The New AI-Powered Search Era Is Here

Ma. Javiera Garache

4 weeks ago

Since Google Search Generative Experience started rolling out last year, we knew the search game was about to change forever, and it did. Search has just evolved, and as marketers, we need to understand what the new trends mean and, more importantly, how to evolve with them.

Trend #1 The “Exactly - What - I - Want” Search

“The perfect search engine should understand exactly what you mean and give you back exactly what you need”- Larry Page. 

For 25 years, Google has worked towards achieving this exact goal, and now, more than ever, it can give searchers exactly what they want every time they search. Thanks to AI advancements, Google can now help us find anything, no matter how long, specific, or complex the search is.

As a result, a new trend in how we search has emerged: longer search queries. According to Google, over the past 6 months, the volume of searches with five or more words grew 1.5x as fast as shorter queries compared to the same period last year. 

Take a look at the example below. Before, we searched for “Men’s running shoes,” and we would go on to compare prices, read reviews, and more; now, we can get all this information with one single specific query. Based on context, Google will match the searcher's intent with a business and provide a more precise answer with relevant follow-up links.

AI-Powered Search

So, as marketers, should we look for longer keywords and consider these complex search terms when building our campaigns? The answer is yes, definitely, yes. 

Long-tail keywords are the future since users will ask lengthier questions. Researching popular long-tail keywords and commonly asked questions in your niche and creating content around them will likely help your relevancy. 

Trend #2 Complex Search Made Easy

Last year, we ran a simple internal test to review what searches were commonly triggered by Google Search Generative Experience across different industries. Initially, we found that Informational queries, like questions, requests, guides, etc., were the searches commonly triggered by AI Search results. Soon, generated results also showed for commercial intent keywords and provided further or complementary information regarding the type of product or service, sometimes even suggesting online shops to purchase, as it started grasping more complex searches. 

 oogle SGE Test

Now, thanks to Google’s Search Generative Experience, a search that would previously have taken us multiple searches can be streamlined into one single search thanks to detailed AI-organized suggestions. This will likely impact nearby searches, entertainment activities-related searches, educational searches, travel, and shopping inspiration searches.

With AI Overview, Google predicts users will visit a greater diversity of websites for help with more complex questions and states that the links included in AI Overview get more clicks than if the page had appeared as a traditional web listing for that query. 

Google Search - AI Overview

As you can probably imagine, getting Google to cite your content in its AI Overviews will be a huge deal in SEO moving forward. Have we cracked the formula for AI search results suggested links? Not yet. Has anybody really cracked that formula? Time will tell. 

Based on pure fundamentals, we can assume that websites that prioritize concise, informative content and provide clear, well-structured information would likely stand a better chance of being featured in these overviews, driving more traffic and engagement.

Trend #3 Visual Searching

There have been 12 billion visual searches using Google Lens, and 1 in 4 have commercial intent. Searching with video and images is the new way to find answers to difficult-to-explain questions or information. 

With new visual searching capabilities like Video Search and Circle to Search, the search experience continues to expand. So, have you asked yourself how your video and image assets look? If the answer is no, then it is a good time to start optimizing product images and improving user experience to tap into a new visual realm of opportunities to reach and engage with customers.

 Google Search Generative Experience

Trend #4 Search Beyond Answers

What happens when consumers are simply looking to explore or get inspired? They turn to Google to discover.

With the new AI overview, we know moving forward, users searching for inspiration will find an AI-organized page custom-built for them and their questions, the ultimate personalization. But we can't talk about discovery without talking about YouTube

New YouTube ad formats promise to help businesses engage with viewers, including vertical ad formats, stickers to drive action, and new animated image ads automatically created from images in an advertiser's actions and demand gen product feeds. So, if YouTube or Demand Gen campaigns were not already a part of your marketing strategy, it's time to speed up. 

Google’s PMax vs. Demand Gen Campaign - What’s Right For Your Business?

It’s Time to Learn, Test, and Adapt

AI is not a marketer, but learning, testing, and adapting are key to navigating this new search era. Therefore, remember to:

  • Optimize with long-tail keywords in mind. 
  • Being relevant and helpful continues to make content stand out.
  • Optimizing product images and video assets, keep a close eye on your website user experience. Tip: Test out Google’s new asset creation tools powered by AI.
  • Expand your efforts to YouTube or Demand Gen campaigns.

As Google continues to test and evolve the Search experience, take a creative and strategic approach to your marketing efforts to conquer the new AI-powered search era. I believe there are always opportunities in uncertain times if you dare to seek them with drive and determination. If you want to discuss a strategy to navigate digital marketing, contact us to schedule a free consultation.