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Impact of Google’s Search Generative Experience for Inbound Marketing

The Inbound Marketing world is on the brink of another significant development with the upcoming introduction of Google's Search Generative Experience (SGE), an AI-driven search feature that Google promises will “take more of the work out of searching.”

Through Search Generative Experience, Google claims users will be able to understand topics faster, uncover new viewpoints and insights, and get things done more easily. That's because SGE will be capable of helping to break one question down into smaller ones, sort through a vast amount of information, and more seamlessly piece that information together.

But what does this mean for B2B Inbound Marketers? With SGE providing users with answers directly within search results, will this potentially reduce clicks to your website? Is SGE a friend or foe for your Inbound Marketing strategy?

What is Google’s Search Generative Experience?

Google's Search Generative Experience is a new approach to search results powered by generative AI. Imagine a search engine that goes beyond simply listing websites - SGE will provide users with interactive answers and summaries to their queries, all within the search results page.

This change means that Google will be delivering immediate answers within the search results page itself, reducing the need for users to click directly through to websites to find the information they need.

The below image from Google shows how a search term could appear with SGE in place:

SGE search example

Google says: “SGE is an early step in transforming the Search experience with generative AI. When using SGE, people will notice their search results page with familiar web results, organized in a new way to help them get more from a single search.”

With generative AI in Search, people are able to:

  • Ask new kinds of questions that are more complex and more descriptive
  • Get the gist of a topic faster, with links to relevant results to explore further
  • Get started on something you need to do quickly, like writing drafts or generating imagery right from where you’re searching
  • Make progress easily, by asking conversational follow-ups or trying suggested next steps

When Will SGE be Launched in Canada?

The launch of SGE in Canada is planned for this year (2024), although no official date has been communicated as of the time we published this blog. It’s currently available to test in 120 countries, but Canada is not one of them.

SGE is still under development, but it has the potential to significantly impact how users interact with search results. By understanding SGE, you as an Inbound Marketer can adapt your strategy to leverage this new technology and continue to reach your target audience. With that in mind, here are a few pros and cons of SGE.

The Pros and Cons of SGE for Your Inbound Marketing Program

The Potential Opportunities
  1. Enhanced Credibility: If your website is cited as a source within SGE results, it boosts your brand credibility and positions you as a thought leader.
  2. Targeted Content: Understanding how SGE prioritizes information can help you tailor content to answer specific user queries, potentially increasing its visibility within SGE summaries.
  3. Focus on User Experience: SGE prioritizes user experience. This aligns perfectly with the core principles of Inbound Marketing, encouraging you to create high-quality, engaging content that resonates with your audience.
The Potential Threats
  1. Reduced Website Traffic: If users get their answers directly on Google, there's a chance they won't visit your website, impacting lead generation and brand awareness efforts. 
  2. Content Invisibility: With SGE summaries potentially burying organic search results, your valuable content might get less visibility, hindering your ability to educate and convert potential customers.
  3. Shifting Focus: Optimizing for SGE might require a different approach than traditional SEO. You'll need to adapt your content strategy to cater to the way SGE gathers information.

While SGE might change the way users interact with search results, the core principles of Inbound Marketing remain. By creating valuable content, optimizing for user experience, and adapting to the evolving search landscape, you can ensure your Inbound Marketing strategy continues to thrive in the age of SGE.

Ready to embrace the challenge? At SummitBound, we're here to help you navigate the ever-changing world of inbound marketing. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you develop an SGE-ready strategy!

Tom Davis
Post by Tom Davis
April 11, 2024
With a background in journalism, Tom combines his love of writing and experience in Inbound Marketing to deliver effective content strategies to SummitBound clients.