Google is testing a feature called the Search Generative Experience (SGE). Adapting to Google’s search generative experience (SGE) AI-driven tool occupies the top space in search results, giving instant AI-generated answers. As your trusted partners at Nickel SEO, we’ve explored what this means for local businesses and how we can leverage it.
Google’s SGE & Its Effect on Search Results
Google’s new feature, the Search Generative Experience (SGE), now prominently displays AI-generated answers at the top of its search results. This change has raised questions about its potential effects on website traffic and visibility.
Though SGE is still in its testing phase, it’s crucial for content creators to start adapting now, rather than waiting for its full rollout.
In this guide, I aim to:
- Demonstrate how to craft content that SGE is likely to reference.
- Share strategies to maintain strong organic traffic even with SGE in play.
How to Get Your Content Cited by SGE
SGE references or cites sources for the information it provides. An observation worth noting is that when there’s a featured snippet in the search results, SGE often uses that snippet as its response.
Maximizing Your Content’s Potential for SGE Reference
If you’ve been aiming to get your content in Google’s featured snippets, you’re on the right track. These same techniques could land your content a prime spot in an SGE response.
Here’s a simple strategy:
- Research Your Target Keyword: Start by entering your main keyword into Google. If there’s a featured snippet, study it closely.
- Analyze the Snippet’s Structure: Take note of its format. Is it a paragraph, list, or table? Does it have any specific formatting like bold text or H2 headers?
- Visit the Source: Go to the website from which the snippet originates. Identify where the featured content is located on the page and any specific formatting or structuring used.
- Improve and Innovate: Think about how you can enhance that information. Could you clarify the concept further? Maybe add more detailed steps or provide a more comprehensive table?
- Optimize Using Your Observations: When crafting or updating your content, use your research. If the snippet was a list with H3 headers, replicate that style in your piece. Tailoring your content in this manner can heighten your chances of being referenced by SGE.
But remember, not every search query will have a featured snippet. In cases where there isn’t one, how can you optimize your content to still rank well and be a potential candidate for SGE citation?
Enhancing Visibility with Schema Integration
There’s also some ‘behind-the-scenes’ work that can be done to improve your chances of becoming visible in the featured snippets. One such tool in our arsenal is Schema markup. Think of it as giving search engines a clearer roadmap to your page’s content.
Trying to answer questions related to a service you offer? We can improve Google’s understanding of your service pages.
Compiled a list of frequently asked questions about your local business or services? We recommend integrating the FAQ schema. Even though Google has dialed back on displaying FAQ sections in search results, this approach can still land you a coveted spot in the “People Also Ask” section.
In essence, it’s about making sure your quality content gets the spotlight it deserves.
Optimizing Image Descriptions with Alt Text
Enhance your images’ visibility on search engines by optimizing alt text. This not only aids screen readers but also boosts the likelihood of your images appearing in Google’s image search. As SGE may soon incorporate images, optimizing alt text is a simple yet effective SEO strategy.
Deliver Content Beyond Google’s Reach
Offer unique content like case studies, templates, and downloadable resources that SGE can’t produce. This showcases your brand’s expertise and value. Assess your content gaps, strengthen your offerings, and actively promote them across various channels. Remember, your goal is to demonstrate your brand’s Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T).
Enrich User Experience
While SGE provides quick answers, it can’t replicate a comprehensive article enriched with visuals. Tailor your content to your audience’s preferences, integrating interactive features, webinars, or events. Prioritizing a unique user experience not only boosts your rankings but also encourages repeat visits and engagement. Even if SGE dominates the top spot, quality content ensures sustained site traffic.
Emphasizing E-E-A-T for Stronger Presence
Highlight your Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) – foundational elements in Google’s algorithm. While E-E-A-T isn’t a direct ranking factor, it strongly influences how Google perceives content quality. Ensure your ‘About’ page is updated with accurate business details. Enhance credibility with detailed author bios, consistent author mentions, genuine customer reviews, and relevant case studies. Seek recognition from reputable industry directories to fortify your online reputation.
Staying Agile in the Age of SGE
Adapting is key with Google’s evolving landscape. As SGE undergoes changes, it’s vital to regularly assess your content’s performance and adapt. This involves continuous measurement, strategic tweaks, and a proactive approach to stay ahead of Google’s ever-shifting terrain.
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Broaden Your Content Reach Beyond Search
With SGE potentially reducing organic traffic by providing direct answers, it’s essential to diversify content channels. Use your high-quality content in various ways:
- Combine related articles into comprehensive ebooks, shared on your website, emails, and social platforms.
- Convert written content into engaging videos or podcasts, catering to diverse audience preferences.
- Turn in-depth articles into compelling social media posts or carousels, maximizing exposure.
AI tools, like ChatGPT, can assist in repurposing content, scripting, or generating concise social media posts. However, when using AI, always ensure:
- Accuracy in content.
- Relevance and usefulness.
- A human touch in the final edit.
Evolving SEO in the SGE Era
SEO isn’t static. With innovations like SGE, the landscape changes, but the core of SEO – adapting and optimizing – remains. As user behavior and Google evolve, a flexible SEO strategy becomes ever more essential.
At Nickel SEO, our data-driven approach aims to harness organic search as a pivotal marketing channel. Explore how we can bolster your content strategy in light of SGE and beyond. Schedule a free consultation today!