Google Search Update: What you need to know in Marketing and PR

Google regularly updates the way that content is processed and prioritised on the results pages of the search engine. There have been some big updates in recent years, mostly down to the evolution of AI and its powers of answering questions and writing content.

Google initially utilised AI to identify and de-prioritise AI written content and to focus on value added content. This is still the case, but now the perceived value has changed.

What is Google doing with AI?

Google has transformed its search engine by incorporating generative AI, utilising it to give users more informative results that provide further context. Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) brings AI to the top of search results, generating summaries of the content on the first page to provide answers to the question posed by the user.

What is Google Search Generative Experience (SGE)?

Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) is an AI powered search tool that aims to bring accurate and reliable information to the user, answering the query given to Google. Using AI, Google now summarises trustworthy and high quality information, providing a response that is built from multiple sources.

What impact does this have on SEO?

The importance of authority and credibility is now higher than ever. Content writers must make sure they are aligning their content with the Google guidelines of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T). The content therefore needs to be well-researched and properly cited to maintain visibility in search results.

What this essentially means is that content needs to be well thought out, well cited, and created to bring value – so, in theory, completely AI generated content will not be seen as valuable. For marketers that wish to utilise AI in their content creation, they are of course allowed to do so. But the content will still need that human touch to connect the dots with citations, an extra element of thought, and the initial prompt will need to be detailed and concise.

This does also then shift the emphasis to back-end SEO, meaning your webpages will need to be optimised and fully powered up to allow Google to know that the user experience on your website will be exceptional and of a high standard. This technical SEO is essential, and to ensure it's up to par, a regular audit and reviews are recommended.

Can PR help your search rankings?

As highlighted above, the trustworthiness of the source is a high priority for Google, so you will need the backing of a few well known publications in order to consistently rank highly. Backlinks act as a thumbs-up from other websites to show their approval of your content, and creating these backlinks will help you going forward. This is where PR can be helpful in pushing your digital marketing even further. Landing PR coverage in leading journals and publications will give your website a backlink boost and improve your Domain Authority.