SEO is Dying. Long Live SGEO.

AI may completely upend SEO, and what marketers and business owners can do about it.

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Happy Wednesday, Collaborators,

What impact will AI have on SEO?

Authoritas, an SEO platform for ecommerce, ran an experiment to find out.

The results terrified brands that depend on search traffic.

This week, we’re talking about how AI search will upend marketing, and what you need to do now to protect your business.


The bad puns in this newsletter were written by humans who have binged too many episodes of British Scandal.


SEO is Dying. Long Live SGEO.

Google’s AI-powered Generative Search Experience. Credit: Google

Google’s AI-powered search, Search Generative Experience (SGE) is currently in Beta. It is expected to roll out more widely in 2024.

If you are not thinking about how AI search will affect your company, you need to start.

Intentional Futurama.

The Study

Authoritas tested Google Search Generative Experience (AI-enabled search) results for 1,000 commercial keywords.

They found that SGE could significantly reduce traffic to top-ranking domains.

There are two factors at play:

AI Searches Have Different Top Results

Nearly 94% of links displayed in the SGE content came from domains that did not rank on page 1 of traditional organic results.

This is a major opportunity for emerging brands — and an alarming result for incumbents.

AI Searches Dominate The Results Page

When a user clicks into the SGE, the organic results of the page are shifted down ~1.5x the height of the screen. They are no longer visible without scrolling.

An example of SGE results. Credit: Google

The biggest results Authoritas generated introduced 37 new links above the traditional organic results.


If you are a new brand, this may be the best time in years to build your search presence.

If you rely on SEO, you need to act now to protect your place in search results.

Boosting Your Search Generative Experience Rankings

Google Search Generative Experience is still in Beta. The final version will likely be very different.

That doesn’t mean that we can’t start preparing now. The most important things you can do to boost your results are to build a flexible strategy and follow the latest SGE updates.

Here are a few other steps you can take:

Put search intent and context first

As search becomes more conversational, you need to create content that matches the context and intent of users’ searches.

Play around with SGE

Familiarize yourself with how it works. See what results SGE provides for your brand and your most important keywords.

If you aren’t already testing SGE, you can sign up for the Beta here.

Mark up your pages

Use schema markup (structured data) to help Google understand the contents of your pages. As an added bonus, this will help your traditional SEO performance.

Not sure how to add schema markup? Check out this handy primer from Semrush.

Optimize your titles and images for SGE

Put important words in the beginning of your titles and include compelling images to get people to visit your site from SGE.

Optimize your titles and images for SGE results. Credit: Google

Don’t forget the basics

User experience still matters.

  • Create pages that load quickly and meet Core Web Vitals.

  • Write thorough and practical answers to common questions.

  • Cite reputable sources.

Diversify, Diversify, Diversify

With such an unprecedented change, your SEO traffic may still decline even if you follow every new SGE update and best practice.

The good news is that you have time to build a backup plan.

Test new marketing channels. Build your owned platforms. Diversify your marketing strategy.

Start now, and you may find a strategy that helps you weather the SGE storm—or grow even faster.

The age of Search Engine Optimization is ending. May the age of Search Generative Experience Optimization bring us better results.

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AI News for Busy Marketers

A screenshot of Google Ads’ new conversational AI experience. Credit: Google

  • We are all Gemini: Google Ads’ Beta of its new conversational AI experience has launched in the US and UK. Gemini can suggest ad text and keywords.

  • Hockey stick: The market for AI in marketing is expected to grow to $196 Billion by 2030, according to Research and Markets.

  • X marks the controversy: X (Twitter) prevented users from searching for Taylor Swift after graphic AI deepfakes of the singer went viral on the platform.

  • Working on an AI startup? Google’s latest startup accelerator is focused on AI. Apply fast—applications close February 15th.

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