Over the years, there have been various updates to Google’s search engine algorithms that have significantly impacted the SEO industry. These updates often aim to improve the relevance and quality of search results, but they can also disrupt existing SEO strategies. 

Some of the most notable updates include the Florida Update which had a huge impact on the SEO industry back in 2003 and changed the way searches worked overnight.  

Other noticeable updates include Google Panda in 2011, which focused on reducing the prevalence of low-quality or thin content in search results. Websites with poor content, excessive ads, or content farming saw a significant drop in rankings.  Additionally, Google Penguin in 2012 targeted webspam tactics, particularly those involving backlink strategies. Sites that had engaged in link schemes or had a high volume of low-quality backlinks experienced a drop in rankings. 

The Biggest Change Has Yet to Come

Fast forward to 2024, with the rise of AI and AI powering Google’s Search Generative Experiences (SGE), SEO could potentially go through one of the biggest changes ever happening to the industry.  

Despite what you’ve been hearing about Gen Z going to TikTok, Google is still the King and takes a large bulk of search engine market share all over the world, except for some countries. With the eventual integration of SGE’s new layouts and formats in the search results, it may up end the way we search and how digital marketers optimize for organic search. 

Examples of SGE: 



Google’s Search Generative Experiences (SGE) and Its Potential Impact on SEO

Google’s Search Generative Experiences (SGE) launched in May 2023 and is currently in Beta but could potentially represent a huge shift in how search results are presented and optimized. For the first time, search engines are not just organizing but generating content, affecting how brands and products are perceived online. This AI-driven model is expected to roll out sometime in early 2024 and will potentially revolutionize the way users interact with search engines. 


While SGE is still in beta, it’s too early to predict the impact, however, we anticipate that SGE may have some impact on the amount of SEO traffic that was remarkably similar to ‘zero-click’ results. To a certain extent, SGE feels like the evolution of Featured Snippets.  

Since the SGE will take up prime real estate on the search result pages, SGE could satisfy user queries directly on the search results page, which might cause a reduction of users clicking through to a web page. However, it depends on their query and response from SGE.   

How Can I optimize for SGE?

At the moment, in terms of earning SGE results, SEO best practices still should be followed. Here are some key strategies you can implement to potentially improve your chances. 


Content Quality and Topical Authority: having high-quality, unique content is very important.  Google SGE prioritizes content that demonstrates experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-E-A-T). Instead of relying solely on keyword optimization, always focus on creating content that establishes topical authority in your niche and provides value to users. Think users first and not search engines. This includes using a conversational tone and addressing questions directly within the text. 

  • Target relevant keywords, but don’t keyword stuff. Aim for natural language within your content that reflects the user’s search intent. 
  • Consider adding concise summaries at the beginning of your content, especially for longer pieces. This helps SGE quickly grasp the main points. 
  • Go beyond just factual information. Offer unique insights, opinions, and perspectives to stand out from the competition.  
  • Optimize for Long-Tail Queries: SGE is expected to excel at answering complex, long-tail queries, making these an important focus area. Creating content that comprehensively answers user queries will be beneficial. 

Technical SEO Will Still Be Important:

  • Ensure your site is mobile-friendly and loads quickly. SGE prioritizes user experience. BrightEdge, a leading SEO platform, found in their analysis that top-ranking pages are now loading faster than ever before. This is an element of SEO that you can control so always make sure your pages are optimized to load as quickly as possible, especially on mobile.     


Source: BrightEdge

Structured Data is Key

  • Implement schema markup. This helps Google understand the structure and meaning of your content, potentially making it more eligible for SGE snippets. In BrightEdge’s study they also found that though schema tags are not a ranking factor, those sites that are marked up with structured data tend to be ranking higher.  
  • Optimize your on-page elements, i.e., meta descriptions and title tags. Make them compelling and relevant to your target keywords, but also ensure they accurately reflect your content. 


Other Factors:

  • Build a strong online reputation. SGE favors content from trustworthy sources, so positive reviews and an active social media presence can be beneficial.
  • Become a thought leader in your niche. By consistently creating valuable content and establishing yourself as an authority, you increase your chances of being referenced in SGE results. 
  • Links are still important as they help Google determine trustworthy sources. A strong link-building strategy, coupled with robust internal linking, can help in gaining visibility in SGE responses. 
  • Make your site mobile-friendly.  Ensure your website and content are optimized for mobile devices, as many users access search results from their phones and Google uses a mobile-first index. 

Continue to Stay Informed and Prepare

  • Be prepared for a potential decrease in organic traffic as SGE results may take up more SERP real estate, pushing organic listings down. However, SGE also presents new opportunities for visibility within the generative results panel. Monitor your keywords that have questions and answer intent and could generate an SGE response.  
  • Monitor SGE developments and stay updated. The landscape is constantly changing, so keeping an eye on the latest news and best practices will help you adapt your strategies accordingly.

Wrapping Up

SGE is reshaping the SEO landscape, necessitating a shift in strategies. SEOs must adopt a nuanced, context-aware approach, focusing on user experience and leveraging data for informed decision-making.  


  • While these tips can help, there’s no guaranteed formula for SGE success. The algorithm is still under development, and its inner workings are not fully transparent. 
  • Focus on creating the best possible content and user experience for your site. That’s always a sound SEO strategy and it will also likely hold for SGE. 


  1. https://www.brightedge.com/blog/seo-trends-2024-websites-are-getting-faster-smarter-and-more-user-friendly