After several months of rumors and early demonstrations, we finally have a preview of how generative AI will manifest in Google searches.
At the much-awaited Google I/O 2023 event, the team unveiled and demonstrated the Search Generative Experience (SGE), which will gradually become available in the upcoming months.
Here are the details on these announcements shared by Google and how they might affect SEO.
The Big Announcement for Google Search
This section gives an overview of Google’s initial strides in this novel Search era. You can test these generative AI features first in Search Labs – a new method to access early Search experiments.
Google search gets AI-powered snapshot
What does it mean: For starters, Google has recently launched a new AI-powered Snapshot feature. When a search query is entered in Google Search, it presents users with an AI-generated summary of crucial details and relevant links for further exploration.
In addition to AI Snapshot, users will also be presented with recommended actions and the option to pose additional inquiries. If users select any of the suggested follow-up questions, they will be directed to a conversational interface where they can ask more questions related to the initial topic.
All in all, this feature allows users to explore the richness of a topic.
How will it impact SEO?: With the changes in how content is presented, the focus will shift to creating user-focused content that provides high-quality information to meet the needs of searchers.
With the introduction of follow-up questions and other links in the snapshot, users are more likely to engage with content that provides a comprehensive understanding of the topic they are searching for.
This means that SEO professionals will have to do more than just optimize for search engines. They will have to prioritize creating high-quality content that is focused on the needs of their target audience.
This feature will also allow users to find the information they need without having to click through multiple pages. As a result, the AI-powered snapshot may also impact the click-through rate of search results. Websites that do not prioritize user-focused content may see a decline in their click-through rates.
Generative AI will generate original answer
What does this mean: Google will introduce generative AI to create original answers for certain queries. This system will replace the current featured snippet system. Instead of pulling information from existing websites and presenting it as a featured snippet, Google's AI will generate original answers based on the user's query.
How will it impact SEO?: This change could result in fewer clicks to a website for certain queries. Since Google's AI will generate the answer directly, users might not have to click through to a website for more information.
However, this also means that Google will still value websites with high-quality, user-focused content that provides accurate and up-to-date information. If your content has that, Google will cite your content as the source and reward you with high rankings.
Google's AI will still value websites with high-quality, user-focused content that provides accurate and up-to-date information and may be rewarded with higher rankings in search results.
Google AI will be able to answer complex questions
What does this mean: With its new search capabilities, Google will take into account the semantic and contextual nuances while answering queries.So when users ask longer and more complex questions, Google will be able to understand the intent behind the query better and provide more accurate and comprehensive results.
This will save time and effort as users won’t have to perform multiple searches for related queries, as Google can combine and interpret them into a single search query.
How will it impact SEO: The traditional approach of relying solely on keywords to rank in search results will become less effective as Google shifts towards a more semantic and contextual search approach. This puts a greater emphasis on NLP optimization, as it allows a machine to comprehend human language, whether spoken or written.
So, targeting specific keywords might not be enough. Content creators and website owners will need to focus on creating comprehensive and authoritative content around specific topics. This can be achieved by creating topic clusters through a set of interlinked content pieces that cover a broad topic in-depth. By doing so, websites can establish authority in a specific topic area and improve their chances of ranking higher in search results.
Links are still not dead and nor is SEO
What does this mean: If you thought links were dead, here’s some respite for you. Knowledge cards and links are distributed throughout, located in the right corner and below the result, as shown below.
How will it impact SEO: SEO is surely not dead. If your page content has original research and systematically answers the search query, it will generate traffic and help improve your website's ranking in search results.
Perspectives on Search Will Take a Central Role
What does this mean: When it comes to finding valuable insights amidst the abundant information available online, it understands that you want the perspectives of others to address your questions effectively. That is why Google is also working on connecting you with individuals and perspectives that will aid your understanding of what is most beneficial for you.
The Perspectives filter will show you a page of results from other people, like personal stories told through video, or tips from commenters in a forum thread. The filter will give priority to personal information shared by real individuals on social media platforms and forums. This puts a greater focus on content with unique expertise and experience.
How will it impact SEO: With the introduction of the Perspectives filter in search results, user-generated content will become more critical for businesses' SEO strategy. The filter will allow users to access content that people have shared on social media platforms, discussion boards, and Q&A sites. This will make it easier for potential customers to gain insights into what others think about a product or service.
This means that businesses will need to create content that resonates with the target audience and encourages them to engage with the brand positively. The content marketing team will have to work closely with social media, PR, and customer service teams to ensure a cohesive message across all channels.
The impact on image search
What does this mean: According to Google, they have collaborated with Adobe Firefly to provide an innovative feature that allows users to create images using Bard and Adobe's technology. In addition, Google also mentioned their plans to enhance search results by enabling users to access more information about the images by clicking a button. This development may affect image search and discourage image copying since users can now generate unique images for their needs on the go.
However, this could cause concern for websites like Pinterest and stock photo websites.
How will it impact SEO: The click to show more information about the image feature is surely a good sign for SEO. This means that users will be able to access more information about the image, such as its source and context, which could help improve its relevance and ranking in search results.
As with any new development, keeping a close eye on how this feature evolves and impacts image SEO is essential.
The future of search ads
What does this mean: As Google harnesses the capabilities of generative AI to enhance Search experiences, ads will continue to be important. Google Ads will continue to facilitate connections between people and valuable information and enable businesses to enhance their online visibility.
Its impact: Google is exploring the use of AI-powered tools for ad creation, such as responsive search ads. These ads automatically adapt to fit the available space and can generate multiple headlines and descriptions, allowing for greater flexibility and better performance.
As the online advertising landscape continues to evolve, it is clear that search ads will remain a crucial component of how businesses connect with customers online.
The Future of SEO With Google’s Recent Announcement
In order to keep up with the new AI-generated SERP, content marketers and SEOs must modify their approach. Nevertheless, the fundamental objective remains the same, which is to produce valuable content.
Here are some practices that individuals in the industry will follow in order to remain competitive in the era of AI-generated search.
1. Focus on high quality content will increase
Rather than generating content focused on keywords, marketers would want to concentrate on offering information that has not already been excessively covered by other sources. This makes creating content with unique and valuable information an important part of marketing content strategy.
2. SEO will focus on topics rather than just keywords
Google is moving away from the traditional keyword-focused approach to SEO and is now prioritizing topics. This means that businesses will have to focus on creating content that covers a broad range of topics related to their industry. By doing so, they can establish themselves as an authority in their field and improve their chances of ranking for a wider range of search queries.
To implement this strategy, businesses would have to conduct keyword research to identify the main topics that are relevant to their industry and create content around those topics.
3. SEO teams will work in collaboration with PR, Social Media and Customer Service Teams
Another trend that is likely to emerge in the future of SEO is the need for collaboration between SEO teams and other departments, such as PR, Social Media, and Customer Service. This is because these departments play a critical role in shaping a business's online presence and reputation.
By working together, businesses will be able to create a more cohesive online presence that delivers a consistent message across all channels. This can help to improve brand awareness, reputation, and customer satisfaction.
4. Focus on EEAT will increase
Google's recent announcement has also highlighted the importance of Expertise, Experience, Authority, and Trustworthiness (EEAT) in SEO. This means that businesses will need to build a strong reputation as an expert in their field, demonstrate their authority through backlinks, and ensure that their website is trustworthy and secure. For this, businesses can consider using HTTPS encryption, regularly updating software, and implementing robust password policies. This would help instill confidence in search engines and visitors.
Conclusion: Better quality content with proper SEO will win the game
To sum up, the recent AI announcements made at Google I/O 2023 are set to have a big impact on SEO. In order to stay ahead of the game, it's vital to produce top-notch content optimized for search engines.
As AI algorithms become more sophisticated, it's crucial to create content that's relevant, engaging, and valuable to users.
In the ever-evolving world of Search, it’s a win for businesses and content marketers who focus on crafting high-quality content and implementing effective SEO strategies.
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