Why Website Authority Matters in Google’s New AI-Powered Search (SGE)

Content Marketing | 2024 Planning

Google’s search results pages will change in a big way next year. Google has confirmed that their new AI-powered search feature, SGE (Search Generative Experience), will become the new norm for search results in 2024. It’s still in beta, but its features are evolving rapidly. 

You can sign up to try it out at search labs right now.

Instead of the familiar list of blue links, SGE will first show text, bullet points, and images pulled from top pages that answer the search query. This snapshot summarizes answers from the top-ranking pages. It also offers robust follow-up questions for searchers to dive deeper into questions they had yet to consider.

Key characteristics of Google’s search generative experience so far:

  • Summarized answers from top sites for a query
  • Conversational follow-up questions that guide visitors through deeper searches 
  • More visual recommendations like images and bullet lists
  • More comprehensive shopping results with features and more product details
  • Prominent publishers on each topic are featured in thumbnails or links within AI snapshots

What Does SGE Mean For Your Business In 2024?

SGE will replace the current “featured snippet,” pushing regular search results down by roughly 30-40% compared to typical snippets. This shift will impact how users click and view pages through search.

Traditional Serp vs SGE Serp

Whenever search page layouts change, we expect changes in organic impressions and click trends. With in-depth, AI-generated answers replacing featured snippets, websites must double down on building their EEAT (experience, expertise, authority, and trust) to maintain visibility.

Since searchers will be able to find quick answers easier than before, fewer of these quick searches may result in clicks through to pages. While there might be fewer clicks, the ones you receive will likely be more relevant – possibly resulting in a higher rate of engaged sessions. 

But only the most trustworthy websites with established search authority through high-quality, topically relevant content will make it into the snapshot to drive brand awareness and clicks. 

Getting Into These AI-Powered Snapshots Won’t Be Simple 

Well-structured websites with robust clusters of unique, helpful, and authoritative content will have a better chance and making it into AI-powered results. Sites that have yet to invest in building up their expertise, authority, and trust may struggle to get featured in the new dynamic answers. 

For your website to appear in these AI-driven results:

  • Prioritize a well-structured website.
  • Create content that builds trust and authority.
  • Realize that search might yield different traffic due to the snapshot’s prominence.

What Should You Do To Stay Competitive In Google’s SGE?

You should do two things to improve your chances of ranking prominently in Google’s AI answers.

  • Re-evaluate Your SEO: Ensure your website is fast, well-structured, technically optimized, and user-friendly.
  • Strengthen Your Content Strategy: Create and publish helpful, original content that builds search authority per Google’s EEAT guidelines (experience, expertise, authority, trust).

To grow your business with digital marketing in 2024, build your search authority by publishing original and helpful answers to questions about your solutions and the pain points they solve. Look at your current strategy to determine if you’re on track.

Consider these questions:

  • Is your site seen as a reliable authority?
  • Do you regularly publish valuable content?
  • Are your promotions effective?
  • Do you gain links from reputable sites?
  • Is your content relatable and well-researched?
  • Are your internal links effective for SEO?

With Google’s AI results taking up more space on SERPs, not ranking means losing impressions. Stay visible – start executing an EAT-focused content strategy tailored for ranking in AI search results. 

Actionable Tips to Improve Your EEAT for Google’s AI Search:

  • Publish long-form, comprehensive articles with original ideas and FAQs
  • Get high-quality backlinks from industry resources pages, directories, and niche blogs
  • Craft optimized on-page content around your products’ key user pain points and solutions. 
  • Include real customer stories and examples.
  • Interlink the related content on your site using keywords to keep visitors engaged.
  • Produce buying guides, product reviews, and comparisons 

Augurian can help assess your site’s readiness for Google’s new AI-first search algorithm. Learn more about our SEO content services. 

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