Google Artificial Intelligence Search Marketing

Will Google’s imminent AI results page kill click-through? Not if you’re prepared

By Sam Cant, Search engine optimization lead

Jaywing

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The Drum Network article

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January 23, 2024 | 5 min read

After trials last year, Google’s AI-infused results page – dubbed search generative experience (SGE) – still has no official wide-release date. Still, expect it to change everything this year, says Jaywing’s Sam Cant.

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In 2024, the SEO industry is poised for its biggest shake-up in a decade, with the imminent launch of Google’s new AI results page feature, search generative experience (SGE).

SGE promises to revolutionize organic search by introducing AI-generated content directly into search results pages. This increases the chance of users finding the answers they’re looking for, when searching for information or products, without even clicking on a link.

This AI-generated content will aim to provide instant, relevant information, which could reduce the traditional click-through rate (CTR) for websites. This shift will be a major challenge for brands currently relying heavily on organic search traffic for their online presence.

So, while some may dismiss the capabilities of AI, Google’s substantial investment in SGE and the recent introduction of Gemini (a significant improvement to the AI model) underscores the inevitability of this transformative change.

Winners and losers

As with any major industry transformation, there will be clear winners and losers in the organic search landscape when SGE lands. The key to staying ahead lies in understanding and incorporating SGE into your ongoing organic strategy.

One significant impact will be felt in product search engine results pages (SERPs), particularly in comparison terms, where Google will generate evaluative content directly onto the SERPs. Q&A and editorial content are also prime targets for SGE, as AI will be able to quickly collate information and provide written responses on the SERPs.

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Future-proofing for SGE

There are many things you can do to prepare your website for the introduction of SGE but a focus on useful and unique content and ‘EEAT’ principles (experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) should be top of your list to come out on top.

Content clustering involves the organization of related topics and keywords into related content groups, facilitating the creation of authoritative and comprehensive resources that Google can use as supportive material. To bolster expertise (E), in-depth research and topic-focused clusters should establish your domain knowledge. Authoritativeness (A) is built by using designated cornerstone content and robust linking strategies within these clusters. Trustworthiness (T) is solidified through accurate, sourced information, user-generated content, and transparent citations.

This content approach will not only prepare websites for the challenges of AI-generated content, but also ensure that content remains valuable, trustworthy, and relevant to users.

Navigating performance data

Zero-click searches are becoming increasingly common, where users get answers directly from Google’s search results without clicking on a website link. This shift challenges SEO professionals to evaluate the success of their content and its impact on branding and reach. Traditional metrics like click-through rate (CTR) may lose relevance, and search marketers may need to explore more sophisticated attribution models and econometrics to measure the true value of their organic content. It’s essential to adapt to these changes in user behavior and find innovative ways to demonstrate the value of your content.

2024 is poised to be a transformative year for the SEO industry, with Google’s SGE reshaping the way organic search results are delivered and consumed. To thrive in this evolving landscape, SEO professionals must stay ahead by understanding SGE, adapting their strategies, and reevaluating how they measure the success of their content. As the SEO industry continues to evolve, staying agile and informed will be key to achieving organic search success in the years to come.

Google Artificial Intelligence Search Marketing

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At Jaywing, we’ve made it our mission to help clients establish concrete foundations in a world of shifting sands. As a data-powered integrated agency, we bring...

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