Search Generative Experience: The future of Google Search

What is Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE)?  

Google’s newest experiment in AI is called Search Generative Experience. If you’re a user of Google Search (who’s not these days) then it’s time to pay attention. Your search interface is changing.  

Like the rest of us, you’re probably wondering what in the world that means and if it could impact both your daily life and/or your business. Short answer: Yes, it absolutely will. However, it’s nothing to fear. If anything, these new features and help from AI will improve information quality and help us navigate the Internet. This Search Generative Experience is integrated alongside existing search engine results features, such as featured snippets. 

If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, right? While there’s nothing inherently wrong with how Google Search currently functions, we know in the digital world you either evolve or you’re left by the wayside. Instagram’s Reels, YouTube Shorts, BeReal… It all goes back to TikTok, which has aided in changing search behaviors. More people are starting to go straight to TikTok for things they used to search for. SGE is Google’s next wave of innovation to keep people engaged.  

Why is Google launching SGE?  

With a goal to supercharge user’s Search experience, SGE is Google’s newest experiment aimed to revolutionize how people find and engage with information and technology. It predicts questions you may have. In fact, SGE just may evolve into your go-to tool that knows your needs before you do. 

With SGE, you can:  

  • See search results organized in a new way. 
  • Ask questions you wouldn’t typically ask Google Search. 
  • Get answers to follow-up questions in a conversational manner. 

What’s “generative” got to do with it? SGE, along with ChatGPT, are forms of generative AI. Generative AI takes data from training sets and literally generates new data based on patterns and characteristics. At its core, generative AI creates new content.  

On the flip side, Conversational AI, such as Siri, is all about interacting in human-like conversations. Siri uses voice recognition technology and machine learning to understand your questions and respond with programmed answers. The special thing about SGE is that it will be able to do both.  

However, you won’t see SGE cracking jokes. These search results will stay objective and neutral. No personality, emotion or opinions will show up when you search. It only provides facts only, but in a conversational manner.  

How does SGE work? 

As mentioned, the conversational mode provides natural follow-up questions to your original search query. You’ll be able to explore topics on a deeper level with additional links and resources. Also, SGE will give additional context on local places, allowing users to better compare and explore nearby businesses. This means it’s super important to pay attention to your Google Business Profile. Double-check that all of the information in your listing is correct and up-to-date (including photos).  

Integrated conversational tools will offer follow-ups and other questions you may not have thought to ask. Here’s an example of us searching “what is SGE” while using SGE (very meta, we know):  

an example of google search terms using search generative experience

Can you trust information from SGE?  

Typically, people trust the information they get when they Google Search. You may even turn to Google to fact-check work or other things you’ve read. The good news is that SGE is also keeping this top of mind. This AI will be held to the same standard as Search’s current ranking and quality systems.  

You won’t be finding hateful, violent or explicit content when using SGE. It’s designed and taught to not show that type of shocking content in its results. In fact, you may even see disclaimers in its responses for searches that are health-related, advising users to talk with medical professionals rather than rely on Search for medical advice. 

It’s important to remember that SGE didn’t just pop up out of nowhere. Google Search has been using AI for years – this is just the next generation.  

Will SGE affect SEO and Search ads? 

With these AI-generated summaries being the first thing users see when they search for a query or question, marketers and business owners may see a decrease in both organic and paid clicks. Therefore, creating original, helpful and unique content will be more important than ever. Marketers will need to adjust their SEO strategy to craft content not only for basic keywords and topics, but more long-tail keywords and conversation starters.  

Additionally, your search ads may see a lower click-through-rate and impressions, but it may also mean fewer wasted clicks and a shorter customer journey. The ad space typically reserved for Search ads isn’t going anywhere.  

While it’s always important to watch your budgets, you will need to be keeping a closer eye on your Google Search daily and weekly results. We’re positive that Search ads will continue to play an important role in discoverability.  

The future of Search is at your doorstep   

Overall, SGE is truly an experiment. It will continue to change and evolve to enhance user experience. It’s still in its infancy, and Google is taking feedback from users and remaining transparent on limitations.  

Ready to leap into the future of AI? Test out Search Generative Experience yourself through Search Labs. If you give it a try, be sure to let us know what you think!