SGE Evolution – SEO & Paid Media POV

SGE Evolution – SEO & Paid Media POV

By Socius Staff

June 5, 2024

What’s Happening?

  • Google is rolling out AI-generated overviews to appear at the top of US-based search result pages (SERPs)
  • Search will offer multi-step reasoning for complex questions and queries.
  • Google claims SGE results generate higher CTR, but has no plans to share this data.
  • GSC reporting will include Clicks & Impressions from SGE results in its dataset, without an option to segment out SGE as a source
  • For now, AI Overviews seems to only appear in a small fraction of Google search results. Less than 0.5% of Google search engine results pages show an AI Overview, according to Semrush, with AI Overviews showing up in just 0.1% of news-related search results.

What our SEO clients may see

  • Fewer organic impressions
  • Lower organic CTRs

*Please note, there are many opinions online, in forums and on LinkedIn about SGE and which types of sites it will impact the most. There is no definitive answer as to how this will imapct businesses from one industry to the next.

SGE Limitations:

  • Hallucination: Like all LLM-based experiences, SGE may sometimes misrepresent facts or inaccurately identify insights.
  • Misinterpretation during corroboration: There are some instances where SGE has appropriately identified information to corroborate its snapshot, but with slight misinterpretations of language that change the meaning of the output.
  • Duplication or contradiction with existing Search features: Because SGE is integrated into Search alongside other results and features on the search results page, it’s possible for the output of SGE to appear to be in contradiction with other information in those results. For example, people might see a featured snippet result that highlights the perspective of a single source, while SGE represents a synthesized perspective corroborated in a range of results.

How our SEO strategy will evolve to combat this

Content strategy will continue to evolve and research will be even more focused on:

  • Topical & intent-based content instead of keywords
    • Keyword research focused on complex queries
  • Increased focus on E-E-A-T
    • Longer-form resource content taking users from higher in the decision-making funnel to lower in the funnel within the same piece of content, thoroughly answering user questions & comprehensively coving topics
  • Increased value placed on video content
  • Q&A focused long-form content
  • Content briefs more focused on varied content structure
  • Testing generating content for third-party sites like Reddit
  • Monitor search queries that populate AI overviews in SGE result to identify content gaps and/or quality improvements

How will SGE impact Paid Search?


Currently, Google continues to show sponsored results in the SGE, often times observed above the its generated content. While this may change as Google continues testing, it reinforces the importance of an integrated SEO and PPC strategy.  Given the immediate impact on SEO, it is crucial to have a robust paid search program and a centralized source of truth for holistic search reporting.


Google has indicated that the context of searches and user data will determine if and how ads are placed in SGE. For example, lower-funnel, commercial searches will prioritize ads, whereas higher-funnel, research-based searches will likely prioritize the snapshot panel. This should favor advertisers who rely on search as its low-funnel conversion driver, and other channels to drive awareness/consideration.


Overall, SGE will provide users with more information directly within the SERP, potentially driving higher conversion rates. This could balance out the lower CTR and higher CPC that may result from SGE and the increased competition for the remaining clicks. A well-optimized site and strong conversion tracking will be more important than ever to understand the value of paid search campaigns.


Advertisers should ensure they have a well-rounded paid strategy that is not solely reliant on keyword-based search. Incorporating additional channels and ad formats, such as online video, display ads, and social media, will diversify engagement with potential customers. As SGE makes search more competitive, a holistic approach will help advertisers stay competitive.