Since Google unveiled its Search Generative Experience, or SGE for short, in May 2023, the marketing industry has been in an uproar.

In particular, the question arises: What influence does SBU have on SEO, and how do marketers have to change their work?

Since we as a marketing agency are directly affected by this, we have dealt with Google SGE in detail.

In the following, we not only want to show you what SBU is and what influence it will have on search results, but also give you concrete and applicable tips for your search engine marketing.

SGE: Revolution in the SEO world?

The Google Search Generative Experience marks a significant advance in digital search and search engine optimization.

First presented at the Google I/O conference in May 2023, SGE represents an innovative integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into Google’s search functions.

It is Google’s response and reaction to the integration of ChatGPT into the Microsoft search engine Bing.

This development reflects a growing trend where advanced algorithms and machine learning are increasingly coming to the fore to provide users with a more precise, intuitive and richer search experience.

SBU not only represents a technological innovation, but also a paradigm shift in the way information is searched for and found on the Internet.

At a time when the amount of information is growing exponentially, SGE aims to improve the efficiency and accuracy of search results. It also enables deeper and more nuanced user interaction.

In particular, SGE offers the option of asking further questions about a result and having a conversation, just like with an AI chatbot.

This approach has far-reaching implications for SEO experts and content creators. It requires a reassessment of traditional strategies and adaptations to this technology.

Google itself describes the Search Generative Experience as follows:

  • “Find what you’re looking for in faster, easier ways” – Source: Google Labs on SGE

In detail: How SGE works

Google SGE uses a Large Language Model (LLM) to change the way users search for and receive information.

Instead of limiting itself to simple, stereotypical search queries, SGE allows users to ask complex questions and specific queries. For example, a request for a training plan for a half marathon can be converted into a detailed, personalized response tailored to the time and individual needs of the user.

A central element of SGE is the AI snapshot, a colored dialog box that appears at the top of the search results. It provides comprehensive answers to user queries by combining information from various sources.

This snapshot goes beyond the conventional featured snippets and contains detailed text answers as well as reference sources and a link carousel. It serves as an introduction to the topic and encourages users to delve deeper into the subject.

Interestingly, the AI snapshot is not used for every search, as generating such detailed results is cost-intensive for Google.

Simpler queries that can be answered effectively without AI support are therefore handled without this feature.

In addition to the AI snapshot, SGE includes other functions such as “Conversational Mode”, a chat-like function, and “Vertical Experiences”, which provide specialized search results for areas such as shopping and user reviews.

These functions offer an interactive and customized use of the search engine, which significantly improves the search experience for users.

SEO in the age of SGE: New rules of the game?

The introduction of Google SGE represents a challenge for SEO experts, but also an opportunity.

By integrating AI into search processes, SBU is changing the way content is evaluated and displayed.

SEO strategies need to be adapted to optimize content so that it not only contains relevant keywords, but is also able to answer complex and nuanced queries.

This requires a stronger focus on high-quality, well-researched and in-depth content.

In addition, SBU could reinforce the importance of structured data and schema markup to provide search algorithms with better context and a deeper understanding of content.

Ultimately, these changes could shift the SEO landscape to place a higher value on user experience and expertise.

The extent of this impact is the subject of much discussion and forecasting.

I think it will depend very much on the search queries. An AI summary is more suitable for some topics than for others.

For News and general topic overviews for example, we can expect organic traffic to decrease because many users are satisfied with a summary.

For Special topics and specific specialist knowledge this effect will be less pronounced because the AI will not delve deep enough into the topic and will not be able to keep up with the experts.

Here, SGE will tend to offer a superficial first impression of a topic, which is then followed by a more in-depth search.

Structured data is particularly important in eCommerce . For well-optimized stores, SGE shows several products in its results, which leads to a lot of direct traffic with clear buying interest.

For this sector, SBU in combination with good SEO work therefore represents an opportunity for more and higher quality traffic.

The good news is that SEOs and marketers who already focus on the best possible quality and present their content in an appealing and technically flawless way will have little difficulty performing well even in times of SGE and general AI presence.

“I believe that in order to harmonize SEO and SBU, the E-E-A-T principle will become increasingly important for websites to be included as a credible source. In addition, the labeling of websites with structured data will certainly become more and more relevant in order to provide search engines and AI with additional information.”
Felicitas Bürger, Senior SEO Manager, UnitedAds

Practical guide: Content optimization for Google SGE

  • Implement the E-E-A-T principles to a greater extent: Focus on ensuring that your content not only demonstrates professional expertise (Expertise), but also draws on real experiences (Experience). It is important that you radiate authority (authoritativeness) in your field and emphasize trustworthiness through transparent sources and reliability.
  • Pursue a holistic SEO strategy: Develop a holistic SEO strategy that goes beyond keywords and includes technical SEO elements as well as content quality and user experience.
  • Make targeted use of structured data and Schema.org: Use structured data to provide search engines with detailed information about your site. By implementing Schema.org markup, your page can be better understood by Google and highlighted in the SERPs.
  • Put customer orientation and user focus at the center: Align your content consistently with the needs and questions of your target group. This includes providing answers to specific user queries and creating a user-friendly experience on your website.

  • Focus on the best possible quality: Prioritize the quality of your content in all aspects. This includes timeliness, accuracy, depth and breadth of information to ensure that your content provides maximum value to users.

The future of SGE: What can we expect?

The first and most important question is when SGE will be rolled out globally. So far, it is only available as a beta version in Germany and Europe. It is already available in the USA.

I expect this to happen in the first half of 2024, but so far there has been no announcement of a definite date.

As the Search Generative Experience is not yet fully developed, it is currently difficult to estimate the actual impact on search and organic page views. Some forecasts predict traffic losses of up to 30 or even 40% for certain topics, while others remain more skeptical.

The technology therefore has the potential to completely change search and turn the entire industry on its head.

However, if SBU is only used infrequently, the impact may be significantly lower or may fizzle out completely.

We will certainly see intensive use, especially shortly after the official rollout. Then the first guides based on experiments and data will also appear.

As with other new technologies, I expect things to normalize a few months after the release, once the novelty has worn off and users have become accustomed to it.

Conclusion: SBU’s influence on digital marketing

Google SGE is an extension of the well-known search engine that is based on the implementation of machine learning and a language AI.

The technology is designed to summarize and present the most important information for suitable search queries in a clear and comprehensible way.

As this can mean a significant change in search results – depending on what it will ultimately look like – it is essential that companies and marketers address the issue.

Even if it is not yet easy to assess the actual impact, some recommendations for action can be made.

  1. Quality and user focus will become even more important than before, because only the best content will be played out by SGE.
  2. Structured data helps AI to contextualize content and will therefore also play a major role.
  3. And the E-E-A-T principle will become even more important.

Of course, we also apply the above-mentioned recommendations ourselves. Feel free to contact us and we will discuss how we as an SEO agency can prepare for Google SGE and make your website fit for the “new search”.

About the Author

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Content Manager at 

Sven Nossek is a Content Manager at UnitedAds, overseeing all aspects of content creation: from research and briefings to content plans and the final text. He has been involved with content management, SEO, content marketing, and artificial intelligence in marketing and content areas since 2019.

In addition to German, he speaks English, is learning Swedish, and knows a few words in Spanish. In his free time, he reads fantasy, science fiction, and historical novels, writes himself, cooks, and can be found at medieval markets where he combines his passion for history and archaeology with another hobby: brewing exquisite mead from regional ingredients.

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