Google SGE Impact Could Be Extreme for Healthcare and Other Industries

Renowned SEO platform BrightEdge recently launched its BrightEdge Generative Parser, which shows that Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) may significantly influence healthcare inquiries, e-commerce, B2B tech, insurance, education, and more. 

Understanding the SGE Impact

Look at the data below to fully grasp SGE’s role in user queries. It is separated into three categories: collapsed, opt-in, and none. The “collapsed” category refers to when a condensed answer to an online query is AI-generated, the “opt-in” category references users who request an AI-generated answer in their query, and “none” refers to answers from a query that does not generate any AI activation. 

  • Healthcare: 76% of queries:
    • Collapsed (70%)
    • Opt-in (17%)
    • None (13%)
  • E-commerce: 49% of queries:
    • Collapsed (25%)
    • Opt-in (72%)
    • None (3%)
  • B2B Tech: 48% of queries:
    • Collapsed (23%)
    • Opt-in (72%)
    • None (2%)
  • Insurance: 45% of queries:
    • Collapsed (34%)
    • Opt-in (35%)
    • None (31%)
  • Education: 44% of queries:
    • Collapsed (17%)
    • Opt-in (80%)
    • None (3%)
  • Restaurants: 36% of queries:
    • Collapsed (4%)
    • Opt-in (96%)
    • None (0%)
  • Entertainment: 36% of queries:
    • Collapsed (5%)
    • Opt-in (91%)
    • None (2%)
  • Travel: 30% of queries:
    • Collapsed (16%)
    • Opt-in (81%)
    • None (3%)
  • Finance: 17% of queries:
    • Collapsed (5%)
    • Opt-in (38%)
    • None (52%)

Healthcare Sees the Most AI-Generated Answers

This shift in online traffic is particularly notable for the healthcare industry, given that many inquiries align with Google’s classification of Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) queries. Google classifies YMYL pages as those that could impact a user’s happiness, health, financial decision-making, and safety. Since healthcare can be a sensitive subject, it is surprising that 76% of queries in this category use AI. In contrast, where similar YMYL considerations apply in finance queries, SGE affects only 17% of queries. 

SGE Is Continuing to Experiment

In addition to these query changes, additional experiments are going on with this AI technology. First, AI-generated lists are seeing more experimentation. Google is adding to these unordered lists with images and added descriptions. These give the lists more context and content for users to interact with. Additionally, all industries are seeing clickable snippets taken from user reviews. These review snippets can help users choose a business based on a review promoted to the user by Google’s AI.

How to Prepare for a SGE-Fueled Future

BrightEdge’s co-founder and executive chairman Jim Yu emphasizes that SGE represents a foundational shift impacting all companies across every industry. He believes that marketers’ control over the customer journey will be diminished, with Google wielding the ultimate authority on brand quality and relevance. 

One of the ways this may occur is with SGE “opinion” components in searches, where AI-generated answers highlight pros, cons, and critical considerations based on the searcher’s question. For example, if someone wants advice on the best toothpaste, SGE could generate a list of factors and options to consider without using any website content. This would lead to less traffic on company sites, so marketing experts must grasp the nuances of online searches’ “intent” and “conversational” dynamics and appeal to both. 

Key Takeaway

The significance of Google’s SGE impacts various industries differently. While these effects will likely evolve as Google refines its algorithms and analyzes user behavior, it is important to understand the current landscape of SEO and how to engage and influence searchers in AI-driven environments.

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