How Google SGE Is Redefining Organic Traffic Across Industries

Google SGE is reshaping organic traffic across industries. Discover key insights on its impact by vertical and learn strategies to adapt.

google sge

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Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) is changing how people interact with search results. This new AI-driven feature, part of Search Labs, combines information from multiple sources to give detailed answers directly on the search results page, reducing the need for users to click on links. 

As marketing professionals at Rock Content, we’ve been following this shift to understand how it impacts organic traffic and marketing strategies across different industries. After reading materials from various thought leaders, including the Search Engine Journal article, we’re sharing our take on how SGE is reshaping search behavior in many industries. Here’s a comprehensive summary with our insights.

    What Is Google SGE?

    Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) is an AI-powered feature that provides comprehensive search results by integrating information from various sources. Here’s a simple breakdown:

    • Contextual and Comprehensive Answers: It integrates information from multiple sources to provide thorough and contextual answers to user queries.

    • Fewer Clicks Needed: It offers answers directly on the search results page, reducing the need to click on links for information.

    • More Relevant and Personalized Answers: It uses machine learning to deliver relevant and personalized answers based on user intent.

    How Does Google SGE Work?

    SGE appears at the top of the search results page with AI-generated answers to your query. It’s like asking Google a question and receiving a detailed response right away.

    Let’s use the travel example to show how SGE works. Imagine asking a travel question like, “What are the best things to do in Rome?” Instead of just listing links, SGE combines data from travel blogs, government tourism websites, and user reviews to create a concise guide. This summary aims to answer your question directly, so you don’t need to click through multiple websites.

    Key Features and Benefits of SGE

    • Conversational Mode: After seeing the initial AI-generated response, users can ask follow-up questions to refine their search results. For example:
    • Browsing Experience: Google integrates relevant visuals (images, maps, videos) to improve the browsing experience directly on the search results page.
    • Source Attribution: Google aims to maintain transparency by attributing each response to the original source. For instance, if a summary about Rome includes information from Lonely Planet, it will show a link to the article.

    • Search Intent Optimization: By understanding the search intent better, Google aims to answer not only informational queries but also commercial ones, like shopping or local services.

    Impact on User Behavior

    SGE has significantly impacted user behavior:

    • More Comprehensive Answers Lead to Fewer Clicks: Users are more satisfied with the detailed answers provided by SGE and don’t feel the need to click through to external sites.

    • Shift Toward Quicker Answers: Users now prefer getting their answers directly from the search results page rather than exploring multiple websites.

    Impact of Google SGE on Organic Traffic by Vertical

    Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) has impacted organic traffic across different industries. The chart below provides a summary of the decline in organic traffic across several verticals.


    Websites in the travel sector saw a 9.8% decline in clicks. This drop occurred because SGE’s detailed travel summaries reduce the need for users to click on travel blogs and websites. As travel summaries become more comprehensive, travelers get a lot of information upfront, leading to fewer clicks on individual travel websites.

    For instance, if you search “Best time to visit Paris,” SGE might show a comprehensive timeline that answers your query directly. 

    This behavior is leading travel marketers to rethink their SEO strategies, focusing more on niche topics or unique travel guides that can’t be easily summarized by SGE.


    Local searches experienced a 14.9% reduction in clicks. Google’s local business listings and summaries, like hours of operation, reviews, and addresses, directly satisfy user queries without them needing to visit business websites. We often see this when searching for nearby restaurants, stores, or attractions.

    If you search “Best coffee shops near me” the SGE result might list coffee shops with ratings, hours, and locations, making it easy to choose without leaving the search results page.

    Local businesses should fully optimize their Google Business Profiles because it’s their primary interface with potential customers.


    Health websites reported a significant 41% drop in clicks. Google’s SGE provides direct answers from trusted health sources, like Mayo Clinic or WebMD, limiting clicks to external health websites. Search engines often present people with comprehensive summaries when they search for symptoms or treatments.

    For example, a search for “Symptoms of the flu” might result in a summary listing common symptoms, risk factors, and links to trusted health sources for further reading.

    Health websites need to establish themselves as trusted sources by providing accurate, well-structured information.


    Technology websites saw a 9.5% drop in clicks. AI-generated summaries often satisfy tech queries, reducing clicks to tech blogs and reviews. Queries like “Best budget smartphones” or “Top laptops for gaming” now can show curated summaries, reducing the need to click on tech blogs.

    As a result, tech marketers need to focus on creating in-depth reviews and comparisons that stand out. By offering unique insights or hands-on comparisons, tech websites can provide content that complements SGE summaries.


    Financial queries showed a less dramatic 2.3% decline in clicks. Users still rely on comprehensive articles for detailed financial insights, leading to fewer impacts from SGE. 

    State of Marketing Report 2024

    While SGE provides basic information about financial terms and trends, investors often want deeper insights into market movements, investment strategies, and economic forecasts.

    Financial websites can remain relevant by offering in-depth analysis and exclusive data, helping them retain traffic despite SGE summaries.

    Overall Organic Traffic Decline

    On average, clicks across all industries dropped by 6% due to SGE. While SGE aims to deliver better user experiences, it ends up reducing traffic to many websites.

    From our perspective at Rock Content, this overall decline is a wake-up call for marketers to diversify their traffic sources. Changing user behavior and evolving search algorithms make relying solely on organic traffic risky.

    User Behavior Changes Due to SGE

    SGE has shifted user behavior by providing faster, more comprehensive answers directly in search results. AI-generated summaries satisfy users, leading to fewer clicks on organic search results.

    • Reduced “Browsing Intent”: People now want answers quickly rather than spending time browsing different sites.
    • Increased Trust in AI Summaries: Users are trusting the summaries provided by SGE more and more, especially for simple informational queries.

    To adapt, content creators should focus on providing in-depth, high-quality content that adds value beyond what SGE can summarize. And this is something that we at Rock Content, always have in mind when creating new content.

    SGE’s Impact on Search Ads

    SGE also affects the click-through rate (CTR) of search ads. AI summaries often include information available in ads, reducing their effectiveness. If the summary already provides enough information to satisfy the query, users are less likely to click on ads, impacting advertisers’ visibility.

    Reduced CTR in Search Ads:

    Advertisers have noticed a decline in CTR for search ads due to SGE.

    Impact on Advertisers’ Visibility:

    Since SGE aims to provide more detailed answers directly on the search results page, users often find what they’re looking for without clicking on ads.

    Advertisers might need to rethink their strategies, focusing on more compelling ad copy and targeting specific user intents.

    Key Takeaways for Marketers

    As marketing professionals, we’ve identified some key takeaways:

    • Optimize for SGE:
      • Ensure your website’s content is included in SGE summaries by providing accurate, valuable, and structured information.
      • Schema markup can help here, as it allows your content to be more easily interpreted and summarized by AI.

    • Diversify Traffic Sources:
      • Don’t rely solely on organic traffic; focus on social media, email marketing, and other channels.

    • Adapt SEO Strategies:
      • Shift focus toward long-tail keywords and niche topics where SGE summaries are less prevalent.

    • Enhance User Experience:
      • Improve your website to retain visitors who click through. Fast loading times, mobile optimization, and intuitive navigation are key.

    • Refine Ad Copy and Leverage Unique Selling Points (USPs):
      • Make ad copy more compelling and directly address user intent to stand out among SGE summaries.
      • Highlight unique selling points that aren’t easily summarized by AI.

    • Optimize Landing Pages:
      • Ensure landing pages are optimized to retain and convert users who click through from search ads.

    Wrapping Up

    Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) is a game-changer in the search landscape, and its effects vary significantly across different industries. 

    By providing comprehensive answers directly on the search results page, SGE has shifted user behavior and impacted organic traffic and search ads.

    At Rock Content, we’re prioritizing optimizing for SGE while diversifying traffic sources to stay competitive in this evolving search environment. 

    Understanding how SGE impacts organic traffic and search ads across various industries allows marketers to adapt their strategies and continue delivering valuable content.

    In this rapidly changing environment, content remains every brand’s heartbeat. That’s why partnering with qualified professionals is crucial.

    Enter WriterAccess:

    With a network of over 15,000 writers, designers, and strategists, as well as advanced AI features and image bank integration, WriterAccess provides the tools and expertise needed to craft strategies, produce exceptional content, and achieve strategic growth.

    Join WriterAccess today to access a wealth of professionals, cutting-edge AI tools, and image resources.

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