- author: Authority Hacker
Google's New AI-Powered Search Results: What SEOs Need to Know
Google has recently released the early access to Google SGE, which is the search results with generative AI (Artificial Intelligence) inside that will provide users with a list of answers instead of clicking on websites. This new feature could be a game-changer for SEO, and it's natural for many SEOs to be concerned. However, Gael Breton, co-founder of Authority Hacker has reassured that it is not as scary as it sounds in his recent YouTube video.
Who is Gael Breton?
Gael Breton is one of the co-founders of Authority Hacker which has helped over 12,000 students to start and grow authority sites with their training. With hundreds of case studies, Gael and his team release podcasts and videos regularly on their YouTube channel.
How does Google's New AI Search Work?
- When you type a search query in this new version of Google, it takes about 8 to 12 seconds for the AI results to show up.
- During these 8 to 12 seconds, there is a small blinking box that doesn't take much space on the SERPs where the primary call to action is clicking on the website link.
- If you start scrolling down, these AI results are basically hidden, and they won't displace the search results on the SERPs any more.
- There are no ads in this beta, so the AI answer will take the heat, not the organic results.
What Does This Mean for SEOs and Website Traffic?
Gael Breton believes that Google's new AI-powered search results are an interesting mechanic because it gives users the power to decide whether they want an AI answer or if they want to click on a website. He also believes that light browsers that are not really into the topic will probably pick the AI answer, and that's probably the traffic that will drop from websites. Whereas the people who are more engaged and want a deeper solution or resource will go for websites. This means that the sites that sell affiliate products or products on their site will probably not feel the drop in conversion as much, because most of the traffic that will hit their website will be even more targeted.
Other Observations and Concerns
Liability of Google on YMYL Queries
One of the concerns of Gael Breton and many SEO is the liability of Google on YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) queries, especially since they are answering medical queries and financial queries using AI. Gael believes that there could be a problem where someone follows the advice they find on the SERPs and something bad happens.
Featured Snippets and People Also Ask
Although Google didn't show any featured snippets or people also ask in the SERPs on the Google I/O demonstrations, these features still exist in the current version of Google. Gael noted that when you have an AI answer that takes the same sources as the featured snippet, they will often say the same thing and it leads to a lot of redundancy on the SERP.
The Pros and Cons of Google's AI Snippets
Google's AI snippets have been a topic of discussion since their introduction. While they offer quick and easy answers to our queries, they also have their limitations and drawbacks. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of Google's AI snippets.
Contradictory Advice: One of the limits of AI is that it often takes info from different sources, which can lead to contradictory advice. For example, AI may advise not to skip breakfast while recommending intermittent fasting, which usually involves skipping breakfast. This contradiction can be confusing, making it challenging for users to determine which advice to follow to achieve their desired goals.
AI Answer is Worse Than Featured Snippet: Another downside of AI snippets is that they are not always accurate or useful. For instance, the featured snippet may provide a more concise and clearer response than the AI answer. In some cases, AI may generate long responses that provide unnecessary detail, making it challenging for users to find the information they need.
Stealing Content: Another problem with AI snippets is that they sometimes steal content from websites without proper attribution and links. This practice not only wastes resources and space on SERPs but can also pose legal issues for Google.
Highlighting Specialized Sites: Despite their limitations, AI snippets have the potential to offer more exposure to small publishers, as Google favors specialized websites over big publishers in AI answers. This approach provides an excellent opportunity for small publishers to rank for big commercial queries and compete against more prominent publishers.
More Branding Opportunities: AI snippets also provide more branding opportunities, as Google highlights the brand more than before. As such, sites with strong branding and authority have a better chance of attracting more clicks and thus rank higher in Google's SERP.
Infinite Scrolling: Google's beta version of the SERP features infinite scrolling, eliminating the need for page two altogether. This feature allows users to navigate through the results with ease, minimizing friction on the SERP.
Prospective Follow Function: A possible improvement for Google's AI snippets could be a follow function that allows users to follow their favorite websites, and Google rewards such websites when they provide content that matches a particular query.
An In-Depth Analysis of Google Search Engine
Google's search engine is going through multiple changes. In this article, we will be discussing some of the 9 most important observations we gathered from using Google's latest search engine (SGE) version.
Growing Followers to Boost Organic Traffic
Website owners can now focus on growing followers to increase their organic traffic from them. This feature can help in bringing more organic traffic and followers to their website as well.
Merging with YouTube
With the integration of Google and YouTube, we can expect to have some amazing features in the near future.
No Outgoing Links in AI Snippets
AI snippets almost never link out. This is a very strange feature. For instance, if a user searches on Google for the "best subreddits for SEO", Google lists all the subreddits, but the user cannot click on them. Instead, they have to Google them individually. If the AI snippets were linked, they would provide a better user experience.
Google Shopping is the only case where Google does an excellent job of linking out. If a user searches for "best bikes for kids", the comparison table that appears looks like an affiliate site, allowing users to click and view prices and retailers. However, Google only does this for Google Shopping.
Putting Pressure on Google
We have been putting pressure on Google over on Twitter to link inside the snippets to the sources that they're taking info from. All we have got from them so far is "thank you for the feedback".
New Conversation Mode
The new conversation mode is not very good. It's a lot worse than the ChatGPT or Bing and it feels very underwhelming. If a user wants to ask a follow-up question to their search engine, the result is simply a regenerated AI answer rather than anything more dynamic.
Focus on What's Working
The best advice for SEO professionals is to focus on what's working right now and evolve as these changes roll out. No one knows what the final form of these things will be, so it's better to adapt as they come.
Alternative to Websites
Google is giving users an alternative to visiting a website. Instead of visiting a site, they can use the generative AI answer to get their results. Some traffic that used to go to websites will now use this feature. However, SEO is not going anywhere, and the power of SEO lies in the intent of the visitors.
Intent of Visitors
The intent of visitors is what makes SEO so powerful. Users who search for how to lose weight fast are looking to lose weight at that moment. In the future when they click on the website, they will be dedicated enough to want an in-depth solution.
InGael breton believes that google's new ai-powered search results are not as bad as many seos think, and it could lead to more targeted website traffic for websites that sell affiliate products or products on their site. however, there are still concerns around the liability of google on ymyl queries and the redundancy on the serp caused by featured snippets and people also ask. Google's ai snippets offer a quick and easy way to find the information we need. however, they also have their limitations, including contradictory advice, content stealing, and insufficient links. despite this, they still have their benefits, such as highlighting specialized sites, more branding opportunities, infinite scrolling, and the possibility of a follow function. so, it's up to the users to determine whether or not to rely on ai answers or look deeper to receive more comprehensive answers. , Google is undergoing a lot of changes, and SEO is going to change a lot as well. However, the intent of visitors will always be the driving force behind SEO.