The Impacts On SEO & PPC from Google’s Recent SGE Experiment

If you're even remotely familiar with the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, you know Google is always carving new paths. Recently, we've seen some significant changes to Google's search algorithms and a little experiment they called SGE (Search Generative Experience). Let's dive into how these changes have impacted SEO and PPC, and what it means for your business.

The Algorithm Rollercoaster

Google's search algorithms are like the mysterious wizards behind the curtain. They determine how your website ranks and how easy it is for potential customers to find you. In recent months, Google rolled out several updates that have left many marketers scratching their heads. On top of that, there was a MAJOR data leak from Google that suggest a lot of what they say publicly about SEO might not actually be true. This tracks with what a lot of us SEO experts see in our real world tests and analytics reports. But more on that later (we'll do a deeper dive on this topic soon).

SEO Impact:

  • Content Quality Over Quantity: The new algorithms place a higher emphasis on high-quality, relevant content. Gone are the days when stuffing keywords into your content could get you to the top. Now, it's all about providing real value to your audience. This has ALWAYS been our approach to SEO, even when keyword stuffing was all the rage. Frankly, even if keyword loading returned as a dominate SEO tactic (it won't), we would not do it. Quality of quantity, always.

  • User Experience Matters: Google's updates also focus heavily on user experience (UX). Factors like page load speed, mobile-friendliness, and easy navigation are more crucial than ever. If your website isn't user-friendly, it's time to make some changes.

  • E-A-T Principles: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) have become vital. Google's algorithms are getting better at identifying content that comes from credible sources. Make sure your site is packed with authoritative content that showcases your expertise. Also, the longer your site is live and regularly adding this type of content, the better your results will be.

The SGE Experiment

Google's SGE experiment was an attempt to enhance search results with AI-generated summaries. Sounds cool, right? No we didn't think so either. The idea was to provide users with quick, concise answers generated by AI. However, it didn't quite go as planned.

One of the biggest issues with SGE was the accuracy of the AI-generated content. It wasn't always reliable (aka, sometimes it was blatantly false). Ad placements and SEO results were impacted as well. Ads appeared differently within these AI-generated summaries, sometimes making them less noticeable. This led to a dip in click-through rates (CTR) for many businesses. Search results also appeared much further down the page (bellow the fold / bellow the scroll depending on your age). The results were significant dips in both search impressions and site visits for most websites.

Google decided to pull the plug on SGE for now, but we'll likely see its return and new impacts to website traffic.

The SGE experiment was a disappointment, for now.

What Does This Mean for You?

with all these changes, what should you be doing to stay ahead of the game? Here are a few tips:

  1. Focus on Quality Content: Invest in creating high-quality, informative content that provides real value to your audience. Think about what questions your customers are asking and how you can answer them better than anyone else.

  2. Enhance User Experience: Make sure your website is fast, mobile-friendly, and easy to navigate. A great user experience can boost your SEO rankings and keep visitors coming back.

  3. Monitor Your PPC Campaigns: Keep a close eye on your PPC campaigns and be ready to adjust your strategies. If you notice a drop in CTR, try experimenting with different ad formats and placements.

  4. Stay Informed: Digital marketing strategies are constantly changing. If you want to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices, subscribe to industry blogs, join webinars, and keep learning. Of course, if you don't have time for that, let Hero do it for you.

Epilogue - You Know What This Part Is About

Staying up to speed on SEO and PPC can feel like riding a rollercoaster, but with the right strategies and a bit of patience, you can stay on track. At Hero Agency, we're here to help you make sense of it all and guide you towards digital marketing success. Got questions? Reach out to us anytime. We're here to help you grow your business. As one of Nashville’s oldest website solutions providers, and we’re on a mission to save businesses from bad marketing strategies.

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