Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE): A Game Changer for SEO?

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In May 2023, Google launched its Search Generative Experience (SGE), marking a significant leap in search engine technology. This AI-driven innovation is reshaping the landscape of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in profound ways. Let’s look deeper into what SGE is and how it’s altering the SEO world, backed by the latest statistics and insights.

Understanding Google’s SGE

SGE employs advanced AI to understand and respond to search queries intuitively. This development means that search results are now more nuanced and contextually richer, offering answers that go beyond traditional keyword matching.

Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE): Simplified for Everyone

Picture this: You’re planning a weekend baking session. In the past, you’d type “easy chocolate cake recipe” into Google and get a list of recipes. But with Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE), things are a bit different. Let’s break down what this means for your search and for websites trying to reach you.

What is Google’s SGE, Exactly?

Think of SGE as a clever friend who doesn’t just list cake recipes. Instead, it understands you’re looking for an easy recipe, maybe with a twist – say, a healthier version. So, it gives you exactly that, not just a generic list.

How Does SGE Change Things?

Better Answers to Your Queries:

    • The Old Way: You get a list of links.
    • The SGE Way: You get a response like, “Here’s a simple, low-sugar chocolate cake recipe perfect for beginners.”

Knowing What You Really Mean:

    • If you type “Can I bake a cake without eggs?” SGE won’t just show eggless recipes. It might suggest alternatives like unsweetened apple sauce or bananas as egg substitutes.

Chatting Like a Human:

    • If you ask, “How do I make my cake moist?” and SGE might respond conversationally, like, “Try adding yoghurt or buttermilk to your batter for extra moisture.”

Google SGE for Website Owners and Content Creators

For example, if you run a baking blog or a recipe website, here’s how to stay relevant:

Write Like You Talk: Make your content sound natural, like you’re chatting with a friend.

Understand Your Readers: Know what they’re really asking. Are they beginners or seasoned bakers? Cater to that.

Be specific and Helpful: If your recipe is for a moist chocolate cake, say so. SGE will pick up on these details.

How Will SGE Impact SEO?

1 – Emphasis on Quality Content:

  • Gone are the days of keyword stuffing.
  • SGE prioritises content that genuinely answers user queries.


EXAMPLE – Imagine a cooking blog, “Flavourful Journeys.” Initially, it had articles like “5 Quick Pasta Recipes.” However, the blog shifted its approach with Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE), prioritising content that genuinely answers user queries. It published a detailed blog post titled “How to Make Authentic Italian Pasta at Home.” This article didn’t just list recipes; it included:

  • Step-by-step pasta-making techniques.
  • Tips for choosing the right ingredients.
  • Common mistakes and how to avoid them.


As a result, when users searched for “how to make authentic Italian pasta,” they found this article, which thoroughly answered their query. This shift in focus led to higher user engagement and better search ranking.

2 – User Intent Becomes Crucial:

  • Understanding the ‘why’ behind searches.
  • Content must align closely with user intentions.


EXAMPLE – Consider a fitness website, “FitInFuture.” They originally posted generic articles like “Best Exercises for Fitness.” However, recognising that Google’s SGE prioritises content aligning closely with user intentions, they changed their approach. They created a focused article titled “Exercises for Busy Professionals: 30-Minute Routines.” This piece specifically addressed:

  • Time-efficient exercise routines for working professionals.
  • Tips for integrating workouts into a busy schedule.
  • Tailored advice for maintaining fitness with limited time.


This approach directly catered to the specific needs of busy professionals looking for quick yet effective workout routines. Consequently, when users searched for “short workouts for busy schedules,” they found “FitInFuture’s” article, which precisely matched their search intent. This led to enhanced engagement and improved search rankings for the website.

3 – Long-Tail Keywords Gain Prominence:

  • Specific, detailed searches will be more significant.
  • Tailoring content to niche queries is key.


EXAMPLE – Let’s consider a travel blog named “Hidden Treks.” Initially, the blog focused on general travel topics with titles like “Best European Destinations.” However, with the rise of Google’s SGE and the increased importance of long-tail keywords, “Hidden Treks” shifted its strategy. They created a post titled “Off-the-Beaten-Path Weekend Getaways in Rural France.” This article was tailored to a more specific, niche query and included:

  • Detailed guides to lesser-known rural areas in France.
  • Personal experiences and hidden gems in each location.
  • Tips for travelling off the beaten path in these specific regions.


By focusing on this long-tail keyword phrase, “Hidden Treks” effectively captured the interest of a specific group of travellers – those looking for unique, rural experiences in France. As a result, when users searched for this more detailed query, they found the blog’s article, which directly catered to their specific interests. This focus on long-tail, niche keywords led to targeted traffic, higher engagement, and better search rankings for the blog.

4 – Rising Importance of Voice Search:

  • Conversational queries will dominate.
  • Content needs to be more natural-sounding and dialogue-friendly.


EXAMPLE – “Teccy Seniors” – a tech advice blog for older adults. The blog had articles with titles like “Guide to Using Smartphones for Seniors.” The content was informative but formatted in a traditional, text-heavy style.

Recognising the growing trend of voice search, especially among seniors using voice-activated devices, “Teccy Seniors ” revamped its approach. They created a blog post titled “Alexa, How Can I Easily Use My Smartphone?” This article was crafted to be more conversational and dialogue-friendly, focusing on questions seniors might ask their voice assistants, such as:

  • “Alexa, what are the simplest ways to text my grandchildren?”
  • “Alexa,How do I set reminders for my medications using my phone?”
  • “Alexa,Tell me easy steps to video call my family.”


Each question was followed by clear, step-by-step, conversational answers, mimicking a natural dialogue. This approach made the content more accessible for voice search queries, often used by their target audience.

When users, especially seniors, used voice search like “Alexa, how do I use my smartphone for texting?” they found the “Teccy Seniors ” article, which directly answered their spoken queries. This shift to a more natural, conversational style led to improved user engagement and a better match for voice search queries, enhancing the blog’s visibility and relevance in voice search results.

5 – Increased Focus on Semantic Search:

  • Context matters more than ever.
  • Content must be relevant and context-aware.


EXAMPLE – “GreenThumbNail Garden Advice” – a gardening advice platform. “GreenThumbNail Garden Advice” primarily offered articles like “Top 10 Gardening Tips.” While informative, these pieces were generic and didn’t account for the varying contexts of readers’ gardening situations.

Realising the significance of semantic search, where context is key, the platform changed its content strategy. They created an article titled “How to Garden in Dry Climates: Adapting Your Green Space.” This piece was specifically tailored to gardeners in arid regions and included:

  • Detailed advice on choosing drought-resistant plants.
  • Tips for soil conservation and water-efficient gardening techniques.
  • Strategies for gardening throughout different seasons in dry climates.


The article was rich in context-specific information, addressing the unique challenges and solutions for gardening in dry areas.

When users searched for gardening advice pertinent to arid environments, they found the “GreenThumbNail Garden Advice” article, which closely matched the context of their query. This focus on providing relevant, context-aware content aligned perfectly with semantic search principles, leading to better user engagement and higher search visibility for those specific queries.

Adapting to the SGE Revolution

  1. Craft Content That Resonates: Create material that speaks directly to your audience’s needs and questions.
  2. Understand Your Audience: Perform deep research into what your audience is truly seeking.
  3. Optimise for Conversational Queries: Make your content sound natural and answer questions as humans would.
  4. Stay on Top of SEO Trends: The landscape is changing rapidly. Keep informed and adapt.

A New SEO Era

SGE isn’t just a new feature; it’s a signal of a shift in how search engines understand us. It’s about meeting the user not just at their query but at their intent. Content creators and SEO specialists need to evolve strategies to stay ahead.

These statistics show how impactful SGE is now on the SEO landscape.

Key Statistics and Insights:

  • Prevalence of AI-Generated Results: A staggering 77.8% of searches now display AI-generated results. In the U.S., this figure rises to 90% for general searches and 87% for local searches.
  • Category-Wise AI Involvement: There’s high AI involvement in sectors like Apparel and fashion (99%), Technology (93%), and Real Estate (91%). However, categories like Sports and Finance see lower involvement, at 48% and 51%, respectively.
  • Auto-Generated vs. Manually Generated Results: 59.5% of AI responses are auto-generated, while 40.5% require user interaction. Health and Apparel, and fashion predominantly feature auto-generated results.
  • Length of SGE Responses: SGE answers vary greatly in length, from a concise 634 symbols to extensive responses of up to 377,000 symbols, especially when expanded dropdowns are included.
  • Links in SGE Snippets: Each SGE snippet averages 28 links to webpages. However, only 45% of these links are from the top 10 organic search results, indicating a broader sourcing of information.
  • Impact on Traffic and SEO: Publications like The Atlantic and Wall Street Journal have raised concerns about SGE reducing website clicks, particularly for publishers. The shift towards more zero-click results and testing ads within SGE snippets suggests a growing emphasis on paid visibility.
  • Exclusions in AI-Generated Results: Searches on critical topics like “COVID-19” typically don’t yield AI-generated results, reflecting a preference for verified information sources in sensitive areas.

The Future of Searching

Google’s SGE is like a knowledgeable friend who knows what you want, even when you’re not exactly sure how to ask for it. For those creating content, it’s time to think like this friend: be helpful, be specific, and really understand what your audience needs.

The big question now is, how will your favourite recipe site or blog adapt to this new way of searching? Are they ready to be as helpful as Google’s SGE? The world of online search is evolving – it’s no longer just about the right keywords but about truly understanding and answering your reader’s needs.

  1. Innovation Visual. (2023). Understanding Google’s Search Generative Experience. Retrieved from
  2. Content Detector. (2023). Google Search SGE Case Study: 77.8% of the Search Results has AI Generated SGE Result. Retrieved from
  3. SE Ranking. (2023). Google SGE: Everything SEOs Need to Know at This Point. Retrieved from
  4. HubSpot. (2023). How SGE & Other Google Search Changes Could Impact Your Traffic [Data + Predictions]. Retrieved from


  • Mac McCarthy

    Mac McCarthy has been involved in the digital marketing field for over 20 years, having worked with the Jeeves, Alta Vista and Yahoo search engines in the early 90s through to the modern current day Google and Bing platforms.

    A keen follower of search engine algorithm updates and trends, he works and advises on digital strategies for a variety on SME’s and more recently the World Wildlife Fund, the single largest animal welfare charity in the world.

    Qualifications include Google Advanced Analytics, Google Ads, Google Search and the Google Partnership Program.

    View all posts

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