AI Overviews: Evolution of Google SGE and What Marketers Need to Know

Here's how to navigate the evolving AI search landscape.

By Yext

May 14, 2024

4 min

At its annual I/O developer conference, Google officially announced the launch of AI Overviews, known as Google Search Generative Experience (SGE) while in beta. This move will change how users interact with search engines and how marketers approach their discovery strategies to limit impact to organic search results.

Here's a straightforward guide to understanding and navigating the evolving AI search landscape.

What is Google SGE?

AI Overviews, popularly known as Google SGE, is an AI-enhanced feature within Google Search, designed to improve user interaction by providing conversational and contextually relevant search results. Users are seeking answers to their questions, and SGE aims to provide a more intuitive approach to reviewing information through summaries, insights, and responsive follow-up queries that are all directly on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). SGE represents a significant shift in Google's search capabilities, offering users deeper insights without leaving the SERP.

Why Does SGE Matter for Digital Marketers?

SGE will reshape how users find and engage with information online, removing dependency on blue links. This may impact user engagement and click-through rates to a brand's website. Thus, digital marketers will need to adapt their SEO and content strategies to accommodate the nuances of AI-driven search results. This includes understanding the signals that Google SGE looks for when surfacing information, such as consistent and accurate brand information across an extended network of publishers, and optimizing content to compliment AI-enhanced search results to improve discoverability in both AI-generated and conventional search listings.

What Should Digital Marketers Do?

As SGE reshapes the search landscape, digital marketers should proactively adapt to stay competitive. Early adoption and adjustment for this new search paradigm can give marketers an advantage to enhance their discoverability and engagement.

To adapt to SGE and leverage its potential, here are practical steps marketers should take today that align with established Google values on Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T):

1. Manage consistent brand information across publishers: Make sure your brand information is consistent and up-to-date across a wide network of websites, beyond major choices like Google, Apple, and Facebook. AI-powered search experiences, like SGE, rely on this consistency to assess your brand's credibility and relevance.

To get a bit more technical: Google is using its Knowledge Graph to answer questions directly. The more consistent, frequently updated data that you can provide that Knowledge Graph, the better: our research shows that this helps you in ranking for local search results.

Read the "Power of a Digital Presence Report" from Yext to learn more about how this approach has helped some brands measure +186% more clicks to their websites from Google.

2. Optimize content for depth, quality, and user intent: Develop comprehensive content that addresses specific queries related to your brand. SGE favors detailed responses, so enriching your content with in-depth analysis, data-backed insights, and expert opinions to meet the AI's standards for quality and relevance. Tailor your content to answer the implicit questions and needs behind search queries. This involves understanding and aligning with the customer journey, ensuring that your content not only attracts but also answers questions that might be posed by users to conversational AI.

3. Boost brand authority and trustworthiness: Reviews and social media can significantly impact establishing authority and trust with SGE when surfacing results to users. Positive reviews can significantly elevate your brand's expertise and reliability. An active and engaging social media presence can send strong signals to SGE about your content's relevance and engagement, further enhancing discoverability.

4. Enhance user experience (UX): SGE places value on how quickly and efficiently a user can find information. Ensure your brand's website and local pages are optimized for speed, mobile responsiveness, and ease of navigation. A smooth, user-friendly experience helps improve user engagement and reduce bounce rates, which are crucial for AI-driven search discovery.

5. Monitor and adapt to changes: SGE and AI-search will continue to evolve. Regularly test how your content performs with the new search changes, and be ready to iterate your strategies based on what you learn from data and user feedback.

How Can Yext Help Brands Navigate AI Search Changes?

At Yext, we offer solutions to manage all aspects of your brand's digital presence efficiently. With Yext's comprehensive platform, brands can consolidate efforts and save time while leveraging deeper insights at the local level across multiple critical areas, including listings, reviews, social media, local pages, and more. Yext's structured data capabilities, powered Yext Content, empower brands to strengthen their signals across an extensive publisher network, ensuring the accuracy and consistency that AI-driven search experiences require.

While SGE introduces new challenges and opportunities for brands, taking proactive steps now can position you for success in the evolving search landscape. Boosting your brand's signal through steps such as managing consistent brand information, optimizing review and social strategies, enhancing the UX on web pages, and monitoring changes can help prevent an impact on organic search performance.

Click here to read more about how consistent information improves brand discoverability.

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