[SMK] Social Media Knowledge


[NEW STUDY] How is Google’s New Search Generative Experience changing Search?

Many marketers are still trying to understand how Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) impacts their campaigns.

Announced in 2023, SGE introduces a novel method for delivering search results. Google’s pioneering search feature employs generative AI technology to give users rapid and concise summaries of their search queries, eliminating the need to click through multiple web pages.

This can help with a variety of tasks, such as:

  • Locating answers
  • Gaining brief insights into topics
  • Condensing essential information
  • Acquiring step-by-step guidance













Elizabeth Reid, Vice President & GM, Search, via Google

“Let’s take a question like “what’s better for a family with kids under 3 and a dog, Bryce Canyon or Arches.” Normally, you might break this one question down into smaller ones, sort through the vast information available, and start to piece things together yourself. With generative AI, Search can do some of that heavy lifting for you.”

Generative search provides a snapshot of key information, with several links to allow users to dig deeper. Users can also ask follow-up questions, and the all-important context will carry over from question to question.

A conversational search experience

SGE offers a more dynamic interaction compared to the usual search process. Google not only provides related questions but also proposes logical subsequent queries, enabling users to access detailed and pertinent information effortlessly with minimal clicks. An example Google gives is “what are the best rainy day activities for elementary school kids?”. A normal search engine result would give users a list of different articles, which can then be explored individually.

With SGE, Google will compile a list of suggestions from multiple sources, which can be explored at once. It’s designed to help users find what they’re looking for faster, especially for complex questions with more than one part.

Finding the right product can also be made easier with generative AI.

Elizabeth Reid, Vice President & GM, Search

“When searching for a product, you’ll get a snapshot of noteworthy factors to consider and products that fit the bill. You’ll also get product descriptions that include relevant, up-to-date reviews, ratings, prices and product images.”

Understanding how SGE impacts Google’s search engine results page is important for both search engine optimisation (SEO) and Google ads, which brings us to some recent research carried out by SEO platform SE Ranking.

The report looked at 100,000 keywords and showed how often searches yielded results with AI-generated responses, ad placement and the length of content in SGE. From an SEO perspective, some of the key findings were:

  • 64% of the analyzed keywords either have an SGE answer or a Generate button.
  • The average text length of the SGE snippet is approximately 3,485 characters.
  • The most common number of links in the SGE answer after expanding is eight links.
  • 85.5% of SGE snippets link to one or more domains from the top 10 organic results.
  • Keywords from the Food and Beverage niche trigger SGE snippets most often, while the News and Politics niche gets SGE responses less often.
  • Long-tail keywords are more likely to trigger AI-powered responses.

In terms of Google Ads, the study found that in 27.17% of instances, no advert showed alongside the SGE snippet.

When ads did display, the research showed that some niches are more inclined towards certain ad types.

  • The Fashion and Beauty niche leads in shopping-only ads with 801 cases and in shopping & top ads with 330 cases, but it has comparatively fewer top-only ads (53).
  • Ecommerce and Retail also show a strong preference for shopping ads alone (800 cases) and shopping & top ads (239 cases), while top-only ads are rare (17 cases).
  • The Pets niche exhibits a balanced mix with 394 cases of shopping-only ads, 219 cases where shopping & top ads coexist, and 186 cases of top-ads only.

Niches like Cars, Business, Sports and Exercise, Healthcare, Education, and Real Estate are more likely to have top ads accompanying SGE snippets, with lower instances of either shopping-only ads or a combination of shopping and top ads. At the same time, niches of Insurance, Finance, Legal, Careers and Jobs, and News and Politics didn’t have shopping-only ads or shopping & top ads at all.



Yevheniia Khromova, SGE Snippet Research

“We see a substantial integration of AI-generated responses within search results, with a significant portion of searches either displaying an SGE answer or offering the option to generate one. Still, SGE technology has its limitations. Nearly a quarter of the keywords did not receive SGE answers during the check, with the engine prompting us to try again later. Google is also cautious about some queries, as evidenced by the Generate button’s frequent appearance.”

SGE is constantly evolving 

One of the main takeaways from the SE Ranking report is that things are constantly changing. For example, in late 2023 around 4% of keywords failed to trigger an SGE snippet and now around 12% of keywords failed to trigger one.

Philipp Schindler, SVP and CBO, Google, Alphabet 2023 Q4 Earnings Call

“SGE is creating new opportunities for us to improve commercial journeys for people by showing relevant ads alongside search results. We’ve also found that people are finding ads either above or below the AI-powered overview helpful, as they provide useful options for people to take action and connect with businesses.”

That makes it a little tricky for brands and marketers to prepare or navigate the expected shifts in search engine results. However, there are a few things that can be done.

One of them is on the SEO front. As SGE results are designed to be helpful to long queries, embracing long-tail keywords will help brands. The example SE Ranking gave was ‘what is the most popular ASICS running shoe’, which a sports brand could tap in to.

Regarding ads, things will change depending on your niche and how SGE is used in your country. So, like anything new, it pays to experiment and keep an eye on how things are changing.

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