At Google I/O on May 10th, we got the first glimpse of Google’s new SGE (Search generative experience). While it looked impressive and will undoubtedly have an impact on how brands do SEO, one element I saw that was missing was the inclusion of ads in the demo.
The question of where Google Ads will fit into the new SGE was answered a couple of weeks later as Google released new details about the upcoming rollout of their SGE.
Additionally, AI is being used to super-power the Google Ads platform, making it easier for brands to generate new assets and respond precisely to user searches.
With so much going on and the AI world moving so quickly, let’s break down what these elements mean and look like based on the info we have so far.
Ads In The SERP & SGE
The biggest announcement from an SEO and Google Ads perspective is the inclusion of ads in the SGE. From the video we’ve seen and included below, ads will feature in every stage of the new search experience across the new SERP, within the SGE and in the conversational elements of Google’s new platform.
What’s also clear from Google’s May 10th I/O event and this subsequent announcement is that visual elements like thumbnails will have a big impact on click-through rates. In the example in the video run-through, we can see that when in conversation mode, you’re eye is drawn to the drop-downs and thumbnails.
When it comes to ads in the initial SERP, we can see that text ads will sit above the AI-generated response. We saw this with shopping ads in the original demo, and it’s no surprise that ads take prime position given that ad revenues account for more than 50% of Google revenue.
In summary, this is a significant progression, and as SEO’s and a Google Ads partner, we’re always looking at what these changes mean for our clients and campaigns.
Ultimately, this integration of ads throughout the new search experience, from the initial SERP to the conversational elements of the platform, provides brands with greater visibility and opportunities to reach their target audience at different stages of their purchase journey.
AI Tech Powering Google Ads
The other announcement made by Google regarding AI and ads is about how this will impact their advertising platform.
Google say they are releasing a new conversational chatbot that will support brands in creating advertising assets using generative AI. This will lead to ad text and images responding to the query made by a user in real-time.
For example, if a user searches for a product for dry skin, Google will automatically create an ad saying, ‘Soothe your dry skin with our cruelly free moisturiser’. This kind of next-level responsive advertising puts the focus back on targeting the right audiences and getting your strategy in place while AI does the grunt work of creating ad copy and assets.
They have also said the Google Merchant Centre is getting an update and will feature more AI tools to help create and edit product images and videos. This is potentially going to be useful for smaller businesses that don’t have the in-house expertise to create these types of assert.
On the flip side, businesses selling a large number of products through Google Shopping could automate the product picture editing process saving time and money on in-house or external designers. There are definitely benefits to be had.
So What Does This All Mean For Google Ads?
Over the next 3 months, things are likely to stay the same. Google has said they don’t plan to roll the new SGE out just yet, so we have time to think and strategise about what we do going forward.
In 3-6 months, we will need to be ready with our new strategies to tackle Google Ads in the era of Google’s SGE. Gathering data and understanding what’s being impacted and why is going to be essential for unlocking the insights needed to succeed in the new era of search.
It’s hard to predict what we might see in 6 months plus, given the rapid development of the AI industry, particularly in digital marketing. What we do know is that search marketing will never be the same again, and those that embrace these changes will be the ultimate winners.