Google is slowly rolling out its SGE results to compete with Bing’s Co-Pilot service (which is excellent if you haven’t checked it out and recently took 1% of search market share from Google for the first time in 30+ years!)

It’s currently in testing phase but SGE will take a user’s query, crawl through top search results and produce a AI generated summary to answer it. The result will appear in a huge box with a few supporting sites/articles and push other organic and paid results further down the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

For example, if you ask, ‘Good bike for 5 mile commute with hills’ rather than going through the top results, Google will provide a concise response of 2-3 paragraphs explaining the answer. Alongside the explanation will be a few links to more detailed articles.

Let’s take a look at what its going to look like:

Result for a generative AI search for e-bikes

Why is SGE worrying for SMBs?

SMBs have always struggled to be discovered online. The traditional SEO tactic has been to utilise their blogs – create compelling content to build up authority wherever your buyer is on their buying journey.

But appearing further down the SERP means less impressions, less clicks and ultimately less traffic to your website.

There’s also concerns about what Google would consider to be an authorative source on providing supporting articles. It’s common knowledge that lesser known creators and channels are harder to find on youtube so will it be the same on Google Search?

SMBs are always adapting to the latest Google Algorithim. Many of my clients experienced a drop in traffic after the Useful Content Update (but agree that traffic has been better quality/more likely to convert). It seems we’re always adhering to the next range of best practices.

Will companies now wonder if its worth producing content at all if its going to be harder to rank? Could marketing budgets be better spent elsewhere?

Preparing your lead generation strategy for Google SGE

The SEO landscape is always changing so its important to have a seasoned expert working with your business to prepare you for the next big algorithm change. We are not panicking yet!

We believe that SGE is going to disrupt Top of Funnel (TOTF) buyers. These are the buyers who are seeking new products/services or are looking for relief from certain pain points and issues. This will mean it will be trickier to get the content out there that educates/informs audiences about a general topic.

Erm… you mean content we’ve been concentrating on for the past few years? …. le sigh…. yes.

This will mean that businesses will likely change their content strategies to bottom-of-the-funnel (BOTF) search terms. The terms that will convert prospects into customers. We’re talking case studies, testimonials, demos, FAQs, pricing etc etc.

The hardest challenge to come is generating brand awareness when organic traffic is less available. Companies will turn to other channels for content distribution (social media, digital PR) or invest more in Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising.

As a side note…. the SGE example above doesn’t leave much room for ads. A huge chunk of Google’s revenue comes from adverstiing so it will be intesting to see how far they’re willing to push them down the page. One to watch for now!

Your Google SGE Checklist

  1. Enlist a professional: Work with an SEO expert who can provide guidance to stay ahead of search engine algorithims and ensure your site is up to Google Best Practices.
  2. Ensure you have robust analytics in place and its configured correctly: Now is the time to truly understand where your traffic is coming from, how users use your site and what keywords are getting them to you.
  3. Switch focus to high-intent terms: Park Brand awareness and focus on those customers who are close to making their buying decision. Make it easy for them to schedule a demo, learn about happy customers and request pricing.
  4. Consider different strategies: Shake up social media, invest in digital PR and push up advertising budgets
  5. Don’t sit on the fence: The worst thing you can do is nothing. Change is inevitable in this industry and its better to be ready than wait to see what happens.

Are you concerned about Google SGE and what it means for your business? Pick my brain!

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By Published On: May 16th, 2024Comments Off on Should we be worried about Google SGE (Search Generative Experience)?