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Search Generative Experience, or SGE, is a cutting-edge new feature that has the potential to change everything about Google Search.

Search Generative Experience, or SGE, is a cutting-edge new feature that has the potential to change everything about Google Search.

What is Search Generative Experience (SGE)?

Search Generative Experience (SGE) is a groundbreaking feature introduced by Google that uses advanced AI technology to revolutionize the way users interact with search results. SGE uses these AI language models to create AI-powered snapshots and provide more contextually relevant information, answering search queries in a thorough, nuanced, and condensed way.

The key of SGE is its integration of a conversation mode into Google Search. The promise of SGE and its snapshots are that each result will be personalized to the user and designed to keep users on the search page itself. This allows for a deeper understanding of the user's intent and helps deliver more accurate results, but also may have major ramifications on SEO performance.

Supposedly, SGE has been developed with a focus on human input, evaluation, and Google's core search ranking systems. Although it's still in its experimental phase, SGE has the potential to reshape the search landscape and redefine how users interact with search engines in the future.

How Does Search Generative Experience Work?

The search generative experience utilizes AI and machine learning techniques to analyze user behavior, search patterns, and various other data points. These insights are then used to generate search results that cater to the user's specific intent and preferences. It combines multiple large language models (LLMs), such as MUM and PaLM2, to optimize and fine-tune the search results, delivering more contextually relevant and accurate information.

SGE generates AI-powered "snapshots" that provide concise, easy-to-understand answers to users' queries, using corroborated information from reliable web sources. The feature also introduces a conversational mode, where users can engage in a more interactive search experience. The AI system takes into account the context of the queries and their follow-ups, reformulating them to deliver better results.

SGE snapshot experience

The SGE snapshot above shows information about the search query, the content it sourced information from, and is prominently the first experience on the screen.

To keep the quality and safety of the information consistent with today’s Google Search experience, SGE incorporates human input and evaluation, as well as Google's core search ranking systems. This includes working with independent Search Quality Raters, conducting focused analyses, and implementing robust processes for human evaluation. The model is also trained to avoid generating results for explicit or dangerous topics, data voids, or information gaps.

The Role of SGE in Search

Before diving into the SEO implications, it's important to understand the role SGE plays in the search ecosystem. This innovative AI-powered feature provides users with a more conversational and interactive search experience by generating relevant and contextual responses to their queries. As SGE becomes more widely adopted, it has the potential to transform how users interact with search results, thereby affecting SEO performance for businesses.

Today, users type search queries into Google to find an answer to a question they have. The new SGE experience alludes to the idea that users will no longer navigate to external pages, but rather will stay on the results page to converse back and forth with the AI component itself.

How will SEO change due to SGE?

  1. Impact on Search Volume

One possible outcome of SGE's introduction is a shift in search volume for certain keywords. With SGE providing a more interactive search experience, users may spend more time exploring specific topics and engaging with the AI-generated results. This could lead to an increase in long-tail searches, as users delve deeper into specific subjects. Companies should be prepared to optimize their content for these longer, more specific keywords to capture the additional search volume generated by SGE.

  1. Difficulty in achieving top search results

As SGE aims to provide more accurate and relevant responses to user queries, competition for top search rankings may become even more intense. Since SGE leverages AI to generate responses, it has the potential to identify and rank high-quality content more effectively. This means that businesses will need to invest more in creating exceptional content that meets the needs of their target audience and stands out in a crowded market.

  1. Changes to Featured Snippets

Featured snippets have long been a coveted spot in search results, providing a quick, easily digestible answer to a user's query. With SGE, however, the way featured snippets work could change significantly. SGE's AI-generated responses may be more comprehensive and informative than traditional featured snippets, and in some cases, could even replace them. As a result, companies should closely monitor the performance of their current featured snippets and be prepared to optimize their content accordingly.

  1. Changes to ad placement and formats

User complaints about the number of ad placements before organic search results have been increasing over the past few years. It's very notable that the SGE changes seem to be a quick response to OpenAI's ChatGPT experience. There doesn't seem to be a clear strategy from Google around how ads will be incorporated to the SGE experience and, given the size of the SGE snapshot, ads will likely be far less prevalent — at least at the beginning. Google's primary cash cow is Search revenue, so we can expect experiments and changes around how ads work together with SGE.

  1. The Rise of Semantic Search

Search generative experience has been revolutionized by the use of semantic search technology. This advanced form of search engine technology uses natural language processing (NLP) to understand the context of user queries and provide more relevant and personalized results. Unlike traditional search that relies solely on keywords, semantic search looks beyond the query to understand the user’s intent and the relationship between different search terms. This makes it a more accurate and effective way to search, as it can detect synonyms, related terms, and even variations in spelling, grammar, and syntax.

This technology also enables users to search using natural language, rather than just keywords, making it easier to find exactly what they’re looking for. Semantic search can be used to improve the search experience in English (US) language, providing more accurate and relevant results for users. By understanding and responding to the user’s intent in their search query, semantic search offers a powerful, personalized search experience that takes the guesswork out of finding the right information.

Adapting Your SEO Strategy for SGE

To stay ahead of the industry (or your competitors) and maintain strong SEO performance in the age of SGE, businesses should think about using these strategies:

  1. Focus on high-quality, in-depth content: With SGE's emphasis on providing accurate and relevant information, businesses must prioritize creating high-quality content that thoroughly addresses user queries. By offering valuable, comprehensive content, companies can increase their chances of ranking higher in SGE-generated results.

  2. Optimize for long-tail keywords: As mentioned earlier, SGE may lead to an increase in long-tail searches as users engage more deeply with specific topics. Companies should identify and target these longer, more specific keywords in their content to capture additional search volume.

  3. Monitor and optimize featured snippets: As SGE continues to evolve, it's essential to keep an eye on the performance of your featured snippets and make any necessary adjustments. This may include updating content to better align with SGE-generated responses or optimizing for new types of snippets that emerge as a result of SGE.

  4. Embrace a conversational tone: Since SGE aims to provide a more conversational search experience, businesses should consider adopting a more informal, engaging tone in their content. This can help make their content more appealing to users and more likely to be featured in SGE-generated responses.


SGE has all the makings of a massively disruptive change by Google. Between SGE and the new Bing experience from Microsoft, expect that the SEO industry is in for a wild ride. By staying proactive and evolving in response to changes presented by SGE, companies can go beyond fighting to maintain current search rankings and instead focus on improving their competitive advantage. The key is to remain agile. Good luck!

P.s. If you're looking for better analytics for your content, try out Flywheel free today.

Published on

May 1, 2023



Chase Wilson

Chase Wilson


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