The SEO team at Edgar Allan has been hard at work trying to unravel the mystery of Google’s Search Generative Experience and figure out how to rank a Webflow page for SGE. As a Webflow agency that believes in sharing ideas, we reached out to Ali Sayyed, Sr. SEO Analyst at One Identity and Co-Founder at Aleph Website, who has been looking into SGE since Google released its beta version. Ali gave us his ideas and opinions, and together, we came up with this article on SGE.
What is SGE?
SGE stands for Search Generative Experience and is essentially Google search results generated by artificial intelligence. It is currently in its beta phase and is being tested and studied by search engine optimization experts worldwide.
As the beta version currently stands, the SGE results display above the number one organic ranking result on the search results page as well as above the paid-for-search result.
This is an important factor to note because users tend to click on the top result that is displayed.
We don’t know if this will change in the future, but right now, we do know that just because a page might rank organically for a keyword on the search results page does not mean it will display in the SGE result.
This leads us to believe that the criteria for a page to rank for the SGE result differs from the criteria for a page to rank for the standard search results page.
From what we can tell, a lot of the criteria is the same:
- Optimized content and metadata
- The age of the domain
- The domain rating
- The backlink profile
- The health score
But there are also additional criteria a page needs to meet to rank for the SGE result.
Incorporate citation, statistics, and authoritativeness
In order to rank a Webflow page for SGE we have picked up on the following criteria that the content on the page will have to meet.
Cite the source
For example, the source for the information in this article comes from this research paper on GEO: Generative Engine Optimization.
As far as these citations are concerned, we have a theory that Google intends to create a knowledge network for AI to learn the best way to connect relevant and accurate information.
Use relevant statistics
For example, with regard to this article: “93.8% of generative links (in this dataset at least) came from sources outside the top-ranking organic domains. With only 4.5% of generative URLs directly matching a page 1 organic URL and only 1.6% showing a different URL from the same organic ranking domain.”
Have an authoritative voice
It’s essential for the article to be a powerfully written one and to come across as a voice of authority on the subject that Google and users can trust. Clarity and quality can also be accomplished by enlisting a person who is an authority on the topic as the author of the content.
Other ways to rank a Webflow page for SGE
Our research shows that there are also more technical criteria you can get your web pages to meet to rank for SGE.
Build novel content for LLMs to use for learning how to solve specific issues (content for training)
This can be achieved through the following steps, according to this article from Search Engine Land on Large Language Model optimization using a model they have coined GAIO (Generative AI optimization).
- Create your own media, press release center, or news outlet
- Generate contextual mentions of your brand across the internet
- Connect entities using new attributes previously unknown to Google (e.g. SGE and Webflow)
- Become a part of the knowledge graph, which can be easily done with GBP (Google Business Profile)
Fact-check against knowledge graphs (RAG model)
RAG (retrieval augmented generation) is a technology used to fine-tune and fact-check the outputs of an LLM (large language model) such as Bard and GPT. For the source of truth, RAG uses verified documents like the Knowledge Graph, a directory of entities that Google has stored and uses to provide responses in the form of knowledge panels.
Having RAG in mind, SEOs should do the following to ensure the content is being retrieved for SGE responses:
- Compare your content to the existing Knowledge Graph corresponding to your content’s topic
- Create new content on the topic that is not present in the current Knowledge Graph
- Build your own Knowledge Graph to expand on the amount of information about the topic you are exploring
Edgar Allan is still testing all these theories
If that sounded like a lot of information, that is because it was. But you don’t have to worry about anything. Edgar Allan is here to test these theories and put them into practice so our clients don’t have to. This entire article has been an experiment to see if we can get this page to rank for SGE in the SGE results. Now, there is nothing left to do but wait and see how much of the above is true.