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    Search Generative Experience: The Future of Search 

    search-generative-experience

    With the rapid growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI) recently, the future of search has become somewhat of a grey area. But not anymore! Our friends at Google recently announced a feature set to revolutionise how users interact with search results: Search Generative Experience.

    In May 2023, Google announced this cutting-edge generative AI Search update. Given the popularity of Google Gemini (previously known as Google Bard) and Chat GPT, it’s no surprise Google has been working on organic search results to produce AI-generated responses. 

    Still in beta testing, search generative experience (SGE) is powered by advanced technology to improve user experience. Users will soon notice their search engine results page is organised in a new and improved way to help them get more out of a single search. 

    What is SGE, and what are the plans for it?

    SGE is an experimental search experience using AI to provide users with quick and clear overviews of search topics without clicking on individual web pages.

    While it’s not here just yet, Google’s plan for SGE is that it will provide a more comprehensive and personalised search experience.

    • AI-generated summaries: Instead of sifting through mountains of text, SGE will summarise the most important information related to your search query.
    • Visualisations and infographics: Complex data and text-heavy information will be easily digestible through charts, graphs, and other visual aids.
    • Interactive elements: SGE can be interactive, allowing you to explore different aspects of a topic, ask follow-up questions, and even personalise the search results to your specific needs.
    • New insights: SGE will go beyond your initial query to showcase unexpected insights, helping you to see information in new and creative ways.
    infographic explaining how search generative experience will work

    The Benefits of SGE

    While it’s still in beta testing, the benefits of SGE are infinite and largely unknown. However, based on its planned capabilities, some benefits to the user will likely include:

    • Save time and effort: No more endless scrolling through irrelevant search results. SGE will quickly and efficiently get the necessary information with follow-up options in one search.
    • Improve understanding of complex topics: SGE will break down complex information into easily digestible chunks, making it easier to read, learn and retain.
    • Spark creativity and innovation: By highlighting unexpected insights, SGE may help you think outside the box and develop new ideas.
    • Personalised search experience: SGE will learn your preferences and tailor search results to specific interests and needs. If you dislike a particular topic, you can disapprove or approve of a suggested follow-up, and Google will remember your likes and dislikes the next time you search. It’s like having a search buddy who knows you well!

    What Will An SGE SERP Look Like?

    At this stage, it’s impossible to say for sure, although it’s anticipated that SGE will hugely increase one-click searches. Meaning, the most relevant and helpful answers or information on a searched topic will be presented at the top of the SERP, most likely on top of Sponsored results. This will remove the need for the user to click through to a website.

    Thanks to generative AI, the results will go beyond the original search query and provide further insights. Take the below “bluetooth speaker for a pool party” search, for example. The results go further than simply displaying Shopping ads (either paid or organic), and provide some handy tips for choosing the right speaker.

    It’s important to note, the examples below are not real SGE SERPs. The (eventual) real SERPs may look different.

    infographic showing three examples of potential search generative experience search results pages

    Limitations of SGE

    To contest the wise words of Cady Heron, the limit does, in fact, exist when it comes to SGE results. Like any technology being trialled and tested, some potential challenges are associated with SGE during the current experimental phase.

    • Misinterpretation: In some cases, SGE has appropriately identified information to support its snapshot. However, there have been instances of slight misinterpretations of language that change the meaning of the results. 
    • Hallucination: Like all large language models-based experiences, SGE may sometimes misrepresent facts or inaccurately identify insights. 
    • Bias: SGE is trained on on high-quality, web-extracted data that can exhibit narrow representations of people, or potentially negative contextual associations. Despite additional safety and bias prevention guardrails applied, some nuances of data patterns still seep through. This can lead to SGE producing biased results.
    • Opinionated content: While SGE is designed to reflect a neutral, objective tone in its generative result, there may be instances in which the output reflects opinions already existing on the web. As a result, it will give the impression of the feature displaying a persona.

    Contradiction with existing search features: Since SGE is integrated into search, nestled in with other results and features on the SERPs, it might seem a bit conflicting at times. For example, a user might see a featured snippet result that highlights the perspective of a single source, while SGE represents a more combined range of results.

    The Future of Search

    The rollout of SGE will be a significant step forward in the evolution of search. As AI technology grows and users become more familiar with AI-generated content, we expect SGE to become even more sophisticated and powerful. 

    Here are some of the exciting possibilities for the future of search:

    • Context-aware search: SGE will be able to understand the context of your search query and provide even more relevant and personalised results.
    • Multilingual search: SGE will be able to break down language barriers and provide you with information from all over the world.
    • Proactive search: SGE will be able to anticipate your needs and provide you with information before you even ask for it.

    What does SGE mean for SEO and SEM?

    At this stage, it’s too early to say with absolute certainty what impacts SGE will have on SEO and SEM. 

    We can pretty confidently say that organic traffic will drop, although it will depend on the industry.

    For search engine marketing, well, that remains to be seen. Advertising is how Google makes its money, so it won’t launch SGE in completion without assurances ad revenue won’t be impacted.

    For business owners, the most important thing to do will be continuing to ensure your website delivers the best user experience possible. 

    Focus on building trust through genuine reviews, and publishing high-quality content that displays strong E-E-A-T signals.

    And if your website seems like it’s struggling, it might be time to call in a professional.

    Future-Proof Your Website with Bloom Digital

    Ensure your business is prepared for this new era of online marketing, and contact our experienced SEO agency in Perth today to chat with us about how we can help you bloom. 

     

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