Take a seat, because HUGE updates in search are coming.
Not another word, here we go:
GENERATIVE AI IN GOOGLE SEARCH: NOW MORE THAN JUST WORDS
Google recently announced its amplified search experience, titled Search Generative Experience (SGE). In their announcement, Google not only unveiled the new interface but also delved into the potential and constraints of this innovative search method.
The key focus of this novel search approach is on factual correctness over natural language results. While the latter can foster trust with users, the priority is placed on the safety and integrity of the information presented.
SGE, keeping this in mind, may opt not to generate responses for YMYL queries, for example. Plus, it’s worth noting that civic information has now been included in this category.
When responses are produced, they will be showcased above the organic results. Google, however, assures users that the information will be displayed in a way that enables easy navigation to the original source website:
As we bring generative AI into Search, we’re committed to continue sending valuable traffic to sites across the web.
Rest assured, advertising will remain a crucial part of the search experience. AI will not only boost search capabilities but will also enhance product recommendations based on user queries. For instance, if a user searches for [bluetooth speaker for a pool party], SGE will interpret the need to display water-resistant speakers.
To learn more about SGE, you can refer to the linked PDF.
At present, the new feature has already undergone testing by search raters. While the raters will continue to be involved, SGE will gradually start rolling out to selected user groups. Users who match the [US, English] criteria can also sign up for the waiting list through Search Labs to be among the first to experience this new feature.
CWV: FID -> INP
First, let me decipher this code:
The acronym stands for Interaction to Next Paint, or INP, an initiative by Google to be integrated into Core Web Vitals, also known as CWV. The introduction of INP is seen as a move to eventually replace the current metric, First Input Delay (FID). The rationale behind this change is the perceived limitations of FID, even though the underlying principle of both metrics is quite similar.
Here’s the anticipated timeline for this transition:
- In May 2022, Google announced experimental support and testing for INP.
- By May 2023, we’ll see INP introduced to CWV where it will coexist with FID.
- By May 2024, INP is expected to fully replace FID, including in the console.
UPCOMING HELPFUL CONTENT SYSTEM UPDATE
In the announcement about Search Perspectives (which we’ll explore under the SERP features section), it was mentioned that the update rollout will occur in the coming months, “…with a greater focus on content with unique expertise and experience” (remembering the new E for experience in EEAT).
You’ll now see more pages that are based on first-hand experience or are created by someone with deep knowledge in a given subject.
ON THE REDUCTION OF FAQ RESULTS IN THE SERPS
Just to jog your memory, at the beginning of April, the community noticed a sharp decrease in the number of FAQs, especially in mobile search. Google didn’t comment on this, but John Mueller speculated that it could be due to the misuse of the feature:
Sites love adding FAQ markup, it gives them more room in search, and at some point, it makes the results less useful. The right balance makes sense to re-evaluate from time to time, like with any other search element.
However, let’s not forget that this is an unofficial explanation, simply Mueller’s two cents.
Although the observation is not universal, a number of SEO professionals on the Local Search forum have reported that local packs have vanished from search results for a significant number of queries.
To clarify, it’s not the listings within the Local Pack that have dropped; the Local Pack itself has vanished.
Could Google be attempting to conserve space, again? More to come.
You might be wondering, “Perspectives, again?”
Yes, but last time it was about Google’s ongoing experimentation with different variations of this feature.
Now, the search giant has improved it significantly and has even dedicated a distinct filter to it in search, right next to All, Images, and News.
Long- and short-form videos, images and written posts that people have shared on discussion boards, Q&A sites, and social media platforms. We’ll also show more details about the creators of this content, such as their name, profile photo or information about the popularity of their content.
Yet another filter. While other filters break search results into groups by their type (images, videos, maps…), this one is geared to refine results by topic.
Similar functionality has long been implemented in refining image search results. It was introduced to mobile SERPs last December and is now accessible on desktops as well