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SGE vs organic results: Google links difference according to study

Hello digital strategists!
Here comes a tricky curve that we all have to swing around – Google's search experience SGE (Search Generative Experience) does not match the top 10 organic search results 93.8% of the time. And who came up with this? Well, a study by Authoritas that looked at commercial keywords.

In the midst of the noise of technology, you are probably asking "Why should this concern me?" The answer is simple but important: SGE is expected to greatly reduce organic traffic for many keywords because searchers can get their answer directly through Google's AI-generated answers. But, don't worry, there is a glimmer of light. If your website is struggling to reach the top 10 of Google's organic results, you may have a chance to shine in SGE's link pool.

SGE often links to non-top rated content. Imagine this scenario: You scroll through Google's SGE search results, but soon notice that most of the URLs presented are nowhere to be seen in the regular organic search results. In fact, according to the study, exact matching of URLs between the AI-generated answers and the organic results occurs in only 4.5% of the cases. For the domain level matching, the figure is even lower, as this only happens 1.6% of the time.

So, what does this mean for us within digital marketing? Well, for the most part (93.8%), SGE's content offers brand new URLs that don't overlap with the organic search results. It feels a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack, but instead of looking, Google creates new "needles" to discover.

  • “Exciting enough, friends! 93.8% of the links generated by SGE in this data set point to sources that are not even on the top organic domains list. And of all those genius SGE links, only 4.5% actually lead to a URL on the first page of organic search results, while a paltry 1.6% points to another URL from the same top-ranking organic domain.”

The links in SGE. Generally speaking, SGE shows about 10 links, but only about four of these are unique. Additionally, the links in SGE's response come from four unique websites. This means that on average two or three links in one and the same SGE response refer to the same website. This is important for us who work with digital marketing, because it is about seeing patterns in how the AI chooses to present the information. Time to adjust the sails and navigate this new world of AI generated content!

The percentage of keywords with SGE results. Don't forget this: In this analysis, the SGE was shown for a full 86.8% of the keywords. This means that 13.2% of the keywords did not generate any content from SGE. Worth considering when you optimize yours next time.

  • The version of SGE that includes a Generatebutton (where Google asks if you want to generate an AI response) was most visible and came up 65.9% of the time. It was more frequent than Show morebutton's format (where Google partially displays its AI-generated response).

About the study. This analysis was based on data from 1,000 commercial keywords, collected by a logged-in Google Chrome user based in New York, over two days in December 2023. It includes keywords in 10 different categories. This insight can clearly help us decipher how AI responses fit into our digital marketing landscape and how we can fine-tune our strategies to stay on the map.

  • The automotive industry
  • E-commerce & Retail
  • Entertainment
  • Fashion & Clothes
  • Financial
  • Food
  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Law
  • Technology & Electronics
  • Travel & Hospitality

Deeper analysis: Do you want to dig deeper into how SGE can affect your particular industry? We at Adfreak will keep you updated with detailed analysis and practical tips for each of these categories. Stay tuned!

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