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What is Google SGE?

Putting the words Google and artificial intelligence (AI) into the same sentence is enough to spread fear among many digital marketers.

After the initial concern and a little digging, Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) doesn’t seem so scary. After all, as marketers we’re used to change. Our industry is evolving all the time and standing still simply isn’t an option. Instead, we must seek to understand SGE and discover the best ways to work with it to create improved outcomes for our brands.

So, what is it and how will it affect search engine optimisation and marketing going forward? Let’s find out.

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Introducing Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE)

SGE is an AI-driven initiative from Google that aims to provide more personalised answers to users’ search queries. Not only are these results expected to better meet the needs of the users but they’re presented in a conversational tone.

The idea is that natural language processing (NLP) will enable the search engine to return results to even the most complex queries in a more digestible form. What’s more is that it aims to eliminate the need for follow-up questions, with all the relevant information provided at once.

Evolution of the featured snippet

A key development in Google search engine results pages (SERPs) in recent years has been the featured snippet. This paragraph occupying position zero is taken from the webpage Google deems to offer the most relevant information in response to the user’s search intent.

Under SGE, such a snapshot will be made up of a single comprehensive answer taken from multiple sources. Each of these sites will be linked to, representing more opportunities to gain traffic for the most useful content.

How SGE will affect marketing

At present, SGE is available to play around with for those who are registered to Google’s Search Lads programme, but eventually it will be rolled out to the general public. That means marketers should start thinking about how they can use it to their advantage.

While it’s likely to present some challenges, SGE will also provide new ranking opportunities. Take the snapshot that will eventually replace the featured snippet, for example. Multiple sources that are all linked means it won’t just be a single webpage that features in position zero, so it’s all to play for.

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SGE strategies to adopt

Just as we don’t use the same digital marketing tactics we did ten years ago, we must adapt to work cohesively with SGE. Here are some of the techniques that will help you and your brand perform well in the new era of Google search.

  • Concentrate on topical authority over keywords
  • Create content with a real human perspective
  • Ensure all articles are written with personality
  • Design a strategy with EEAT signals at its heart:
  • Experience
  • Expertise
  • Authority
  • Trustworthiness
  • Link building with case studies
  • Trust building with customer reviews
  • Strategic internal linking
  • Earn backlinks to boost authority
  • Analyse data to see what’s working
  • Comprehensively answer users’ questions
  • Use structured data markup to signpost your content

How will SGE benefit users?

Over the decades, Google’s updates have consistently strove to improve the searching experience for users and SGE will be no different. It said: “SGE is rooted in the search quality and safety systems we’ve been honing for years, which are designed to surface trustworthy, high-quality information. But just as we’re always working to improve search, we’re taking the same approach with SGE.”