17 May 2023

The Rise of Generative AI Search | Googles New AI Search Engine

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The Rise of Generative AI Search | Googles New AI Search Engine
Mark LillicrappWritten ByMark Lillicrapp

As Propeller's Technical Director, Mark is responsible for developing digital policy and strategy, implementing infrastructure and leveraging technology to help Propeller and its amazing clients achieve their goals.

2023 has proven itself as the year that AI launches into the daily lives and usage of the masses. From content creators using it to generate posts to university students utilising Chat GPT to write the entirety of their coursework, it has quickly transformed into an unmissable tool.

Google has always used AI in the background of their search engine. Suggested posts and related questions spring to mind when considering the current presence of AI.

However, Google has made waves with their latest announcement, planning to change search forever with their generative AI search engine. 

For now, you can only gain access to Google’s new Search Generative Experience (SGE) through a Google Labs waitlist – which means you may wait weeks before you can play with it directly.

Don’t worry. We’ve got your first look and a deep dive into the new Google SGE.

What is generative AI?

Generative AI systems are categorised as machine learning. The most obvious example to outline what generative AI is, is ChatGPT, an AI tool that creates content including audio, code, images, text simulations and videos. See more on Chat GPT SEO here.

In fact, as generative AI continues developing, the way in which we approach content creation, and many more tasks is going to drastically change forever. 

What is Google bringing to the table?

Google has introduced a new generative AI search engine. With the goal of taking more of the work out of searching, they are enabling inquisitive audiences to understand a topic faster, uncover new perspectives, and find new insights.

Not to be confused, Google has introduced two separate additions: SGE and Bard. Bard is set to be a steadfast competitor of Chat GPT, using generative AI to create content for users.

Meanwhile, SGE refers to the updates to Google’s search engine. It will utilise Bard for user queries.

“as generative AI continues to develop, the way in which we approach content creation, and many more tasks, is going to drastically change forever.

From the looks of their video that explains their latest update, the implementation of generative AI will be an unmissable feature in search. 

Here are the features we are excited about:

  • Generative AI widget

For some searches, AI will replace typical search results, shifting organic search down.

  • Further reading

AI will now suggest further reading aside your search query, boosting relevant articles to the top of the page.

  • Shopping experience boost

Looking for a new product? Aside from the typical search ads, questions related to products will be answered with tips and product recommendations. 

  • ‘Ask a follow-up’

An ‘ask a follow-up’ feature will replace the ‘people also asked’ section. This feature intends to allow users to dive deeper into their exploration journey.

  • Local comparisons

When you’re on the lookout for something nearby, be it a restaurant or newsagent, local-based searches will now offer a visual and comparative angle. This allows searchers to see two- or more- places side by side.

  • Not all about discovery

Search will no longer be simply about questions and answers. The introduction of Bard arrives to compete with the likes of Chat GPT. You will be able to ask Google to create things that don’t already exist. For example, you could even ask Google to generate a poem for you.

  • Perspectives

While not generative AI, this is another new feature of Google’s search engine. ‘Perspectives’ is a new feature that will appear alongside the ‘images’, ‘news’ and ‘shopping’ tabs. This new tab will show results from social media channels like Tiktok.

How will this impact my SEO strategy?

Seasoned SEO strategists are used to adapting to the ever-changing demands of SEO. Once more users get the opportunity to trial Google’s updates, any alterations needed for SEO optimisation will be made clearer.

While we wait for the update to become commonplace, here are some predictions:

Ecommerce will become a focal point for search.

  • Featured snippets will become more important as Google’s update rolls out.
  • In Google’s I/O 2023 tech demo, ads remained as one of the very few elements presented at the top of a searcher’s query. The generative AI suggestions will push down organic results.

The competition for organic search will rise.

  • The competition for organic search will rise. It is speculated that the expected traffic stolen by AI from organic search will be around 10-20%.

SEO roles will need to consider CRO.

  • As a result of the competition for organic search rising, those in SEO roles will need to consider CRO in their strategy.
  • This is down to making every lead count. While there may be a reduction in traffic as a result of Google’s generative AI search engine, with CRO incorporated into SEO strategy, this reduction may be salvageable.

In summary

In short, change is on the horizon, but that is a never-ending cycle for SEO experts. While it may seem as if there are challenges ahead for those reliant on organic search, in time this will be another factor for SEO strategists to adapt to and evolve with. 

Generative AI has been prominent in the news for the past year, from Chat GPT to PR agencies using it in advertising stunts. We may not yet know its full impact on the future of search, but it is clear that generative AI search is here to stay. 

At Propeller, we delight in the details and work to build a cohesive digital solution with thorough research that refines your audience for greater reach. As well as delivering on development, SEO, PPC performance and analytics, we utilise a testing framework to see what engages your customers and how we can adapt as this changes.