Google Search results without SGE jump to 65%, up from 25%

The number of Google Search queries without SGE increased last month from 25% to 65%. This is a surprisingly big drop, especially considering rumors that SGE could launch ahead of, or during, Google I/O next week.

Search results without SGE increase. Why did this happen, starting in mid-April? The reduction of SGE can be traced to Google’s Opt-in results type (when users must request an AI-generated answer).

This screenshot shows the data from enterprise SEO platform BrightEdge and the company’s BrightEdge Generative Parser:

Why we care. Many SEOs have been worried about the day Google SGE moves from being an opt-in experiment to the default experience because of the potentially devastating impact it could have on how much organic traffic Google sends to websites. But it seems like Google has been cautiously and patiently testing a variety of factors over the past year, all with the goal of improving it for a wider launch.

SGE vertical space shrinking. In addition to SGE showing on less queries, the amount of space SGE occupies has been getting smaller over the past month. Here’s a screenshot showing SGE dropping from around 1200 pixels to under 1050 pixels:

Product viewers decrease. There was a significant drop of this SGE format at the end of April:

Apparel carousel results increase. This format type gained visibility in SGE for queries specific to apparel.

More warnings. A new, universally-applied warning appeared in April: Generative AI is experimental. This warning now appears across industries and query types.

AIO. SEO for Classic Search will remain important for the foreseeable future, but it’s become clear that AIO (Artificial Intelligence Optimization) may become equally or more important in coming years for AI Search, according to BrightEdge founder and executive chair Jim Yu:

“Google search has undergone massive changes in the past few months to test and perfect SGE, with the goal of providing the best possible search experience. For marketers, it is essential to stay in lockstep with these changes to adapt to the new ways of optimizing for generative AI search.”

The report. BrightEdge continues to do live SGE update monitoring as part of its resource, The Ultimate Guide to Google SGE.