Skip to content
b2b seo agency | b2b web design agency | full service agency

SGE: What We Know So Far

Feb 7, 2024

For many years now, Search has been constantly changing.

Ever evolving SERPs (search engine results pages) layouts, the rise of voice search and continuous algorithm refinements mean that the days of cramming a website with keywords and doing some link farming in order to rank feels like ancient history.

The emphasis has firmly shifted to quality over quantity, rightfully placing user intent and experience as a top priority.

The latest cat amongst the SEO pigeons has been Search Generative Experience or SGE, an experimental search experience by Google that uses artificial intelligence to deliver a quick and clear summary of search topics.

So, how does it work? When will SGE be released? What impact will it have on a B2B SEO agency like ours?

Well, let’s take a closer look and find out if SGE will be as earth shattering as some suspect. 

SGE explained

As quoted by Google:

“SGE is rooted in the foundations of search, so it will continue to connect people to the richness and vibrancy of content on the web, and strive for the highest bar for information quality.” 

Using powerful large language models, (the AI technology that powers Bard or GPT-4), SGE aims to provide users with an AI-powered snapshot, presenting a brief overview of a topic in a manner not entirely dissimilar to Google’s answer box or featured snippets. 

These SGE snapshots aim to provide the user with enough helpful information to answer their question, whilst providing links to resources throughout the web for a user to explore in greater detail.

Applicable to ads, product searches and even image generation, Google states that SGE is about giving users easy to access resources by integrating AI into Search.

In essence, SGE marks a step towards a more conversational search experience, making information more intuitive and engaging.  

When will SGE be released?

Officially, there is no release date for SGE.

Initially released in May 2023 in Google’s Search Labs, SGE initially had a target completion date of December 2023, which is why many now believe that Google is planning wider implementation.

Currently, Google is making SGE available to more than 120 new countries and territories as well as introducing upgrades such as easier follow-ups and AI-powered translation.

Unfortunately for us here in the UK, we currently can’t access SGE through Search Labs. There are rumours of a UK rollout between January and March of this year, so hopefully it won’t be too long before we can try it out for ourselves.

For now though, there are plenty of resources available giving us all the information we need about SGE, including experiences from users who have tried SGE first hand.

You can read more about what Google has to say about SGE here: About SGE PDF 

What does it mean for SEO?

There isn’t currently any definitive answer to that question as SGE is still only in the experimental phase.

Experts are anticipating a mixed impact on SEO, if or when SGE becomes the norm.

Potential Positives

  • Increased visibility: If your website’s content is cited within SGE summaries, it can gain valuable exposure and potentially drive more traffic.
  • Improved user engagement: Engaging and informative SGE summaries might encourage users to stay on the search results page, potentially reducing bounce rates for websites with relevant content.
  • Focus on quality and expertise: As SGE prioritises reliable sources, websites emphasising high-quality, trustworthy content with strong EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) could gain an edge.

Potential Challenges

Reduced website traffic: If SGE provides comprehensive answers directly on the search results page, users might not need to click through to websites, potentially leading to decreased website traffic.

Emphasis on AI-generated content: Currently, Google penalises sites that contain purely AI-generated content, showing preference to humanised, helpful content. However, the reliance on AI-generated summaries in SGE might shift focus towards optimising for AI comprehension as well as human experience.

Uncertainty and adaptation: As SGE evolves, SEO best practices might need to adapt frequently to stay ahead of the curve.

Thinking ahead

Ultimately, the implementation of SGE requires close attention.

Although, it is unlikely to turn SEO on its head overnight, meaning that current SEO professionals needn’t hit the panic button just yet.

The impact might also vary depending on the type of website and industry. Informational websites might see reduced clicks, while transactional sites could benefit from increased user engagement. At this point we only can only make an educated guess.  

As an expert full service agency, we always have an eye on the latest industry developments, keeping our clients in the know and maintaining a dynamic approach to digital strategy, meaning that when SGE does become a reality, we are able to adapt accordingly.

If you are looking for a B2B web design agency, or want support enhancing the search engine performance of your business’ website, contact our team to discover how our experts can help.

Contact us