Understanding Google's Search Generative Experience (SGE): Implications for SEO

Discover the impact of Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) on SEO for Australian businesses. Learn how AI overviews, powered by advanced natural language processing, are changing search dynamics and what this means for your website’s visibility. Get insights on optimising content for AI-driven search results and prepare for the future of SEO with practical strategies.

With Google's Search Generative Experience (SGE) expected to roll out soon in Australia soon, there’s a lot of talk about it revolutionising the search landscape. This AI-powered tech will deliver instant answers to user queries directly on search results pages (SERP).

In a nutshell, SGE (or AI Overviews) represents a significant shift in how search results are presented, integrating advanced AI to deliver more nuanced answers. Similar to featured snippets, AI overviews are designed to handle complex queries with a higher degree of contextual understanding. They're powered by natural language processing (NLP), and these overviews aim to provide more accurate and relevant answers, making the search experience more intuitive for users. While it might change how users find information, it also presents a golden opportunity to future-proof your marketing strategy. Let’s take a look into what SGE means for Australian businesses and how you can leverage it to stay ahead of the curve.

Contextual Understanding

AI Overviews leverage NLP to grasp the context of user queries deeply. By allowing Overviews to generate precise and meaningful responses, they're effectively becoming a new kind of ‘Rich Snippets.’ Early results indicate that users often skim through these overviews before returning to organic results, suggesting that while AI overviews are informative, users still rely on traditional search results for comprehensive information. As the technology evolves and becomes more integrated globally, user interaction with these overviews is expected to increase.

Source: NPDigital

When Will AI Overviews Appear?

Not all searches will trigger AI responses. Google has not specified which keywords will prompt an AI overview, focusing instead on questions where AI can add significant value. This unpredictability means that businesses must stay adaptive, preparing their content to potentially feature in these overviews while maintaining traditional SEO practices.

Implications for Your Website

For businesses, there’s an option to prevent content from appearing in AI overviews by using Google’s ‘nosnippet’ tag. However, this could impact SEO performance. Historically, changes like the introduction of featured snippets were seen as threats, but they eventually became opportunities for visibility. Similarly, adapting to AI overviews can offer new ways to enhance content visibility.

Search Methods have changed drastically over the past 2 decades.

Search Methods have changed drastically over the past two decades.

Early Observations on SEO Impact

Initial observations suggest that Google SGE affects informational content more than transactional content. This shift has several implications:

Reduced Clicks on Informational Content: AI-generated summaries might reduce the need for users to click through to websites for informational queries, potentially decreasing organic traffic.

Emphasis on Authoritative Content: High-quality, authoritative content is likely to be prioritised by AI for generating summaries, making it crucial for businesses to establish themselves as reliable sources in their niche.

Optimising for SGE: Businesses might need to target long-tail keywords and ensure their content is comprehensive and structured to appeal to AI algorithms.

Impact on YMYL Queries

Your Money, Your Life (YMYL) queries, such as health and investment-related searches, are more likely to trigger AI overviews. This focus on sensitive and impactful topics underscores the need for accurate, high-quality content. For instance, AI’s role in providing medical advice or financial guidance highlights the potential for both immense benefit and significant risk, calling for stringent content quality standards.

Early results have been sometimes been terrifying, as this recent example of, which went pretty viral, shows:

Interestingly, when we asked Google Gemini about another recent SNAFU in which SGE recommended eating rocks, its response was :

“It's possible you might be misremembering something related to a different AI or a very specific (and perhaps inaccurate) early test of SGE.”  

It wasn’t us, nothing to see here, everything is fine. 🥸

Implementation in Australia

SGE has already been implemented in over 120 countries and is expected to roll out in Australia in the coming months. Aussie businesses should prepare by continuing to create high-quality content optimised the different sections of SERPs. Staying ahead of this curve will help in maintaining visibility and competitiveness in the evolving search landscape.

Paid Advertising Considerations

Currently, AI overviews do not impact paid ads directly. Google continues to prioritise shopping ads for purchase-intent searches, ensuring that advertisers can still achieve visibility even as AI integrations grow.

Click for a demo of Google's Generative Search Experience in action

Click the screenshot above for a demo of Google's Generative Search Experience in action

Threat or Opportunity?

While many are freaking out that SGE may harm their site’s SEO or decrease the visibility in SERPs, the opposite may be true.  AI overviews aren’t what’s killing visibility. The search term could be delivering heaps of video results from a competitor with lots of well-titled YouTube content, FAQs or a map-pack on a competitor site or a lively sub-reddit with heaps of comments that will show in the ‘Discussions and Forums’ panel. All of these results will push your content further down the results page.

Alternatively, each of these could be considered opportunities, like AI overviews are, to optimise for more real estate on that first page of Google and rank higher than you ever have before.

Google’s SGE signifies an exciting evolution in search technology, presenting both challenges and opportunities for SEO. Australian businesses should embrace these changes by focusing on authoritative, high-quality content and staying adaptive to new search paradigms. As AI overviews become more prevalent, the key to success lies in understanding their implications and strategically optimising content to thrive in this new environment.


Have you got any questions about the above? Are you ready to enhance your SEO strategy and stay ahead of the curve? Contact New Beach today for a tailored approach to navigating the evolving landscape of search technology. Let’s create content that stands out and drives results🚀

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