If you’re au fait with the world of Google search results, you’ve probably already come across the Google Search Generative Experience experiment, or Google SGE.
The experiment was initiated back in May, when Google also gave users the chance to sign up and test SGE out. It’s still in its experimental phase right now, but the project is constantly receiving new updates and additions.
In short, it’s fair to say that SGE is likely going to transform the world of search results.
Google will prioritise different elements of the search experience, and the best practices that currently give websites more of an edge when it comes to being visible may not work anymore.
This is similar to what happens when Google rolls out core algorithm updates; website owners are often left scrambling to figure out just what they’re supposed to do in response.
So, with that in mind, what can you actually do to prepare for Google’s Search Generative Experience? Read on for some of our best tips and tricks on the subject!
We don’t actually know
This is perhaps not what you want to hear, but the simple truth is this: we don’t know what the best way to prepare for the Google SGE overhaul will be.
This is because there are a lot of unknowns right now; the project is in its early experimental phase, and it’s not clear how the majority of users will interface with the features that SGE will bring.
Additionally, current projections in terms of traffic loss or gain are wildly variable, and thus not helpful; we’ve seen all manner of seemingly knee-jerk reactions that prophesy both doom and rapture for websites after Google SGE hits.
The short version is that there is no single thing you can do to make sure you’re Google SGE-ready.
It’s a little like how it’s not possible to prepare for Google core algorithm updates; while you can implement best practices (more on which in a moment), you simply can’t know what’s going to change from update to update.
Similarly, until the SGE dust has settled and the feature has rolled out en masse, we can’t know how it’s going to affect websites or businesses.
Watching what happens elsewhere is key
Some people around the world will have more of an advantage when it comes to SGE than others.
This is because Google feature rollouts usually don’t occur globally in a simultaneous fashion; rather, features are introduced to different regions and different countries in a staggered way.
With that in mind, then, if your site is based outside the US – in Europe, for instance, or even in the UK – then you may wish to watch what happens in North America, because that’s likely to be where SGE is introduced first.
Keep an eye on your competitors and how their numbers are affected by SGE.
What’s changing? Which are the elements of their pages that are getting fewer views, and what are the commonalities between those pages?
This might sound like a slightly inexact science, and that’s largely because it is; as we’ve said, there’s no way to adequately prepare for SGE until we know exactly what it’s going to do to website rankings.
However, keeping an eye on what SGE does to its earliest “test subjects” will be of paramount importance when it comes to figuring out what to do for the rest of the world.
Don’t fall for SGE schemes
You might see websites and products out there which promote ways you can circumvent or prepare for SGE.
These products and sites might not be lying to you, but there’s a good chance they’re obfuscating or exaggerating the truth.
As we’ve said, we simply don’t think it’s possible to properly prepare for SGE, so if anyone is trying to sell you a product that claims to help you do that very thing, they might just be trying to take your money.
Closely research any scheme or product that promises to help you prepare for SGE and deal with its effects. Read into what that product’s functionality actually is and whether it will help you.
The chances are that you’ll find the product isn’t particularly helpful and is just trying to piggyback onto a trend in order to exploit webmasters’ understandable anxieties about what SGE might bring.
Work on optimising your site for best SEO practices
As ever, the best thing you can do when it comes to a new Google feature is simply to make sure that your website is the best version of itself it can possibly be.
We know this might sound like a little bit of a cop-out and that you might have been hoping to hear something more concrete, but the best thing you can do is to be helpful, authoritative, informative, and trustworthy.
If you are all of these things, then hopefully, SGE will enhance and augment your site’s traffic by pointing users to your platform.
If, however, you’ve been relying on shady or unscrupulous SEO tactics to drive traffic to your site, then you may find that SGE doesn’t prioritise you as a source, which could harm your traffic.
Of course, this may not turn out to be how SGE sifts through content. We simply can’t know until it’s out there in the world and performing as Google intends it to, which could take quite a while.
For now, though, the best thing you can do is write informative, worthwhile content that’s educational, well-sourced, and written primarily for humans. Everything else seems to be largely out of your hands, unfortunately.