Google employees used the term “AI” more than 70 times during the Google I/O event on May 10, 2023. At this event, Google presented which innovations they will implement. A large part is devoted to artificial intelligence. One of the major innovations that will be implemented is that of the Search Generative Experience. In this article I will take you through the possible consequences of this.
With the Search Generative Experience, Google provides answers to keywords entered by visitors in search results pages with the help of AI. In this article I will take you into my vision about the consequences of this for websites and I will mention what impact this can have for organizations.
The possible impact of the Search Generative Experience update
The Search Generative Experience update looks like this:
And this affects different types of websites. There is now a lot of speculation. The term “zero-clicks SEO” is making a comeback and there is also a lot of speculation about SEA in the future.
Since the Google Ads program is an important revenue model for Google, it will undoubtedly get a place in the search results pages. Google indicates itself that text ads will still appear in reserved spaces. The question is how and where. A number of things are certain, but also a lot is uncertain.
What will Google make SERPs (search results pages) look like on commercial short-tail keywords, such as “buy shoes”? Both the volume and the average CPCs (cost per click) that are charged are high. Will Google then trade the Google Ads spots for an AI-generated answer? I do not think so. I do estimate that advertisements will get a place within the response that is generated.
The way people search in search engines will also change. Many people now have access to ChatGPT and are developing prompts. People are increasingly understanding that the better and more comprehensive the prompt is, the more relevant and complete the output you receive.
And then we have mid-funnel keywords, that’s what I call it. These are keywords that hang between long-tail and short-tail. These are keywords that people in the middle of the buyer-journey use to obtain information. Think of keywords such as “installation tips central heating boiler” or “create a checklist for website”. For these types of keywords, AI-formulated answers are very useful and can provide a lot of added value. Websites that generate a lot of traffic on these types of keywords can expect a drop in visits. I read a nice comparison about this:
Why would you enter another restaurant if you have already received a complete dinner from the chef in front of the entrance?
The same applies here: why visit another website if you have already received all the information you need?
Work on the EEAT guidelines!
With Google’s EEAT update, context, authority and relevance become even more important.
If you want to excel, you will need to create more content that is relevant to your target audience. Consider the following topics:
- What pain or problem does my product or service solve?
- What is the biggest benefit of my product or service?
- What is my product or service used for and what can I say about it?
- What questions do customers ask me about this product or service?
- In what context can my product or service be used and what can I say about it?
This way you will share more valuable content, allowing Google to use your product information and expertise in SERPs. Also hook up with your sales department for this. They can provide marketing input to create content based on questions they are asked during conversations.
Be warned if you rely too much on Google Search as a performance channel
Is Google Search the most important performance channel for your webshop and do you rely on it a lot? That is a risky approach. Make sure you set up a strategy in which you bet on multiple channels. Get started with brand awareness, bet on customer loyalty, investigate the possibility of marketplace marketing or go international to maintain your turnover. Regardless of the consequences of AI in search results pages, it is wise to use a complete mix of online channels so that you are less dependent on 1 source.
It is a trend that has been going on for some time: Google will always want to provide better and more complete answers to the SERPs so that visitors no longer have to leave Google. In addition, they will focus more on Google Ads, as it is an important revenue model for the search engine. SEO seems to be shifting further and further into the background.
The Search Generative Experience for webshops
Webshops generate traffic from the SERPs in various ways. Google Shopping and Google Search Campaigns are major sources of traffic from advertising. From SEO, blogs and product pages are important to generate traffic from product-based keywords.
As a result of the Search Generative Experience, you can imagine that Google Shopping becomes even more important for webshops. The better you organize and fill your product information, the better Google can promote your product to AI-generated answers. For example, if people search for: “Which football boots can I use best for futsal?” do you get to see blogs now. But an AI-generated text can delve into important elements of futsal boots and show the top-rated futsal boots.
In this short video from Google you can see how that can look like. Google not only links products to your search query, but they also give back what factors you as a buyer should pay attention to or consider. With this, Google suddenly makes buying products even easier.
All in all, this update from Google will bring about many changes in search engine marketing. Is your website or webshop heavily dependent on Google? Then make sure you quickly diversify within your online marketing strategy. You don’t want to be dependent on 1 source. Furthermore, Google will reserve placements from the Google Ads program, so this will also change for SEA marketers.
These are exciting times for SEO marketers. Although Google indicates that it still wants to forward traffic to websites, the concerns regarding zero-click SEO seem justified. No one knows yet how this will actually turn out, but the advice is to take a good look at your online marketing mix and apply diversification.
Header photo: Diego Thomazini / Shutterstock.com
Source: Frankwatching by www.frankwatching.com.
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