Search Generative Experience - a Google revolution?

Since May 2023, Google has been testing a new form of search results: SGE. Initially only available for English-speaking users in the US, SGE enables more informative results and a more efficient search experience thanks to generative artificial intelligence.

Since May 2023, Google has been testing a new form of search results: SGE (Search Generative Experience). Initially only available for English-speaking users in the USA, SGE enables more informative results and a more efficient search experience in more than 120 countries and 7 languages thanks to generative artificial intelligence (update 8.11.2023).

As performance marketers, we are now faced with the question of how user behavior will change, but also what effects SEO and SEA will have on us.

What exactly is Google SGE?

SGE (Search Generative Experience) is a new form of search results for Google users that uses generative AI to provide more information and context for searches. SGE uses advances in artificial intelligence to help users understand topics faster, answer questions more easily and complete tasks more easily.

This all happens in so-called conversation mode, which allows the user to ask follow-up questions in the same context and uses this to show different perspectives or deeper details. The Search Generative Experience can also be helpful when shopping, as it shows the most important product details, current reviews and prices from different retailers at a glance when searching for a specific product.


At first glance, SGE may look very similar to the AI chatbot Google Bard; even the data source is identical for both models. But there is one major difference: SGE is not a chatbot, not a language model, you cannot chat or speak with SGE. The algorithm delivers results for searches based on information from indexed and crawled websites - just like the previous Google SERP.

It is not yet clear when the Search Generative Experience will also be available in EU countries.

Tests and initial figures

According to tests on, the SBU displayed a result for 80% of search queries. The vast majority of SERPs therefore include more complex, AI-generated search results that take up considerably more space on the page.

The tests showed, among other things, that 85% of the organic sources cited by SGE came from websites that ranked in position 1-10 for the relevant search query, i.e. on page 1 of the SERP.

For price and location queries (e.g. iPhone price), SGE was seen as a result in 100% of cases.

Interestingly, Google also displays SBU results for search queries such as “How to treat disease XY”. For these and similar topics, it is all the more important for organic websites to fulfill the E-E-A-T principles in order to display a result in the SGE.

How does SGE influence organic website traffic?

According to initial figures and analyses, experts from Search Engine Land assume that some websites will have to reckon with a decline of up to 30% in organic traffic similar to how featured snippets have affected the results in the SERP. Of course, this decline depends on factors such as keywords, topic niche and business model. Nevertheless, we in the SEO team at Proficio remain optimistic, because the way the SBU is behaving at the moment, websites with low information value, content prepared hundreds of times and no added value for the user will lose out.

For questions that are very easy to answer, SGE will not have to look for additional sources. This means that Google does not have to consult any other websites for information and users can see answers to such simple questions directly in the browser. This results in existing websites losing organic traffic.

Today, this process is already happening through Featured Snippets: When Google displays an answer to a trivial query such as “What is today’s date”, the user does not have to select another source of information or click through more search results.

The likely future

Over the last two decades, Google has continuously adapted and developed search. Often, such changes have happened quietly, keeping SEOs around the world in the dark. In the case of Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE), we don’t know the final form yet either, but we already have a little more detail and information.

For example, we can be sure that advertising will be part of the AI-generated responses that the user will receive - so SEA will continue to play a relevant role in the competitive Google Search space. In addition, organic results will also be included as sources. In recent tests, the organic search results often even appeared before/​above the paid ads. It therefore seems as if Google is experimenting with the order in the SERP or SGE.

How to prepare your website for SGE

We have summarized 5 points that will help you to position your website as high up as possible in the SERP and thus also to appear in an SGE result.

1. Renew existing content

Analyzing existing content and updating it is always an advantage, because Google, just like users, prefers up to date or new content. Outdated content that has lost relevance or even accuracy over time must be renewed.

It can happen that somewhere at the bottom of a page there is text that is either no longer up to date, does not have the correct formatting or shows outdated images. In short, content that nobody wants to read - not even Google.

2. build structure with content clusters

Just as important as the content itself is to give it a logical structure that is understandable for users and search engines alike. This is achieved with so-called content hubs: structuring content into main topics and subtopics that are interdependent and divided into clusters.

3. Prioritize news, trends and innovations

Being first always pays off, and in more ways than one. With news, trends and innovation, you establish your website as a relevant source of information that users will consult again and again. You consolidate your authority both with your target group and in the search engine.

4. Optimize technical aspects of the website

Also don’t forget to take care of the basic technical elements of your website. These include in particular:

  • The loading speed of the website including the sub-templates (e.g. Listing, detail, blog),
  • Response codes 4xx, 5xx,
  • Mobile-first content,
  • Crawl budget management and indexing.

The dashboard in your Google Search Console is particularly helpful for an initial overview. There, Google shows you which errors may need to be corrected and how you can further improve your website.

5. Build authority through external links

Imagine you are standing in a bookshop looking for a Christmas present for an architecture fan. Would you rather go for a much-quoted author or an unknown writer? If you choose option 1, then think like Google.

  • Collect high-quality links from relevant websites,
  • create so-called link assets,
  • search for non-competing and independent websites, and
  • strive for synergies and partnerships.

With a little luck and the right content strategy, other websites will link to yours.

Meaningful links have always played an important role in the competition for the top positions in search results.

Winners and losers

Websites that have high-quality and original images can also benefit from Search Generative Experience, because SGE often uses images together with text or source information. But even that is only a small part of the puzzle.

All of the above factors, plus original, relevant content, go hand in hand to conquer Google, SGE and your target audience.

Deliver relevant information on all levels of the website - on category pages, the homepage, product pages or even on the blog.

Martin Hill

Senior SEO Specialist

Any questions?

Ask our experts, we will be happy to advise you.

SEO 22. 11. 2023