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3 Insights from Google I/O 2023 for Local SEO

Held early this May, Google I/O 2023 was like the Comic-Con of the developer world.

Developers from across the world flew into Mountain View, CA, for the first in-person conference since COVID-19 hit. And as expected, the highly-anticipated event came through on all fronts and offered some important announcements, insights, and ideas for the future of digital media, technology, and more.

As such, we’ve also gained some interesting insights into local SEO services from this conference.

Redefining Local Search with Search Generative Experience

The biggest announcement that was unveiled at this year’s I/O event was the launch of the Search Generative Experience, or SGE, which will essentially “supercharge” search with the help of artificial intelligence (AI).

This means that the entire landscape for search will see a major disruption and change—and contrary to what you might think, it will be for the better.

Google Search Generative Experience (SGE) is an innovative framework that integrates the power of generative artificial intelligence (AI) into the Google search engine’s query responses. Traditionally, the search engine relied on web crawlers to collect and index information from websites, with search results being ranked by evolving algorithms. But now, with SGE, Google’s original search feature will be more active, aware, and accurate in predicting user behavior.

How?

SGE utilizes a large language model (LLM) known as the Pathways Language Model (PaLM) 2. This transformer neural network is trained on a vast corpus of data, enabling the AI to provide enhanced content and query capabilities. By leveraging the transformer model, SGE can infer results and make suggestions to improve user search outcomes.

It’s important to note that SGE doesn’t replace the existing Google index results; rather, it complements them, aiming to enrich the overall search experience. This means that the role of digital marketing won’t be diminished. In fact, we’ll need to find more innovative ways to engage users and rise to the changing demand that SERPs ask of us.

With help from a local SEO provider like Search Berg, you can enhance your current local SEO strategy based on the following insights from this year’s I/O event:

1. Users Will Get More Comprehensive Results From A Single Search

One of the most interesting ways that the SGE will upgrade the user experience and enhance local SEO simultaneously is by processing long-tail keywords and complex queries in a single go.

Currently, there are 3.5 billion searches per day and 40,000 search queries each second on Google, and while people are heavily dependent on them to get the information they need, there’s room for improvement.

AI-driven results will offer a more comprehensive, intelligent response that doesn’t need to be broken down and processed in fragments the way queries currently are.

So rather than getting half-baked information from multiple sources and piecing it together, users will be able to generate more specific, individualized questions and get more specific, individualized responses.

Currently, SGE is in its testing phase, and only those who sign up for Google’s Search Labs have access to this tool, but once it’s rolled out, you can expect detailed answers and responses for even the most hyper-specific questions.

For instance, a user going on vacation would like to get a detailed breakdown of which hotel is better for their needs as a travel group or family, and rather than relying on generic responses, the AI-powered search bar will be able to provide comprehensive responses from either a single source like a blog or guest post or compile data from multiple sources.

A chart comparing the benefits of AI-driven search to conventional search.

You should invest in local SEO solutions that help you leverage AI-driven models and optimize your website, content, and other facets to be more recognizable and higher ranking. These queries and responses still depend on successful content and optimization, hyperlinking, and human-generated knowledge to compile and provide responses to users.

Recommended Read: Mastering Local SEO: 5 Powerful Trends Taking 2023 by Storm!

2. The New Conversational Mode Will Enable Users To Continue Local Searches

Another interesting insight shared at the Google I/O event was that users will be able to interact with the SGE feature in the form of a conversation.

This is an important element of their futuristic AI-driven approach that aims to encourage continuous search, which is a leg up from their previously introduced continuous scrolls.

Now, rather than just moving from one page to the next, users will be able to converse with the AI chat. In fact,   Google’s algorithm will allow users to build up on previous queries and will even be able to predict what they want to ask next.

For instance, if you were Googling where to find the “best dentist for braces in Columbus, OH,” the bot will not only take you through that but also help you address follow-up questions like “Do braces hurt?” “Can I chew gum with braces?” and so on.

You’re probably wondering if this feature will favor zero-click searches. It might.

But you have to remember that the information provided in those results will be limited. Businesses need to understand that users may still require more detailed or comprehensive information beyond what is offered in the search results—which is an opportunity for you to provide value through your websites or other online platforms.

Let’s break this down a little.

A graph depicting different types of Google Search CTR.

Currently, zero-click searches make up 25.6% of Google search CTR on desktops. However, with conversational mode, users will have the option to move through multiple relevant options and clickthrough to the one that elaborates on the information they need.

This means your local SEO content, presence, and platforms must be straight shooters. You’ll have to contextualize, optimize, and update the information to be more relevant. This would include making sure that your content is user-centric and that your maps, Google business listings, and business information are impactful enough to help you maintain stellar rankings.

It’s got to be a hook (higher rankings), line (engaging, optimized content), and sinker (organic clickthrough and conversions to your website)—and our local SEO company will help you reel in local users.

Recommended Read: 6 Ways Professional SEO Services Can Help Your Local Business Rank on Google

3. They’re Testing And Launching A Feature Known As Perspectives For Varied Information

One of the most exciting insights gathered from Google I/O’s new strategies and discussions is that users truly are at the heart of all content, which is why their new feature, Perspectives, is so thrilling.

Perspectives is a tool that processes a Google search query and presents multi-perspective content in response to it. This includes long and short-form video content, blogs and articles, and even some zero-click posts, and allows users to get varied, diverse, detailed information in response to their query.

It’s an exciting chance for local SEO providers (like us) to upgrade services and help clients (like you) generate more interesting information, create powerful content, and double down on local SEO efforts that disseminate information in multiple ways.

Here’s a sneak peek of how Perspectives will work, according to Google’s official platform:

source: https://blog.google/products/search/google-search-perspectives/

As you can see, it’s quite simple to use and uses features from the aforementioned insights (long tail keywords and continuous scrolling) to provide various results from multiple perspectives. So rather than getting information from a singular, potentially biased, or sales-y service, they have the ability to get multiple insights from a single page.

To Your Local Search—and Beyond!

At Search Berg, we know how to walk the walk.

Work with our local SEO company to get ahead of local competitors and stay on top of the latest trends by upgrading your SEO strategy to reflect these insights and updates from Google I/O.

We analyze the latest trends and provide you with actionable strategies, customized approaches, and diverse solutions, from setting up Google profiles and business postings to social media and more.

Step into the future with our help!

It's time for a 180-degree transformation, Search Berg style. Rank higher on Google SERPs, build brand credibility, and drive more revenue by signing up with us today!

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