Digital Marketing

Is SEO Over?: Here's How Google's New SGE Can Actually Affect Your Page Views

7 minute read | May 23, 2024 Share Share

Is SEO on its way out? 


Last week, Google officially launched Search Generative Experience (SGE) designed to transform the typical search engine user journey. The experimental update has been in the works since last year, and its official roll-out in the United States was announced at the recent Google I/O on May 15. 


SGE closely resembles generative AI giants like ChatGPT when it comes to the services it can provide to assist in online research. Google employs its own generative AI chatbot, Gemini (Bard’s successor that launched in December 2023), to create AI-powered summaries for search engine users. These summaries, aptly called “AI Overviews”, will be the default experience for most Google users in regions where the update was launched. 

Image from Google


However, Google's recent update threw an unexpected curveball at traditional SEO strategies. With AI Overviews taking over SERP spots where search engine-optimized content should be positioned, many people are now raising the same question: what happens to organic traffic? 


What Is Google’s SGE and How Does It Affect Your Page Views?

Before we discuss the future of SEO (search engine optimization) with the launch of SGE, let’s first learn what SGE’s AI Overview really is. 


AI Overviews simplifies online research for search engine users. Unlike the old search engine results page (SERPs), Google users typically see when searching. Gemini will provide an overview at the very top part of the page where top-performing SEO articles usually dominate. 


Watch the video feature of Google’s AI Overview below.


So how does this affect SEO? For years, SEO has been the most utilized marketing strategy for boosting organic traffic to websites. SEO maximizes content potential with backlinks, keywords, optimized content titles, and the like. However, Google’s newest SGE product eliminates the need to peruse all content in search engines by providing an AI overview or summary of the results page. 


So, what does it mean for the future of SEO strategies? How will page views be earned if Google provides summaries of top-performing content in the very first half of the SERP?  


The truth is, while SGE might appear to diminish the importance of individual web pages, its impact on SEO is more nuanced. However, if you are worried about the performance of your content after the implementation of SGE, it’s important to know that SGE will not take your place in the SERPs. In reality, it can’t even function correctly if you don’t apply SEO strategies to your quality content. 


SGE + SEO: It's A Two-Way Street

The biggest change brought on by Google’s AI Overview is how search results are displayed. Before, you had to scroll through Google’s results page and browse numerous listings just to find the most relevant content. SEO keywords make the rankings easier. But there’s just so much content that produces the same snippet, that you can’t actually tell which content will make relevant elaboration and which one will only have one useful paragraph. 


Image from Medium


AI Overview eliminates this part of the search user’s journey. The basic function of Google’s SGE is to review the SERP content for the user in order to provide unified search results that refer to the sources deemed most relevant by the AI. Technically, AI Overviews will take the first half of the SERP which gives it the potential to reduce the number of website click-throughs—however, that’s only the initial effect of SGE on page views. The reality is that SEO remains integral to SGE’s process.


SEO is not on its way out. In fact, it is adapting. 


While SGE can summarize information, high-quality and informative search engine-optimized content is still crucial.  Well-structured content that caters to user intent will likely be featured more prominently in AI summaries, therefore boosting the visibility of your website in the process. In addition to that, the focus on user intent takes center stage once more—something that both creators and searchers will benefit from. 


The truth is, AI Overview will reduce views on websites—but it will only do so on repetitive content. Because of this, unique, quality content created by marketers and content creators can gain back lost organic traffic that they once had to share with websites that produced inauthentic content.


SEO will continue to be relevant, even with the launch of Google’s SGE. SEO will likely shift towards long-tail keywords and phrases that mirror natural user queries. Ensuring your website's technical aspects like speed and mobile-friendliness are optimized remains essential for search engine visibility as well, regardless if it’s through SEO or SGE. 


Google’s SGE has not yet reached the global audience, but more countries are set to experience the new product in the coming months. Overall, SEO is not on its way out. By prioritizing user-centric content, clarity, and technical soundness, you can ensure your website remains discoverable even in the era of search generative experience. 


Where should you focus your searchability efforts? SEO or AI Chat? Find out here: SEO or AI chat? How To Make Your brand Searchable in 2024


Are you looking for ways to enhance your brand’s searchability? PurpleBug it! Visit our website to learn more about the searchability solutions we can offer you. 

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