Neil Patel

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Impact of Google SGE: 31% of Marketers Predict Detrimental Effects

31% of marketers predict detrimental effects.

When Google initially announced the use of generative AI in search in May 2023, there was a wave of panic in the digital marketing world. 

As digital marketers became familiar with the technology, though, the predictions on the impacts of Search Generative Experience (SGE) began to shift.

That’s not to say that everyone is happy or unbothered with the rollout, but the predictions are trending positive.

In this post, I’ll share the results of NP Digital’s survey on SGE impacts. Marketers answered questions like “how will SGE impact SEO” and shared their predictions. So, if you’re ready to learn more about SGE’s potential impact and how you can prepare yourself, read on.

Key Takeaways About the Impact of Google SGE 

  • Almost one-quarter (21.7 percent) of digital marketers said they expected SGE to significantly impact their current SEO strategies.
  • When discussing SEO strategies most likely to be impacted by SGE, marketers said keyword implementation (23.5 percent) and technical optimization (22.5 percent).
  • More than half (52.4 percent) of respondents feel SGE will positively impact their organic traffic.
  • On the flip side, 30.8 percent of digital marketers anticipate detrimental impacts from Google SGE.
  • Almost one-half of digital marketers plan to enhance user experience on their site (45.2 percent) and increase focus on content creation (43.5 percent) in anticipation of SGE’s impacts.

Our Methodology 

The team at NP Digital, my digital marketing agency, surveyed 1,000 digital marketers in January about their predictions on the impact of search generative experience on search. The target audience was digital marketers who work in SEO (in any capacity) across an array of industries.

We asked respondents to rank how impactful SGE would be on SEO.

We also asked respondents to identify which areas of SEO would be most impacted.

Finally, we asked the respondents to share their resource allocation strategies as they prepare for SGE.

What Digital Marketers Predict About Google SGE 

So what do digital marketers predict about Google SGE impact?

We asked respondents to rank SGE’s anticipated impact on their SEO strategies on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being not at all and 10 being significantly. The top answer (21.7 percent) was 10.

How will SGE impact your SEO strategy?

What aspects of SEO, exactly, did they expect to be the most affected by SGE?

The number one answer (23.5 percent) was keyword implementation. Other top answers included technical optimization (22.5 percent), user experience (17.4 percent), and content creation (17.2 percent).

Which areas will be most affected by SGE.

It’s true that SGE will likely impact these various SEO strategies. However, despite the challenges, digital marketers tend to have positive predictions about the general nature of SGE and search.

49.3 percent of respondents feel SGE will help small businesses in search engine results pages (SERPs). Recent data backs up this prediction—94 percent of SGE links are different than those on page one. Smaller brands with lower domain authority now have a shot to appear on page one, even if their content is ranking on page two or below. 

66.5 percent of respondents feel SGE will deliver more accurate results than existing Google results. And more than half (52.4 percent) of respondents feel SGE will positively impact their traffic.

Positive predictions about the impact of SGE.

Of course, not all predictions are positive.

About 31 percent of digital marketers think that SGE will result in major or slight drops to their organic traffic performance.

How will SGE impact your Organic traffic.

Breakdowns by Industry 

As previously mentioned, the digital marketers in our survey represented several industries. This includes both in-house marketers and freelancers.

See the full breakdown below.

Respondents by industry SGE impact.

Anticipated Strategies for SGE 

Even though many digital marketers in our survey have positive feelings about SGE, they still want to ensure they’re prepared for its impacts.

So what anticipated strategies do digital marketers have for SGE? Here are the top five resource allocation strategies chosen by respondents:

  • Enhance user experience (UX) on the site (45.20 percent)
  • Increase focus on content creation (43.50 percent)
  • Invest more in technical SEO (39.70 percent)
  • Research AI/machine learning (27.50 percent)
  • Build a stronger backlink profile (21.20 percent)
Where are you allocating resources to prepare for SGE?

While most digital marketers are prepared, not all are. Roughly 10 percent of respondents said they don’t plan to do any resource allocation while preparing for SGE.  

What Can You Learn for Your SGE Strategy? 

While predictions and attitudes about SGE tend to be positive, that doesn’t mean you should be unprepared. So, what can you learn from our survey respondents? 

The first thing is to not panic.

There is a lot of doom and gloom online surrounding SGE, but when we ask the professionals about their attitudes and predictions, it’s largely positive. In fact, many digital marketers think SGE will have a positive effect on traffic and be a better experience for users.

The second thing is that while keyword implementation is predicted to be one of the largest impacts of SGE, you don’t necessarily need to double down on your keyword strategy. Instead, you should focus on other areas of SEO (like technical SEO) and even user experience.

You’ll likely see traffic fluctuations at first. Expect those fluctuations to settle down. Don’t destroy the progress you’ve made by revamping your focus keywords prematurely. Instead, implement other changes that improve user experience and focus on creating high-quality content.


What impacts of Search Generative Experience on search do digital marketers anticipate? 

With the rollout of SGE, marketers anticipate an improved search experience for users and organic traffic growth for smaller websites. There are marketers concerned about negative organic traffic impacts for websites, though. 

What strategies should you implement in anticipation of Google SGE impact? 

Focus on making improvements that would be beneficial even if SGE didn’t exist. According to digital marketers, the top three strategies for SGE include on-site user experience optimization, content creation, and technical SEO optimization.


While we can’t possibly know the true impacts of search generative experience on search until widespread implementation, we can use our shared knowledge to make educated guesses.

Marketers expect the impact of SGE to be significant, but largely beneficial for users and website owners alike. Most are preparing for SGE already, and I’d suggest following their lead. With strategies like optimizing UX and creating quality content, you can make positive changes for users and reduce Google SGE impacts. 

What impacts do you expect to see from SGE, and what strategies are you implementing to offset those impacts?

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