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Search Generative Experience (SGE): What It Is And How Google Search Is Changing

Google is working on a change that will radically change the structure of search results pages (SERPs). Search Generative Experience will propose answers to users’ questions using information from other websites. After conquering 91% of the online search market, thanks to end users’ marked increase in the use of generative models (think of ChatGPT), Google is rethinking its SERPs.

Acronym of Search Engine Results Pages, these are the pages that contain the results of searches. Online publishers are an essential traffic source. For users, they are the tool used until yesterday to get answers on any topic, at least until the arrival of ChatGPT and members.

Search Generative Experience (SGE) is one of the experiments that Google conducts to stay on the “crest of the wave” and not leave AI-powered third-party chatbots’ ever-increasing market share. Starting from May 10th, the Mountain View company launched the SGE public test program, thus directly involving the end users of its search engine as well. After trying SGE in the preview, you can start composing your first financial statements.

What Is Google Search Generative Experience, And How It Works

As mentioned in the introduction, SGE integrates tightly with the Google search engine manifesting its presence at the top of the SERPs. The system, itself powered by artificial intelligence, collects facts and text snippets from various websites and stitches them together (often verbatim), describing the work as its creation. For some search queries, it happens that SGE occupies several pixels vertically, relegating the classic results – currently present in the SERPs – to a much less visible position, accessible only after a lot of scrolling.

Google has stated that SGE is an experiment and that many things could change between now and the final version. In any case, the goal of the engineers of the company, founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, is to continue to bring organic traffic to a vast array of content creators. In other words, there is no intention to penalize those who produce and publish quality articles on the Web. Quite the contrary.

The fact is that, for the moment, SGE shows just three boxes with as many links to third-party websites at the top of the SERPs. For many analysts, it is too little. For Google, on the other hand, it is the way to indicate which are the web pages ( sources ) from which it has drawn information useful for composing the response generated and displayed to the user.

Criticisms Aimed At Search Generative Experience

At least in the implementation shown to the public in recent weeks, Search Generative Experience has garnered several criticisms. Many observe that there would first be a basic error: the belief that a bot can have some authority. The fact that it can collect information from multiple websites, summarize, organize, and present it in a more or less different way than the original is no guarantee of a job well done. The Google Search user reading that information can trust it regardless. But text generated through a template can still present problems.

Do you also remember the provision approved in Spain a few years ago which forced Google to pay a “penalty” to online publishers in exchange for the republication of an extract of their texts on the pages of the Google News service? Well, that stance was wrong, anachronistic, and out of place, and it soon turned out to be a boomerang for many online newspapers, which later complained of devastating effects. Also, because web admins had and still have the tools to leave Google News or not be indexed, it is impossible to request financial compensation from Google for republishing portions of texts.

Combined Content Using Articles Produced From Multiple Sources. The EEAT Requirement

In the case of SGE, a similar theme could arise again with the difference that this time the texts published on the Web are combined, often word for word, to form a longer content. Currently, no sentence-by-sentence notes refer to each website selected by Google, as Perplexity.ai does, but only the boxes on the right side of the SERPs.

Furthermore, the answers appear overall very superficial and imprecise. But it is the obvious result of a brief potpourri of information from various sources that intelligence has occasionally selected and taken for granted. How could it be otherwise? Furthermore, are those produced by SGE content that – as proposed – can satisfy the SEAT requirements ( expertise, experience, authority, and trust ) that Google has been inviting those who produce content for the Web to apply for years scrupulously? At present, it would seem not.

Finally, the current “declination” of SGE appears strongly oriented towards a zero-click scheme: users of the search engine are not encouraged to click on the search results but, in the case of many queries, they could probably be satisfied with what is proposed by the artificial intelligence in the first part of the SERP screen.

Also Read: How Do Google’s Algorithms Work?


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