One of the biggest changes ever made to Google Search is coming soon. Google will use AI (artificial intelligence) to provide answers within search results. So it will likely have a huge impact on traffic to websites.
How Google Search Will Change Using AI
Google will add a new ‘section’ at top of search results. Their aim is to answer the users query without them needing to leave Google search. Google will answer the search query using snippets of information from different websites. It will do this by using their newest AI.
Google will also display recommended ‘follow up’ questions. This will help users to further refine their search to find the information they need. This will all show on the search page, meaning users won’t need to visit any 3rd party websites.
This is how google is planning to display the new search results:
Google has called this ‘Search Generative Experience’ (SGE) and is driven by AI. Under the shell it uses Google Gemini, which is like Open AI’s ChatGPT. It’s more clever than ChatGPT because it can analyse the ‘context’ of a search query. Also it can analyse non-text content such as images, audio and video.
Why Are Google Changing Their Search Engine?
Google is updating their search with Gemini, as its most powerful AI model to date. This will provide more detailed and personalized results for users, including:
- Enhance User Engagement: By providing faster, more relevant, and helpful search results. Google aims to keep users engaged on its platform for longer periods. This helps to keep users happy, and boosts Google’s advert revenue.
- Strengthen User Loyalty: Providing personalised search results can make users feel more connected with Google. This builds trust and loyalty in the brand. This can lead to increased use of other Google products and services.
- Gain Competitive Edge: Google must innovate to stay ahead of other search providers. Solving user queries is key to maintain their position as market leader.
When Will the Search Generative Experience (SGE) Change Go Live?
SGE is coming soon. Iterations have been in use for several years. Google PaLM 2 was first announced in April 2022, and made public in May 2023.
The experimental ‘beta’ phase of SGE is set to end in December 2023. So Google is expected to make SGE a permanent feature of Google Search in early 2024.
How Traffic To Your Website Could Be Affected?
Google will be amalgamating content from different websites within the search results. This will provide the user with an immediate answer to their query.
This is most likely to affect informational and shopping searches. For shopping searches Google will use product data from their ‘Shopping Graph’. This will include descriptions, up-to-date reviews, ratings, prices and product images. The results will be relevant and specific to the user search.
What Can You Do To Maximise SEO With Google AI Search
This is a great opportunity for companies. If your products are well optimised, they are more likely to be featured by Google. Those showing unique and detailed descriptions, images and content as most likely to shown. This could mean a boost in traffic for some online shops.
The key opportunity is to provide unique and engaging content. Discussing and analysing a subject, providing detailed, and if possible, personal insight. This type of content is more interesting and engaging for users. It’s is less easy for Google to summarise, making it more likely they will visit your website.
What Other Actions Can You Take To Minimise Impact?
There are a number of things that you can do to minimize the impact of these changes on your website’s SEO:
- Unique Content: Ensure you have high quality, detailed and descriptive content. This will maximise your chances of featuring in google search results. Making it unique to your competitors will help you stand out.
- Quality Product Listings: Ensure your products are listed by google shopping for maximum exposure. Include descriptions, features, images and reviews which are unique and relevant.
- Utilise website Analytics: Ensure you install Google Analytics or Fathom Analytics. This will enable you to monitor website traffic, trends and spot changes.
- Maximise alternative marketing opportunities: Use email marketing and social media. Stay in contact with new and existing customers to ensure your brand is fresh in their mind.
- Diversify your content: Consider repurposing your blog posts. Convert to video (YouTube) and/or audio content (e.g. Podcasts). This will reach a larger audience on the platform of their choice.
- Consider paid advertising: You may require a boost of traffic at peak shopping times. Especially during peak season, paid advertising can provide a boost in traffic.
Google’s new AI-powered search features are a major change for the search landscape. This provides a great opportunity for those who understand the changes and prepared. Unique and engaging content, good product descriptions, and well indexed site are key. We recommend a technical website audit, and SEO plan. This will ensure you maximise your chances when google launches SGE. Websites who are not prepared could see a big drop in traffic if they do not act now.