Neil Patel

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55% of Marketers are Positive About Google SGE

55% of Marketers are positive about google SGE.

With the rollout of generative AI in search, there were a lot of mixed emotions among digital marketers. From unbothered to nervous to excited, the emotions and attitudes towards Search Generative Experience (SGE) ran the gamut. 

Now that digital marketers have had time to settle into the news, how have those attitudes changed?

In this post, I’ll discuss the real feelings and attitudes towards SGE as reported by digital marketers themselves. I’ll also dive into the confidence levels of these same digital marketers as well as share ways to reduce fears about SGE (hint: preparation is key!).

Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways About Attitudes on Google SGE 

  • More than half (53.1 percent) of digital marketers rank their knowledge of SGE highly (an 8 or above on a scale of 1-10).
  • Marketers with SEO as a regular part of their job rank their knowledge as 9 out of 10, while freelancers rank their knowledge as 10 out of 10.
  • 75.3 percent of digital marketers feel confident or very confident in their knowledge of SGE and their ability to implement SEO strategies that align with new requirements.
  • For in-house digital marketers, the percentage who feel confident or very confident jumps to 80.6 percent.
  • 74.4 percent of digital marketers feel prepared for the impacts of SGE, with a strategy in the works or already being executed.
  • More than half (54.9 percent) of digital marketers have positive feelings around SGE.
  • 29.8 percent of digital marketers have neutral (e.g. curious, unbothered, other) feelings on SGE. The remaining 15.3 percent have negative (e.g. anxious, nervous, upset) feelings or fears about SGE.
  • The data suggests a correlation between preparedness and confidence about implementing SEO strategies for SGE.

Our Methodology 

My digital marketing agency, NP Digital, recently surveyed 1,000 digital marketers about their attitudes towards search generative experience. The target audience was digital marketers who work in SEO (in any capacity) across multiple industries.

This includes agency and in-house digital marketers, as well as freelancers.

We asked respondents to rank their knowledge level of SGE.

We also asked the respondents how confident they were in their ability to implement effective SEO strategies in the face of SGE, as well as how prepared they felt.

Finally, we asked respondents about their feelings on SGE in general.

Are Marketers Confident About Handling SGE? 

Before we get into the attitudes towards SGE, let’s discuss the confidence levels of those who will be the most impacted by its roll out: digital marketers.

The team at NP Digital asked survey respondents to rank their knowledge level of SGE on a scale of one to 10. Most marketers said their knowledge was on the higher end of the scale. The top three answers were:

  • 8 (19.7 percent)
  • 9 (18.4 percent)
  • 10 (15 percent)
What would you rank your knowledge level on Google SGE.

When we skew the results towards those who consider SEO a regular part of their role, though, that confidence level rose slightly with the top answer being 9 (29.8 percent).

Interestingly, freelancers felt the most confident about their knowledge of SGE. In fact, more ranked their knowledge level a 10 than any other number.

Perhaps more important than knowledge of SGE, though, is confidence in your ability to implement SEO strategies that align with its requirements. So how confident were our survey respondents in their abilities to do this? The majority (75.3 percent) were confident they could align with SGE requirements.

Confidence levels when it comes to meeting SGE requirements.

When we focus on in-house professionals, we see even higher confidence numbers:

  • 45 percent feel very confident
  • 35.6 percent feel somewhat confident
  • 19.4 percent do not feel confident

Now you may be wondering, what drives those confidence levels? Well, most marketers say they are prepared for SGE. Of the 1,000 respondents:

  • 18 percent are already executing their strategy for SGE
  • 32.5 percent say they have a strategy ready to implement
  • 23.9 percent are in the process of finalizing an SGE strategy
  • 15.8 percent are only just beginning to develop a strategy
How prepared are you for SGE.

Having a plan in place will certainly boost confidence levels in the face of change.

Breakdowns by Industry 

If you’re an in-house digital marketer, you may be curious as to what industries are represented in the survey results above. We surveyed marketers across many different industries, including professional services, technology, B2B, hospitality, healthcare, and others.

Respondents by industry SGE attitude.

And how about company size? We’ve got the bases covered there, too.

Our survey respondents work for small, medium, and large businesses. Just over half (51.7 percent) work for businesses with more than 100 employees.

Respondents by company size attitude toward SGE.

Emotional Responses to SGE 

We’re digital marketers, not robots! So of course, we all have some feelings about the introduction of SGE and its impact on SEO, search traffic, and other metrics.

And while some digital marketers are concerned, the most common emotions associated with SGE in our survey were positive.

What best describes your attitude toward Google SGE.

Here’s the breakdown of the good, the bad, and the neutral emotions expressed by marketers just like you:

  • Excited (33.7 percent)
  • Curious (13.3 percent)
  • Unbothered (13 percent)
  • Pleased (11.8 percent)
  • Hopeful (9.4 percent)
  • Anxious (6 percent)
  • Nervous (5.8 percent)
  • Upset (3.5 percent)
  • Other (3.5 percent)

I mentioned above that level of preparedness seemed to influence confidence levels; the same can be said for emotions.

Those who said they were anxious (6 percent) or nervous (5.8 percent) also said they were not very prepared and a strategy was just starting to be built out.

What Digital Marketers Can Learn from Attitudes on SGE 

The confidence, preparedness, and attitude of your fellow marketers can teach us some valuable lessons.

In general, marketers who are more confident and have more positive attitudes toward SGE also happen to be more prepared.

What does prepared mean in this sense?

Not only do they understand SGE, but they also understand the realistic impact of SGE on search. It is not Google’s intention to take traffic away from reputable, high-quality websites. Instead, their goal is to answer searcher questions in the most efficient way.  

When you approach content marketing and SEO from the angle that it will improve searchers’ experience, you begin to see why SGE is so exciting to so many marketers!

Now you certainly may lose traffic on some queries. Having a solid plan in place for that possibility can help you to balance the scales.

So don’t bury your head in the sand!

By preparing for SGE, you will feel more confident in your position and more positive about the change. 

FAQs 

How can digital marketers change their attitudes toward SGE? 

While more than half of digital marketers have positive attitudes towards Search Generative Experience, there are still those with negative feelings and concerns. By learning more about SGE and how it can improve the searcher experience, you may begin to have more a positive (or at least neutral) attitude about its use.  

How can digital marketers reduce their fears about SGE? 

When it comes to reducing fears about SGE, it’s all about knowledge and preparation. The more you understand SGE, and the more you feel confident in how your team will address it, the less concerns and fears you’ll have about it.  

Conclusion 

No matter your feelings and attitudes towards Search Generative Experience, know that you are not alone. There are other digital marketers who are feeling the same things. 

Just like any new Google search feature, we as digital marketers can’t control their rollout and implementation. However, we can do our best to prepare. This is the only true way to feel confident in your ability to mitigate impacts. 

What are your feelings about SGE? Share them in the comments below.

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