How Google Search Updates Will Change Digital Marketing in 2024

Google I/O 2024 is in the books – and wow, the future looks exciting!
Some massive shifts are coming to digital marketing, especially in Google Search.

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The big news? AI Overviews (formerly known as Search Generative Experience) rolled out in the U.S. on May 14th, 2024. Expect it to hit other countries soon.

When SGE first appeared in 2023, it caused a stir. Some marketers panicked, fearing traffic drops they couldn’t explain.

Others saw the potential and got excited about the AI-driven future of digital marketing.

Whether you’re feeling anxious or optimistic, one thing is clear: adapt or get left behind. So, what’s next for Google Search in 2024? Google’s Gemini Era is here, but what does that mean?

Let’s break down the key updates and what they mean for Search.

Key Updates for Google Search 2024

  1. AI Overviews: Designed to reduce the time users spend searching.
  2. Ask Photos: This allows you to search your photo library for specific details.
  3. Gmail Summaries: Automatically summarizes your emails for better management.
  4. Notebook LM: Turns research materials into comprehensive lessons.
  5. Multi-Step Reasoning: Solves complex queries with advanced logic.

Beyond SERPs

Many digital marketers focus solely on changes to Google’s search results pages (SERPs). But the real takeaway from Google I/O is that search is evolving beyond just SERPs.

Google Photos, Gmail, and Notebook LM are getting major upgrades with Gemini 1.5 Pro.

Imagine this: by September 2024, you can use Ask Photos to search your images for anything. Misplaced your license plate number? Just ask Gemini, and it’ll find it in your photos.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai demonstrated how this works by finding a car’s license plate among thousands of images. It’s that powerful.

Gmail’s upgrade is a dream for busy marketers. Now, Gemini can summarize your recent emails, making it easier to stay on top of your inbox.

Notebook LM, introduced last year, is getting a significant upgrade. Senior Director Josh Woodward showcased how Gemini 1.5 Pro can tailor a science lesson to his son’s learning style, creating guides, FAQs, and even quizzes from uploaded materials.

For marketers, this means saving time on presentations and consolidating research effortlessly.

What Does Google Search Look Like in the Gemini Era?

The real focus is on how Gemini 1.5 and AI Overviews will transform Search.

Let’s talk e-commerce. Circle to Search is now available on Android. See an item in an image? Circle it, and Google will find links to that product.

No more endless Googling – Google does the work for you, delivering instant results.

This shift reflects Google’s goal to streamline the search process, giving users what they want immediately.

Multi-Step Reasoning: Revolutionizing Long-Tail Keywords

One standout feature is multi-step reasoning, designed to tackle complex queries. Head of search Liz Reid described it as handling “ten questions in one.”

Here’s how it works:

  • Breaks down complex queries into key phrases.
  • Orders those phrases logically.
  • Uses the Google Search Index to find answers.

For example, asking for the best yoga or pilates studios in Bangkok, details on their intro offers, and walking time from the BTS station? Multi-step reasoning handles it all, delivering a comprehensive answer.

This innovation is set to change how users search, eliminating the need for refined queries and providing instant, detailed results.

AI-Organized Search Results Pages

AI-organized search results pages are set to shake up the SEO world.

Liz Reid showcased a query to plan a trip to Dallas. Instead of a simple answer, users receive a custom-built, AI-organized search results page tailored to their specific query.

This means SERPs will change, and rankings will shift. Featured snippets may become less relevant as AI-generated answers and source links take prominence.

For SEOs, this means adapting quickly to how AI overviews pull information from the Google Search Index.

But here’s the thing – quality content will always win. Focus on creating valuable content for your audience, and you can’t go wrong.

What Should You Be Doing Now?

Feeling anxious about these changes? Don’t panic.

Here’s what you should do to prepare:

  1. Review Your Keywords: Check SERPs for AI Overviews on your focus keywords. Are you cited? Is the information accurate?
  2. Get Mentioned: Secure mentions and links from credible sites to increase your chances of appearing in AI Overview results.
  3. Optimize Technical SEO: Ensure your site is technically sound, clear, and authoritative.
  4. Create Comprehensive Content: Deep, valuable content is more likely to excel with Google’s new focus on multi-step reasoning.
  5. Think Long-Term: Google will continue to evolve AI Overviews. Analyze and adapt methodically.

Industries will be impacted differently, but sticking to the basics of creating effective and helpful content will always pay off.

At Generation Beta, we recognize the high stakes of AI Overviews for our clients. We’ve been proactive, even before the full rollout, to ensure our clients are well-positioned. Here’s what we’re doing:

  1. Early Testing: Using Google’s betas to gather early insights on AI Overviews and client content performance.
  2. GEO Optimization: Adapting content strategies to be cited as authorities in AI Overview results.
  3. Industry Tracking: Monitoring SEO impacts across different industries.
  4. Securing Citations: Finding ways to get clients mentioned and published beyond traditional links.
  5. Continuous Analysis: Adapting strategies as AI Overviews evolve.

We’re also ensuring our clients’ technical SEO is impeccable and focusing on creating comprehensive, high-quality content.

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Conclusion

2024 is shaping up to be a monumental year for Google Search and SEO.

With 2023’s nine Google algorithm updates and the March Core Update of 2024, we’re now fully in the Gemini era.

Google’s focus on AI is clear – it’s all about providing a better user experience. For businesses and website owners, the strategy should be the same.

Offer helpful, actionable content, maintain technical excellence, and stay adaptable. That’s the recipe for success in this new AI-driven landscape.

Contact us if you are losing traffic and customers. We surely can help!

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