Glimpsing into the Future of AI and Google Search  

Digital Marketing Manager at Leonardo, Rahul Kandi shares what hotels need to know about AI and Google Search 

Over the past several years, Google has been working to integrate AI technology into its search space. This new innovation became the next big thing for Google. On May 10th, 2023 Google introduced their own ‘Search Generative Experience (SGE). It’s a new era of AI-powered search and this latest update is marked as the most profound one in the last decade of Digital Marketing. 

What is SGE? 

To enhance its search experience and refine results, SGE provides an AI-powered snapshot that aims to provide more conversational, contextual, and creative responses. This may eventually change the way we find information and interact with the internet. With SGE, users will see a snapshot of information from across the web compiled into a single, readable result. For some queries, the snapshot could include business reviews, photos, and profile info.  

Access to SGE 

SGE is currently only available to users in the US who signed up for beta testing on Google Labs. As of now, it is in the experimental phase as Google is continuously collecting feedback from the users before its full rollout to everyone. We believe Google will not launch this AI-powered search engine until 2024. 

Impact on Traditional Search Results 

SGE results will push organic search results further down the page. It is unclear as of now what Google’s criteria are for recommending the links in SGE for any search query. Generative AI content appears for many informational queries, i.e., when a user is trying to get some information or gain knowledge, as opposed to making a purchasing decision. As this is a recently launched feature, Google has not yet provided any conclusive data on the impact of clickthrough rates for traditional search results at this point.  

Impact on Google Ads 

More than 80% of the revenue in 2022 for Google came from advertising on Google and YouTube. We can assume that Google will continue to display Ads in its search results along with AI-powered search results. Based on the testing, Google Ads are displayed above the Generative response and throughout the search results.  

What your hotel needs to know now 

Google has said SGE wouldn’t be successful if Google was not continuously indexing web content. We can therefore assume that the content of your hotel website will still matter to appear in SGE results.  

From the above screenshot, you can see the expansion of the Hotel Local Pack showing 5 businesses on top of traditional results. When you click these businesses, a Google My Business (GMB) profile shows up on the right. In the future, there will still be an opportunity to attract organic traffic to your hotel website by optimizing your GMB profile, having valuable content, receiving positive reviews, and focusing on overall brand authority.  

Building your brand through consistent, strategic content and SEO will always help your hotel website perform better than your competitors. The goal of this new AI-powered search is to help connect users with the richness of the web. In these very early days, we do not yet know what ranking factors play a role in SGE other than high-quality authoritative information.  

To win in the new era of digital marketing, create high-quality personalized content following E-E-A-T principles (demonstrating Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) to get your business recognized across the evolving web.

Leonardo’s web studio is a hotel content management platform combined with digital marketing expertise. Learn more about how we build hotel websites.