First of all, what is the Google search generative experience… And why is this important to your online business and future?
It’s an experimental search experience that uses generative artificial intelligence (AI) to provide users with quick and clear overviews of search topics—without having to click on individual webpages. This can help with a variety of tasks, such as finding answers and discovering topic overviews.
When artificial intelligence began taking a bigger role in major corporations – from Amazon summarizing product reviews to Google summarizing search results with answers from AI – marketers started worrying about what this would mean for SEO (search engine optimization).
For years, you’ve worked to understand the ever-changing algorithm, which sometimes decimates a site’s ranking overnight – and other times lifts sites out of the oblivion with a top ranking they deserve.
The scary part about Google’s new SGE (Search Generative Experience) is that there isn’t a human making a strict algorithm set of parameters for ranking. It’s left up to the artificial intelligence tool to cherry pick what it deems to be a good result.
How are you supposed to compete with other website owners if you have no hard and fast rules to work from when optimizing your site for discoverability and ranking? The key is in knowing what AI wants, and for that you need to be well-versed in working with AI tools to see what looks for.
There are a few things we know from working with AI to figure out the best way to navigate SGE. It may be slightly different from your original SEO strategy, but it will likely still incorporate many of the same things – with some different areas of emphasis.
Develop Content Based on User-Intent
AI has a strong focus on recognizing the language being used by Google searchers. So it is going to try to find a match for user intent, rather than just a main keyword being used strategically.
The AI bot has the ability to take an initial keyword phrase and sort through a lot of data that ells it what the common queries are with more detail about intent. It has access to the Google Search Console to see which terms generate clicks to your pages (and which don’t).
It can also tap into online conversations with social listening on a variety of platforms to see what questions, solutions and problems people have about that same query – which they then compare the content on your page to see if it will serve the user well.
There are different kinds of user intent you’ll need to pay attention to. Do they have a need for knowledge, like a sheer explanation for better understanding? Are they looking for a specific type of page or site, which indicates a navigational search?
Are they ready to buy something and are looking for products recommendations? Or are they in consideration mode and comparing products so they can arrive at a buying decision or action-taking decision eventually?
SGE bots are going to be looking not only for user intent in this way, but also to see if your content format is a good fit. Is it a step-by-step guide? Do you have explainer videos?
Are you product listings clear and do you have comparison tables for savvy shoppers? Long gone are the days when you need to just find a keyword and create a bunch of fluff using it with enough density to fool the algorithm.
AI is going to see what kind of content you offer in terms of quality and value once it knows the probable intent. That means you have to give actionable insight that first teaches readers and then hands them the power to succeed.
You may have noticed that AI often uses case studies as a recommendation in outlines, so that’s your sign to use them in your content for better SGE ranking, too. A case study not only shores up proof of your position, but it also helps the reader see the process unfold, setbacks and all.
If you don’t have a case study, then a real-life example will suffice, but dig into it and explain it from an outside perspective. You also want to include resources they can download, like a checklist or cheat sheet that helps them implement your lesson.
AI is going to reward thought leaders, so don’t be afraid to go against the grain and provide a fresh approach to something. If you can showcase leadership qualities, backed with evidence or data to support your claims, that will set you apart from the competition.
AI also has a predictive quality built into it. Its predictive analysis capabilities means it wants to see that from you, too. If you’re able to do some forecasting in your niche topic, this will position you better with SGE.
Whenever people use Google, it’s because they have a problem (lack of knowledge or other pain point) and they need a solution. So you have to first focus on that struggle and then resent the best problem-solving advice and tools.
Another way you can address user intent issues is in the way you structure your content. AI is looking for clear headlines and subheadings. Search engines love lists and any format that helps readers easily digest the information they intend to find.
Having a hierarchy is very important, so utilize the header tags throughout. The headings should be clearly written, not vague. Readers should be able to glance at the list and find what they need.
If you have in-depth, complex details about something, consider using a bullet point list to make absorption of the content easier (and faster). People love summarizations and highlights – especially if they’re in a hurry.
You also want to incorporate white space and formatting that doesn’t overwhelm readers. Don’t bold every other phrase on your page. This is more of a distraction than an SEO benefit for SGE.
Other formatting issues you want to incorporate to help with user intent include graphs, tables and charts, callout quotation boxes, and a solid interlinking strategy taking the reader from one resource to another.
Connect Your Content with Other Entities
Another thing the Search Generative Experience bots are going to find important is entities. So you will have a core topic that is being covered in a blog post. But you’ll also have other entities that can be connected to this.
The core topic is an entity of its own and can consist of things like the main idea, any people or companies associated with it, and other primary connections. The core concepts include the main thoughts for your niche.
For example, in the weight loss niche, the core entity of thoughts are that weight contributes to more energy, that macro and micronutrients play a role in success, that weight loss regulates hormones, that there’s a psychological factor involved, and more.
It also contains the trends being used at that time – like current trends on microbiome and gut health, intermittent fasting, mindful eating, etc. These primary entities are important to start with when creating SGE content.
Next, you go on to see what entities connect to those and how they interact and influences each other. So you want to be able to connect the dots basically. Entity connections within the weight loss niche might be connecting git health and metabolism, for example.
If you were doing this in the content, you would explain the connection they have with one another, and give a solution or plan for making the most of that concept – like a diet plan that supports gut health for weight loss, and therefore, improved metabolism.
Many ordinary consumers don’t understand the connection between concepts, broad and narrow. So the Search Generative Experience is going to look for content that guides readers in that manner – making the connection, seeing how things work together or affect one another (negatively or positively) and explaining what to do about it.
Not only would your content provide that connection and advice, but SGE is going to be looking to see if you have any interlinked information, any scientific or solid resources linked to boost the credibility of your content, and maybe a case study or example to showcase.
It will see if you have any multimedia components that boost your position. For example, it would help to have visual entity connections like a mind map highlighting things that affect weight loss, with lines and arrows connecting things like protein to satiety, and so on.
It may like to see an infographic, a comparison table, flowchart, or other visual aid that is clear and engaging for readers when they land on your page. Is this going to result in more work for you?
Perhaps! You need to have a comprehensive, well-rounded approach for ongoing SEO using SGE as your standard optimization gauge. But luckily, this is now easy to do when you’re using AI and tools with templates.
Don’t forget to connect your content to other entities as well. AI is looking to see if you mention prominent figures or other experts, even if you disagree with them. It’s seeing if you’ve mentioned any professional organizations or brands and how you’ve presented enlightening information about them.
Basically, this is a strategy that SGE uses to see what the connections are between your main topic and everything else. They want you to provide the connection and explain it – not make the reader figure it out on their own.
It’s a way of layering information and adding depth that the visitor will appreciate. This is a clear evolution in SEO that we haven’t seen at this level before. It’s far beyond use of keywords and backlinks and requires you to prove your leadership in a way.
Lean on AI Tools to Optimize the Search Generative Experience for AI Bots
Some website owners have stayed away from AI tools, preferring to use their own skill and talent to create content themselves – and that’s a wonderful stance to take! But that doesn’t mean you have to shut AI out completely.
In fact, you may need to use it if for no other reason than to see how it can help you rank for SGE purposes. AI can help with your research. It can give you an immediate deep dive into a topic and connect the dots in ways you may not have known.
You can ask AI tools like Google Bard a prompt like this: “I’m writing a blog post about low card dieting and metabolism. Identify the important entities I need to connect in my content.”
It’s first going to give you the core entities – the diet, metabolism, energy, and then go into connected entities like nutrients, hormones, genetics, sustainability, health benefits, and even risks.
But the great thing is, it gives you a blatant blueprint on how to connect the entities. For example, it says: “Weigh the potential health benefits and risks associated with low-carb diets for overall metabolic health,” or “Highlight the importance of individual variability and the need for a personalized approach when considering low-carb diets.”
It even goes so far as to advise you of the visual components you might create to connect the entities, like an infographic connecting certain low carb issues with their impact on metabolism.
Going back to user intent, you can prompt Bard like this: “If the main keyword phrase I’m targeting is low carb diet tips for beginners, what do I need to include in my blog to successfully deliver based on user intent?”
It’s going to tell you to focus on informational content that includes diet principles, risks, and different types of low carb diets, navigational content that gives them meal plans, grocery lists, etc., and transactional content like a practical guide with actional tips.
It even gives you a layout for the structure and hierarchy of your content to meet user intent, starting with the introduction and definition, moving on to the basic core principles, offering some getting started tips, sample meal plans, and troubleshooting advice.
Bard is even going to hand deliver SGE advice like the language, formatting and tone you should use as well as what you should be finding to link out as a resource. So before you let the idea of the Search Generative Experience possibly replacing traditional SEO make you panic, understand that AI itself is going to help you succeed.
When it comes to ways in which it can help with specific aspects of your blog content creation, it does so much. For example, AI can access more data for research on your behalf. It can sort through industry reports and pinpoint patterns and themes that are emerging.
It can curate important information for you and identify all the best entities that will serve you well for better SGE ranking. It can also help you optimize for voice search, which is something being used more than ever – and a format SGE is going to take into consideration when providing results.
You can always optimize for voice search on your own by writing more like you would speak. But you can also turn to AI and paste a blog post in and ask it how to optimize it for voice search, ensuring your content measures up whenever it’s crawled and analyzed.
The information being used for Google closely relates to what Bing AI is saying about their AI search results. Their focus is on three things – relevance, quality and context. Their AI tool is gauging things like social signals, content quality, and query intent.
It’s better for you to create the best content possible on a less frequent basis that to try to game the SGE system and publish a lot of content that won’t measure up. Work with AI and start delivering the best blog content possible that makes your niche audience sit up and take notice of the great lengths you’ve gone to in order to serve their needs.
Google’s Search Generative Experience is going to impact industries differently. While we know these numbers will change over time as Google continues to experiment and analyze user interactions, it’s helpful to understand which industries are more likely to be impacted now so brands can start thinking about new and more complex ways to target, influence and win with searchers in AI-driven experiences.
I’m Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author, independent publisher, and serial entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and would love to connect with you. If you’re new to the world of online entrepreneurship please check out my training on how to make your first income online at 3 Day eBiz (Use Code: MAKEITHAPPEN to Save) and learn how to gain an unfair advantage when it comes to building a lucrative online business.