Unraveling Google's SGE: Insights and Observations

Through this comprehensive analysis, we dive into Google's innovative Search Generative Experience (SGE), scrutinizing its impact on popular SERPs in the SEO realm.

Posted by Philip Rudy on 5/26/2023 at 10:26pm EST

It seems all of SEO Twitter was whitelisted first to get a preview and early access to Google's new generative AI experience on the SERPs, something that many others are still on the waitlist for.

There's a ton of chatter, so I put together a post on what the new experience looks like for a multitude of different keywords and query types including local, transactional (ecommerce), SERPs that pull up featured snippets, and lead generation based SERPs, and more.

It also appears that you will be able to give Google commands, such as comparing items or businesses, or asking for advice.

Key Takeaways

Reviews will be more important

Google's local results for their SGE seem like they rely more on ratings than listicles or "Best of" articles.

The Search Journey is Now More Relevant Than Ever

Google is automatically adopting Generative AI when it comes to both local and ecommerce/transactional queries. Perhaps trying to get their foot in the door when it comes to transactions?

Even if a query is clearly transactional, Google will surface some informational content, and give users a toolbar to ask follow up questions - that means that SEOs need to start thinking about the search journey as multi-dimensional.

Sometimes, Google is confused about query types

Sometimes Google's generative AI can't decide if a query falls into a certain bucket. Is it a local query? A transactional query?

SGE confused

Different results than traditional organic

Being in the top 3 organic results doesn't guarantee that you will be featured in the SGE carousel.

SGE vs Organic

SGE and plagiarism

It sometimes clearly rips the content exactly as it is stated. Is it what the people want? Probably, but if featured snippets caused backlash, then generative AI will definitely sound some alarms.

SGE plagiarism

SGE will sometimes not answer a question

Take, for example, the following question asking for a restaurant's hours. Google will instead prompt you to click through to a restaurant or find the answer yourself.

SGE won't answer

SGE load time is long

Loading takes quite a while and generative AI seems to go against Google's ideology that "low cumulative shift is important."

SGE Load Times

More Examples of Google's SGE

Local Queries

Google is removing the "More Places" in local queries (reducing the opportunities in the value pack), and is aiming to create a more modular experience for their Google Places rather than entering a local finder or Google Maps in its entirety.

Users will now be able to click on a scrollable places listing; and it looks like that is in response to preparing for SGE:

SGE compare SGE near me

"Best" Queries

Many queries have duplicate results, and are a mirror of what is already showing featured snippets. Some queries also leave it up to the user to decide if the answer is contradictory or not; for example, the following shows Wednesday and Saturday twice. This is also another clear example of AI taking what the top result is saying and – dare I say again – plagiarizing it?

To elaborate on a system that Google is trying to accomplish; it seems like they are banking on the featured snippet at first, and experimenting with coming up with a better answer, in a (sometimes) duplicate, fully AI-generated, response.

SGE Best SGE Best Places

Real Estate

Here are some real estate SGE queries:

SGE Real Estate SGE Real Estate Mobile

Real Time

It will be interesting to see if Google will soon have some SERPs that are in real time, such as a surf report or the weather:

SGE Real Time


It seems like Google is taking its cue from the crypto moon boys, and letting people know that this is "not financial advice":

SGE financial advice SGE financial advice car insurance


The many angles of JLo's love for grilled cheese:

SGE Gossip SGE Gossip Celebrities

SEO Queries

Here are some of the favorite SERPS of every SEO:

SGE top seos SGE top quality score

Advice Queries

It will be interesting to see what happens over time with the advice that SGE provides. This could be potentially dangerous if it pertains to health, or any topic that necessitates specific action:

SGE advice featured snippets sge-advice-health