Google SGE a top threat to brand and product terms, study finds

Among the findings: 91.4% of all search queries triggered SGE; Quora was a big winner; and paid search ads appeared 50% of the time.

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You should expect to see “some erosion of current traffic levels” from brand-related terms as a result of Google’s Search Generative Experience, according to a new Authoritas analysis.

Why we care. Google just today announced it is rolling out SGE to users who aren’t opted into Search Labs, under the name of AI overviews. We’re still in the dark about how large of an impact the AI-generated answers will have on organic traffic. And, as Authoritas put it in their analysis:

  • “These new types of generative results introduce more opportunities for third-party sites and even competitors to rank for your brand terms and related brand and product terms that you care about.”

Google SGE displayed for 91.4% of all search queries. Only 8.6% of keywords in this analysis did not have an AI-generated response.

Percentage of all keywords with SGE

Quora doing well in SGE. Question-and-answer site Quora finished “in the top 20 performing generative domains in 11 of 15 categories,” according to Authoritas.

Wikipedia was another winner, appearing in the top 20 for every category – including being the top or second-best performing domain in 11 of the categories examined.

SGE links. On average:

  • 10.75 links appeared in SGE answers.
  • 4.3 unique domains were featured per answer.
  • 62% of generative links came from sources outside the top 10 ranking organic domains.
  • 20.1% of generative URLs directly matched a page 1 organic URL and 17.9% showed a different URL from the same organic ranking domain.

PPC ads. Just over 50% of keywords had paid search ads. Those ads appear above SGE 51% of the time and beneath 49% of the time, on average. Here’s a chart showing a more nuanced breakdown by industry:

Percentage Keywords Paid Searc Results Copy

Shopping Ads, meanwhile, appear below SGE 64% of the time, on average.

About the Analysis. It looked at 2,900 keywords for 251 prominent U.S. brands across 15 industry verticals. You can read it here: SGE Research Study – The Impact of Google Search Generative Experience on Brand and Product Terms

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About the author

Danny Goodwin
Danny Goodwin has been Managing Editor of Search Engine Land & Search Marketing Expo - SMX since 2022. He joined Search Engine Land in 2022 as Senior Editor. In addition to reporting on the latest search marketing news, he manages Search Engine Land’s SME (Subject Matter Expert) program. He also helps program U.S. SMX events.

Goodwin has been editing and writing about the latest developments and trends in search and digital marketing since 2007. He previously was Executive Editor of Search Engine Journal (from 2017 to 2022), managing editor of Momentology (from 2014-2016) and editor of Search Engine Watch (from 2007 to 2014). He has spoken at many major search conferences and virtual events, and has been sourced for his expertise by a wide range of publications and podcasts.

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