on the query, Google’s Generative AI in a speed of light decides in what order and how to present the information to the user striving for the highest bar for information quality. This gives an immense power of search response being within a second or two and with all of the database that Google has this is only the early stage of the new way of Search that we are about to experience in the coming months and years.


Google SGE early impact on Organic SEO


From what we have observed and also reviewing the comments of other experts in the field, this single search approach that Google SGE has in a AI-powered snapshot drops that provides rich contextual results, drops immensely the number of clicks users make to go to a website in order to receive more information.


For example, before Featured Snippet and now SGE, when people searched for a given topic they went through a couple of first-page ranking websites in order to receive more information. When the Featured Snippet became part of Search, some businesses saw decline in clicks because for some topics users had the answer from Google without the need of clicking further to read or research.


Now with SGE, not only does Google give even more information to users with a single search but also pushes more third-party pages in those results leaving the official website behind if this is an actual business that people are looking for.


Here is an example of brand search performed for our digital agency:

Google SGE Search for Mission Morph Digital Marketing Agency


That’s why it is very important to submit and manage your business links around the web. Also, those third-party sources are an indication of what Google sees as trustworthy when it comes to crawling for more information about a business.

Moreover, users now have the opportunity to “Ask a follow up question” to their query and Google shows another SGE panel full of context and links.


Generative AI Google SGE Result - Ask a Follow up Question


However, Google SGE also creates a lot of new opportunities for businesses to find a better way to optimize their websites, content etc. and answer actual questions from their niche in order to get featured in the SGE results and receive more organic traffic. As we say in our agency, every update is a new opportunity for us to take a major place in the running competition.


Does Google SGE have an impact on Local SEO?


The answer is always “Yes” when it comes to innovation in Google. The change could be seen in the given results, context, location and even rankings.


For a better understanding, here is an SGE result for a popular search when you want to visit a nice restaurant in Miami:

Generative AI Google SGE Result for Restaurants Miami


SGE gives you a lot of information about 6 venues with included short description, carousel links above the map, location pins and some unique selling points above the business name. Also, below those highlighted businesses we have additional locations worth mentioning from Google’s point of view (ex. Crazy About You) but with a missing map location. They could be further reviewed from the third-party source links available from the dropdown (blue arrow).


Generative AI Google SGE Result for Restaurants Miami - Additional Businesses


However, we noticed a couple of ranking discrepancies:

  • If your business is ranking in top positions in Maps, that doesn’t mean inclusion in SGE results.
  • If your business is a hotel, resort, hostel or apartment, then not always the first ranking properties shown in Google Travel correlate with those highlighted in SGE.


This would be investigated further as the SGE upgrades continue but for now we are noticing this kind of irrelevance in the results and listings that are being shown in those AI-results when for example they are beyond 15-20th position in Google Maps or Google Travel.

How to rank for SGE?


During the SGE Beta adoption, we had the opportunity to test various businesses in different niches and what we have noticed is that there is a correlation of optimization factors that can determine your ranking position or secure highlighted place in those complex AI results.

  • Google Business Profile - Your business needs to have a verified and optimized Google profile.
  • Knowledge Graph Relevance - Related to the Google Business Profile and the information gathered around the web, the Knowledge Graph panel plays a vital role in some of the results that we have tested showing a special label that Google highlights in a card.
  • Website - It is important to have a crawled website that will be linked eventually to the SGE results.
  • Link Building - In this new environment of various third-party links, blogs, news or OTAs (online travel agencies) etc. gathered in a carousel view or being linked to a description, it shows the importance of listing your business in credible platforms or websites that are crawled by Google.
  • Content Creation - Following the link building, having high-quality descriptions in those third-party platforms is crucial for your SGE rankings because Google started pulling information linked directly to the descriptions highlighted in those Generative AI results.
  • Blog articles - Research topics from your industry and try to write blog articles that answer a question or give more information about your business correlating with this topic.

Just an example regarding Link building and Content, in one of our latest tests we saw that Google SGE doesn’t show all services that one of our businesses is offering. Fortunately, we could see that one of the main sources of text in this result was pulled from Bark. Once we changed this particular service from abbreviature (ex. SEO) to Search Engine Optimization in a matter of minutes, SGE changed its results and showed that service as well in a bullet point table - entirely new interface compared to the results before our edits.



How to better understand SGE and Generative-AI results?


Generative AI is improving on a daily basis from the millions of searches that the algorithm has the resources to adapt, change and educate. We notice interface improvements every month as well as more relevant results, in-depth approach over a query and integration to the search as a whole.

Our recommendation as a start would be to check:

  • Niche/Generic results - what type of businesses are ranked?
  • Brand results - does the information about your business is accurate?
    • Third party sources - what type of links are connected with my business?
    • Follow up questions - what kind of questions are related to my business?

In time, you will have more visual and internal information of how Google SGE works, what changes with the upcoming Generative-AI upgrades but what also stays and Google continues to show as a result, information or something else.


SEO Strategy for 2024


Our extensive Search Engine Optimization service covers both Local and Organic SEO offering the best practices on the market. If you want to create new opportunities in 2024, have more visibility and drive new customers to your business or you just want to find more about SEO, we are here to assist you with our knowledge and time.

Want to optimize for Google SGE and be ahead of your competitors?