Revolutionising search: Google’s AI Search Generative Experience
Richard Conway shares his company’s experience in transitioning to Google’s new AI Search Generative Experience. Everything is going to change. Whilst we have been using AI within advertising platforms for many years, the launch of Chat GPT in November 2022 and the subsequent tsunami of new AI businesses since has launched this technology into the […]
Richard Conway shares his company’s experience in transitioning to Google’s new AI Search Generative Experience.
Everything is going to change. Whilst we have been using AI within advertising platforms for many years, the launch of Chat GPT in November 2022 and the subsequent tsunami of new AI businesses since has launched this technology into the mainstream.
As a marketing agency owner, it is business critical for both us and our clients to ensure we utilise the technology in a safe, effective, and secure manner. To this end, my company identified the world’s leading expert in AI and marketing and engaged her to help us transition effectively.
In May 2023, Google announced the beta launch of its new AI Search Generative Experience (SGE), available to US users who sign up for beta testing via a waitlist on Google’s Search Labs. Despite not being based in America, we were straight onto Express VPN, signing up for the waitlist, and in two days, we were in!
Traditionally, Google has relied on indexed content for its search results. With SGE, Google is utilising an LLM (Large Language Model) called PaLM 2 (Pathways Language Model) to generate an answer which supplements the traditional search results and is known as a snapshot.
The new search results include both the AI-generated answer and the traditional search results.
What I really like about the new model is the ability to be more conversational in my search approach. The new SGE uses multiple sources to answer the query and allows you to ask follow-up questions. A little icon on the top right (known as the bear claw!) allows users to expand the results. What I don’t like about the new experience is that for a lot of queries, the standard search results provided a better outcome for me.
Google itself acknowledges this – “As we bring generative AI into Search, we’re committed to continue sending valuable traffic to sites across the web” – implying that website rankings and adverts will continue to be important for the time being.
The integration of Google’s Shopping Graph in commercial conversational searches is changing how users do vertical searches. This integration opens a big opportunity for advertisers as Google ensures that Performance Max and Shopping advertisements are featured within the new conversational search.
On the positive side for advertisers, SGE offers the potential for adverts to have a new position in the search results (I have seen them both above and below the generated AI snapshot).
It could reduce organic traffic for search queries that may have been served by content on your website; however, it is likely to improve conversion rates for the traffic it brings through.
For business owners that are interested in finding out more, there is nothing like hands-on experience. I suggest you get a VPN and sign up for the beta. Start using search and keep an eye on what you think works brilliantly and what you don’t like. You can also keep an eye on my column in NZBusiness, as I keep readers up to date.
Richard Conway is founder and CEO of Pure SEO.