Exploring The Search Generative Experience (SGE) With Authoritas’ CEO Lawrence O’Toole

Lawrence O’Toole, CEO of Authoritas, discusses Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) and its potential impact on organic search traffic. He shares the findings of a study conducted by his company on the impact of SGE for website owners. The study revealed that the average number one organic result drops 1500 pixels in an SGE world. Lawrence explains the methodology used in the study and highlights the importance of understanding the SERP landscape and identifying opportunities for optimization. He also discusses how Authoritas is adapting its products to support clients in navigating the changes brought about by SGE.


  • Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) can have a significant impact on organic search traffic, with the average number one organic result dropping 1500 pixels in an SGE world.
  • Understanding the SERP landscape and identifying opportunities for optimization are crucial for website owners to adapt to SGE and maintain organic visibility.
  • Analyzing the overlap between traditional organic rankings and SGE results reveals that there is not as much alignment as one might expect, indicating the need for a comprehensive SEO strategy that considers both types of results.
  • Preparing for SGE involves conducting preliminary studies, ensuring readiness to collect data, and analyzing the impact on rankings and traffic. Optimizing for SGE requires understanding the changing snippet format and considering factors like citations and links.
  • Authoritas is adapting its products to support clients in tracking and analyzing SGE results, providing insights into the impact on organic rankings and offering guidance on optimization strategies.


00:00 – Introduction

00:32 – Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE)

01:27 – Understanding SGE

03:00 – Current State and Future of SGE

07:09 – Study on the Impact of SGE

08:22 – Findings of the Study

11:18 – Methodology of the Study

13:43 – Analysis of the Study Results

14:48 – Overlap between Organic Rankings and SGE

18:27 – Opportunities and Challenges with SGE

25:15 – Future Research and Optimization Strategies

31:56 – Adapting to SGE – Authoritas’ Approach

35:24 – Measuring Attribution and Impact on Organic Traffic

39:24 – Preparing for SGE and Identifying Opportunities

42:46 – Conclusion


Dave Davies (00:05.837)

Perfect. All this is to say, he’s earned his stripes in understanding the core of SEO. And when you add to that a passion for big data and diving into LLMs and AI, you get a powerful mix. And the AI and marketing podcast gets a great guest to dig into the top of mind topic for anyone who cares about organic search traffic, Google’s generative experience. Lawrence, welcome to the show.

Laurence O’Toole (00:24.023)

Thanks very much Dave, really happy to be here.

Dave Davies (00:32.557)

To make sure we’re all up to speed and for our listeners, Google announced the search generative experience or SGE for short, and opened it up in search labs last May. For those who haven’t seen it, it essentially puts chat GPT on steroids, experience right below the search box and header in the search results. A couple of sentences in an announcement Google made earlier this month in a blog post brought into question for a few folks whether SGE was being mothballed.

spoiler alert, it is not, but Lawrence can comment on that in just a minute. You can dig or you can sign up at labs.google, not if you’re from Canada like I am, I should note, but you can if you’re from Antarctica and pretty much anywhere else in the world. And someone who may feel my pain on being excluded from SGE without a proxy is my guest Lawrence, whose company recently published a study on the potential impact of SGE for website owners.

Let’s dive in and start with the basics. You’ve been studying SGE intently. What’s missing from my quick explanation that you think our listeners really need to understand?

Laurence O’Toole (01:33.047)

Well, thanks Dave. Yeah, so we’ve been obviously looking at it since it came out in May last year, but probably in the last four months or so have actually been developing solutions for SGE. So making sure that we can actually help our SEOs track performance in the search generative results. So what’s missing? Well, it’s appearing for a lot of queries, that’s for sure, and we’ll get into it. But how do you get access to it? I mean, at the moment, they first rolled it out to, I think, you know, the US, India,

couple of countries and they’ve since Google since rolled out to 120 countries but you need to be a logged in user so you need to be using the Google app on your mobile or you need to be a desktop user signed into Google using Chrome and it has to be Chrome it won’t work in Firefox or anything else so then you have to opt into labs at labs.google.com to the SG experiment so and that also gives you access to SG well browsing

that feature too. So it’s limited, it’s not available in Europe either and for who knows for what reasons but most people think it’s something to do with the Digital Markets Act but I’m sure it was just a matter of you know some lawyers sorting out some minor issues shall we say and making sure they don’t infringe competition law before they roll it out. So you know it is in the SERPs, I think the Wall Street Journal

reported recently maybe about 10 million users were actually using it actively you know I’m not sure what the source of that and how they got that data that was direct from Google or otherwise but obviously it’s limited right now so you know are sites seeing an impact today? Probably not and they’re very unlucky and are they going to see it you know an impact in the future you know if it rolls out in its current form or anything like its current form then the answer is absolutely yes.

and there will be a lot of SEOs, and I’ve spoken to many SEOs since our research went out, who are very worried about the impact. But they’re also people whose glasses are always half full and they’re always, you know, see opportunities. And, you know, there definitely are some opportunities to rank in the new generative results and perhaps gain positions that were out of reach for you before. So the current state is still in beta. The beta version was due to, had an end date at the end of December.

Laurence O’Toole (03:59.127)

that end date has now been removed, which has led to speculation in the SEO community that the launch will be delayed, not come at all, or come in dribs and drabs, you know, who knows. All I can say is, if you look at the track record, they’ve introduced it into a few markets, now they’ve rolled it out to 120 countries.

I listened to Google’s earnings call yesterday and listened to their CEO talk about this and specifically asked about this in the Q&A at the end. And he’s saying, look, it’s in seven countries now. Now it’s also, they’re using Gemini, their latest AI model in the search results and it’s powering some of these SG results and Gemini Ultra, which is the next generation, is probably to come. So they have…

continued to invest in it, they rolled it out, and we’ve seen in the last couple of months how much the format has changed. I mean, they are experimenting with all sorts of different formats, some of which are quite innovative and exciting, others which don’t make any sense at all, like what’s going on in local. But they are innovating. We know from the recent documents that have been circulating in the latter half of last year in the DOJ case that they use user signals, so they will be using user signals to try and get this right.

And Sundar on the earnings call yesterday basically said SG had been received very positively. It was helping them better understand a broader spectrum of queries for existing queries and new queries, which is always a problem for Google because they see so many new queries they’ve never seen before. And it was doing a much better job at conversational queries and understanding the intricacies of more sort of nuanced and complex queries. So, you know, all…

indications are that from a user perspective, it’s very well received. So then the question is, what’s the other side of that? Well, it’s obviously the ad revenue side of things. And he reiterated in his call that, you know, their job is to add value to users, but also send valuable traffic to publishers. And, you know, they will get that model right. They will formulate it. There’s not many ads appearing in lots of the SGE examples so far, but there’s plenty of space to put ads and I see that as inevitable.

Laurence O’Toole (06:17.311)

So, you know, to answer the question, do I think it’s coming? Definitely. I mean, he talked about proceeding with SGE and he talked about going beyond what its current state is, which is actually following through for the user and acting more like an agent for the user. And I’m sure we’ll get into the future of SGE later in the call, but it’s clearly something that they are investing a huge amount of.

time and resources in and it’s something that’s cool, absolutely cool and of course they’re leaders in this area with Gemini and the other large language models so you’d definitely expect them to. So it’s coming, it’s just a question of exactly when.

Dave Davies (07:09.365)

I love that summary. And yeah, obviously I think you hit the nail on the head. Otherwise, like I wouldn’t have gone, you need to be a guest on the show, please. As soon as I saw your study, clearly I-

it will roll out maybe not exactly what you would see right now, but it will roll out and it’s feeding, you know, like your sort of drips and drabs comment, right? Yes, they might not just go click and turn on the light switch. They might bleed out certain features. I definitely want to dig into ads because you sort of pointed out a couple areas where you’re like, that’s a natural spot for an ad. When we were chatting, you know, in a previous call. But before we do that,

And to fill in that, as you know, like the moment I read this study, I was like, there are the study that I think we’ll be digging into momentarily where you did a deep dive into SGE, its impact for website owners. I’d like to touch on how you conducted the study. And I know this is like just nerd Dave going, it actually is important how this study was conducted. But before we do that, I’m just gonna read out one of the findings and you can correct it.

but it was one of the top takeaways for me, is that in an SGE world, the average number one organic result drops 1500 pixels. So if you’re a listener and you’re like, hey, I don’t really care about how these studies are done, it’s important, but after that, you’re gonna find out how these number one results are dropping 1500 pixels, and then we’ll dive into that. So stick around. So stay with us for more on that and other important findings, but can we have a quick walkthrough?

on how you conducted the research so we all have the context of what is this based on because it’s more robust than I think a lot of our listeners might assume. This was a really, really solid study.

Laurence O’Toole (08:58.487)

So first of all, the in-depth study is on our blog and you will find links to all the data in there as well. So we’re always keen if we can, especially when it’s not client data obviously, to publish that data so people can make their own analysis. And in fact, a couple of people have, which is nice, I saw Kevin Indig did a little thing on the correlation of people also asked degenerative, which was quite interesting. So people are literate on top of the research we’ve done. So what do we do?

Well, we took 10 categories of sort of popular commercial terms, e-commerce, products and services, covering categories such as automotive, travel, finance, legal, health and wellbeing, so on and so forth. And we took within each category, there were 100 keywords, with strong head terms, a decent search volume. I think overall, I think it’s balanced.

million searches a month, this whole, these thousand keywords represented. But they’re obviously quite a bias towards commercial keywords rather than informational keywords or branded keywords or anything like that. And what we did was we used some of our logged in Google accounts and we collected data in the U S in English on Chrome on desktop.

a period of, I think it was just over a day to collect this data. And we use a real browser, we go into Google, we make the query, we wait for the search results to come back, and then we detect whether there is what I call an SGE trigger. Is there a search generative experience button, so the call to action button, or the SGE teaser as I call it, which is like the show more link, which you might have seen, which is a bit of text with the show

Or is it auto-generated? You know, what type of SG element is there? Or is there nothing? And if it is there, then we click on the button, wait for the results to load, and then capture that page. So we’ve captured the first page, we’ve detected there’s a button. If it’s there, we click on it, we capture the next page. And what’s nice about that is, we know what the SERP was like beforehand, and then we know what the SERP is like afterwards. So we can do a comparison. Because we use a real browser,

Laurence O’Toole (11:18.019)

We’re using 1920 by 1080 viewport. We know obviously the height of the viewport, and we understand all the XY positions of every element on the page. So that allows us to say, well, for this given query, there’s an SG button and below it, this is the first organic result. It’s at 230 pixels in from the left-hand side,

600 pixels down the page. But when you click the button, all this new content comes in and that organic result now drops to 2,100 pixels down the page, so it drops by 1,500 pixels. And so we’ve done that at scale across a thousand keywords and obviously we can measure that for everything and then obviously use code to statistically sort of analyze that data. And there’s a lot of slides and files that you can look through.

But if you look at it, we found, I think it was almost sort of nearly 87%, 86.8% of keywords in our study of a thousand keywords generated a search generative trigger. There was search generative results available. So from there, obviously, we could click on the button and then we could start to do the analysis. So from there, we could say, okay, well, what type of

SGE trigger is appearing, is it a small click call to action button? Or is it the bigger show more link? And you could see in for this data set, nearly 70%. So let’s say two thirds were the actual button and only a third were the generative links. When we were doing this study, we weren’t seeing any auto generated SGE results at all, but I am seeing more now appearing.

So that’s probably the subject of further study because it’s interesting to see whether it only appears once you’ve made a few queries rather than on your very first query. So that’s something that we’ll be looking at. But from there, obviously, for every single keyword, we can now plot the difference. We can plot the blue dot, you know, these charts are kind of where you were initially, and then the orange crosses what’s happened after the click. So you can see across a thousand keywords what’s happening.

Laurence O’Toole (13:43.071)

Why is that important of course? Because we all know from studying click-through curves over the years that being at the top of the page is a good thing and it’s gonna get you more clicks. Being 10th in organic towards the bottom of the page is not so good and it’s not gonna get you very many clicks. That click-through rate curve drops significantly. This is the equivalent of a fall from number one organic position to 10. It’s that big a fall. It’s 1500 odd pixels on average. So.

If users click the buttons or the show more links or they’re auto-generated these SGE answers, then the prize for getting the first organic result isn’t going to be as valuable as it once was. Because suddenly there’s lots of competing links and images above your organic result, as well as ads, competing for users’ attention and clicks. And that’s why a lot of the SEOs I’ve spoken to recently are very worried about what’s happening with SGE.

Dave Davies (14:48.149)

Now for our listeners who are, well, I guess for our viewers who are watching on YouTube, they’ll be seeing right now one of the most interesting sort of snapshots, but there will be listeners as well who aren’t watching, like who aren’t getting the visual context. And I do know, like I didn’t like read to see what I’m looking at right now. So for maybe both audiences, we’re seeing a graph, it has a blue dot, it has like a pixel, looks, you know, a pixel count on the left, and then there’s an orange dot.

What are we actually seeing here? Like what was it you were seeing or looking for? And then what was sort of the big takeaway for you that sort of like top down, what are you telling your clients was the takeaway from this.

Laurence O’Toole (15:28.356)

So what we were looking for, we wanted to understand what was the impact on the number one organic result. So for years, obviously, we’ve all focused on being number one for obvious reasons. And we wanted to understand whether it continued to be as valuable to get to number one position. So for every keyword, we looked at the cert before the SG button was clicked and afterwards, and we plotted the difference of.

where that number one organic listing appeared on the page. How many pixels from the top of the page did it appear? And so if you look at this chart, what it’s showing is the Y position in pixels from the top, it’s showing, at the top of the page, if it was right at the top of the page, it’d be zero, and then obviously it goes down the page. So the nearer to the top of the Y axis, the nearer to zero is, you know, initially is a blue dot, which indicates it was, you know, above the fold or near the top of the page.

And then the orange X is where it was after click. And you can see in almost every example, in fact on that chart, every keyword has dropped significantly. And when you average that across all keywords, the average came to approximately 1500 pixels, which is roughly one and a half times the viewport height. So it’s like a page and a half scroll. And the reason why is when you click on this, Google introduces all this new generative content and that contains a lot of links.

to other websites, a lot of content, a lot of links depending on the format. So I think we’ve discovered that where search generative results coming in, then you are gonna get less, it’s very likely that you’re gonna get less traffic for your number one or any of your organic rankings. But there is the opportunity of course to rank in the generative results yourself. And actually perhaps if you were ranking fifth before, maybe it’s a good thing because you might be able to rank number.

number one or two or three, you’ve got the right kind of content in the generative results. So one thing no one knows right now, and certainly our study didn’t show this, is what the click-through rate’s gonna be on the SGE buttons and the SGE show more links and what the click-through rate’s then gonna be on the actual generative results as opposed to the organic results. We won’t know that for many months until after, we’ve done studies after the rollout of SGE.

Laurence O’Toole (17:52.195)

and or if Google shares data in Google search console or there’s clickstream studies or somehow we other analyze Google search console data and mash it up with search rankings. I mean, there’s ways to do it and we’re thinking about those things, but right now that’s an unknown. So yeah, so that’s kind of where we are and that’s what we were trying to look for. What we found was pretty scary, but as with everything, there’s always opportunities too.

Dave Davies (18:27.545)

Well, building on that though, of course, Google’s always talked about how confident they are in their organic results, that they’re like, they’re, they put a lot of work in and what they deem as number one is really number one and what they deem is number two, you know, they’ll, they’ll admit to some flaws, but they’re very, very confident in that. Surely it must be the case then that when they’re creating a generative experience, there must be a massive, massive overlap in what would appear organically.

and what would appear in the generated experience because their organic results certainly must lead to what naturally would be a good generated experience. Or is that not the case?

Laurence O’Toole (19:03.576)

Yeah, it could lead, it could jump to that conclusion, I suppose, but obviously it was one of the things we wanted to look at. And, you know, I can show you a chart now from a study which just literally compared that. It said, let’s compare the organic ranking URLs and the organic top organic ranking positions against the generative results and see how often the top organic results were cited in the generative results.

So what did we find? Well, we found actually there was not as much of an overlap as you would think, in fact nowhere near. And when you compared all multiple combinations, we found that 95% or so of generative URLs did not match the top organic ranking URLs for this query set, okay? And that’s the important caveat here. So,

you know, how do we go about it? Well, we literally, we didn’t look at the top 100, we just looked at the top 10 organic results or depending on how many are on the page, top eight, nine, 10, and we compared it with the top generative results of which there were, you know, between one to 10. And we, again, we only looked at the visible results on the page because some generative results are hidden behind carousels. So we literally would take, right, we’d say, okay, what’s happened with the first organic ranking URL? Take that URL.

look through all the generative URLs for that keyword and go right, is it does it match the first one? Is it an exact match? Yes, it is great. Is it an exact match for the second one? If not, does it match at domain level? No, then it doesn’t match at all, and so on and so forth. So we were getting sort of exact matches, domain level matches where another page from the same website was appearing and then no match where it just didn’t match the organic results at all. So what

is a lot of no matches, right? So a lot of new URLs were appearing, which is actually, you know, we’ll go back to the earnings call yesterday from Google. I mean, Sundar, the CEO was saying that they were citing more links and to a wider range of sources than they had previously, possibly responding to some criticism in certain quarters about not citing where they were getting the data from. But, you know, it’s clear to me that for certain types of

Laurence O’Toole (21:30.211)

query certainly, Google is looking to show different types of results. So if you take e-commerce queries, traditionally, I don’t know if traditionally is the right word, but historically anyway, Google has shown a mixture of e-commerce product listing pages or category pages if you will, e-commerce product detail pages and articles depending on the type of query. Best family SUVs might get a lot of article type queries, whereas you know,

by secondhand, you know, Volvo would probably get more listing types of pages. So Google’s showing a mixture of category pages or PLPs, PDPs and articles depending on the query. And now if you’re looking at these e-commerce category or queries, what you’re seeing is those results are still there, the organic results actually haven’t changed, but they’re pushed down the page by these new generative results. And in those examples, Google’s showing a lot of products and they are showing

products in a long list down the page, but they’re also showing a couple of third party sites, review sites, forums, newspaper publishers, things like that where they’re actually trusted sites reviewing whatever it is you’re looking for. So they are giving you different type of content and it’s sort of an amalgamation of the user needs and the adjacent queries. They’re trying to sort of satisfy

what you might be looking for. So if you’re looking for family SUVs, it will give you a set of results, but it’s gonna say, well, you might also be interested in reviews for family SUVs, which is why it’s referring to articles. So that’s why it doesn’t really surprise me that we’re seeing some diversity, wider diversity in the types of websites that are appearing in the generative results. And this will vary by category.

Obviously there are certain categories right now where you’re not seeing many generative results at all So things like you know political queries economic queries you are seeing some stuff in health But you seem to have seen less stuff in finance perhaps than you may be in other categories like e-commerce and travel So so yeah, so there is It’s going to vary and I think my message to people is you just get ahead of this, you know, do your research now, you know

Laurence O’Toole (23:57.643)

whether it’s using us or anybody else, go out there and make some queries for your most important terms, the terms that are bringing you traffic, users, visitors, sales today, and look at those SERPs and try and understand, who is appearing in those generative results? Are you appearing, if so, for what queries? And where are you appearing in organic now? So there’s a lot of work to do. The good news is,

if you exclude the no matches, when the top organic results are featured, there is a slight preference for the top organic results. So, you know, it’s not significant by any manner of means, but you know, perhaps there is still some value in ranking high organically, you know, in terms of just giving you that slight edge in generative.

But at the end of the day, you’ve got to look at the different keywords and the different types of keywords and the different types of generative results to really understand the impact on your business and where the opportunities are.

Dave Davies (25:15.405)

No, I mean, that’s all a pretty good segue to, like, we’re still trying to figure out the signals that might be used in traditional organics. So I know it is way too early to reliably assert what might be a good strategy to be included with the generated results. But it seems to be, you know, and this is like a point in flux to the point where it’s not even deployed yet. Nope, they’ll be picking up some data once it, you know, assuming it is deployed in some format. You know, when it goes live,

Clearly, he’ll be collecting a whole other slew of data beyond that 10 million. But it seems to me with so little overlap between traditional organic rankings and generated ones, and you kind of touched on this, this could be viewed as a massive opportunity for people who might not be ranking yet, but actually have some strong content. What will you be looking for in your future research? You might be looking into it right now.

to help you understand what signals we should be optimizing for. Like, of course, you conduct a study like this, and I’m sure you’re going, I wonder how that works, right? Like, clearly you sort of like touched on it here. So what are you guys going to be going to be doing? You created this amazing study. What are you working on next?

Laurence O’Toole (26:23.523)

What are we working on next? I mean, I’ve got a, what we call a, it won’t surprise you to know I’ve got something, but so we’ve got something we’re calling the SG success sort of roadmap. So to be successful in SG world, I think you need to do the reconnaissance first. Stage one, okay. You’ve got to, right, study, do a preliminary study because you can’t do stuff at scale right now, but just do the

250,000 keywords are things that are most important to your business, try and understand the impact. Analyze the data, look at where you’re ranking now, and then where you’re ranking post-click. Understand who’s appearing in the generative results and for what types of queries. Understand where you’re appearing. So you can look at domain level and look at the sites that are doing well. So get that reconnaissance done, whether you use us in our SG Rank Track or anybody else. And then…

Get yourself in a state of readiness. So make sure that you have got your ranking configurations and keywords all tagged and ready to go. So that the moment Google launches this to non logged in users and does a general release, you can get data immediately because you’ll gives you the best opportunity to capitalize on the SGE experience, which is as you were saying, there’s going to be opportunities there, but you need the data to support that. So you need to know for which keywords

you’re already ranking, how do you expand on it, which pages are doing well and why. So that’s really when you get into the sort of the analysis stage. So if you’re ready day one, then you’re gonna be well ahead of the game because most rank trackers don’t even do this, right? Haven’t even started looking at it yet. Especially the ones that don’t even use a real browser, they’re really gonna struggle. So get the data, understand the impact then, look at the landscape and you can find the opportunities. I’ll give you an example of an opportunity. So already.

We know that the carousels are appearing on the right-hand side. You’ll have seen them, you get this sort of show more link and you’ve got these sort of three references. And often, there’s three visible and there’s a sliver of the fourth one on the page. And then there’s a hidden carousel of up to, I’ve seen at least 12 in there, of other references that Google thinks relevant. So if you’re ranking fourth in the generative carousel on the top right-hand side of the page, which is a really prominent position, you’re just not.

Laurence O’Toole (28:49.023)

visible. But if you could optimize that page slightly to get yourself more visible, whether that’s content or links or whatever it might be, internal or external, then that’s a big win for you. So you need to be able to track not just what’s visible on the page, but also what’s hidden behind the page to try and help you understand those opportunities. And by analyzing the full SERP, you can get that picture. So those would be, you know, SEOs we always talk about sort of, I don’t know, low hanging fruit and these kind of things. That would be a good example of, you know,

understanding an immediate short-term opportunity where, you know, a little bit of love to a certain number of pages might actually give you a nice boost and give you more traffic to those key pages through generative results. So that’s the kind of analysis that you need to be doing. And then when it comes to optimisation, well, I think there’s a lot of work to be done, obviously understanding the snippet, understanding how that changes over time.

understanding whether it’s the same for close variants or the same keyword, and then understanding whether tweaking your content on your page, getting that page re-indexed quickly and Google revisit that page, has an immediate impact. And so certainly, you know, answering the questions in, answering the questions in a succinct format and putting that content in the top of the page,

seems to be a sensible approach. There was a paper released recently, which I think did the rounds online amongst the SEO community called a generative engine optimization. It was a paper that some researchers have produced about analyzing the content and what type of content would perform well in generative engines. Oh, you’ve got it there, exactly right. So.

So that was quite interesting. But obviously it wasn’t tested on Google, okay? But it was looking at things like citations and quotations, things that would exude authority and firsthand experience. So those are the kind of things that also, for certain types of content, could be a good way of improving that content, not just for users, but also in the eyes of Google and other search engines.

Laurence O’Toole (31:18.055)

So you’ll be pleased to hear that I’ve been, my team have been working on creating a custom GPT using ChatGPT 4 that uses some of our APIs and the large language models capabilities to actually provide you with some advice on a page around how you can improve it by adding things like citations and links and analyzing content of competing pages. So.

Hopefully I’ll be able to share that with you sooner rather than later or certainly next time.

Dave Davies (31:56.862)

Well, you’re just giving me segues to the sort of next question that I naturally am drawn to ask. So you touched on one little gem right there, but I’d be a horrible host if I didn’t ask how Authoritas is sort of adapting to all of this. Now, you’ve talked about one thing there, but that’s almost like a completely new sort of like using a technology that exists, chat GPT, in light of sort of

the studies that you’re doing in light of clearly some interesting capabilities that you have built in to the way that you’re doing rank checking, for example, you’re actually using browsers, so you’re actually getting these experiences. What are you folks doing to adapt sort of your product offerings and how can people find out more about that and get in touch with you actually just like follow you?

Laurence O’Toole (32:46.515)

Yeah, well, thank you, Dave. Yeah, no, I mean, obviously, we are supporting our existing clients who are both excited and worried about this. And we’re doing that by, you know, we’ve already, you know, enabled our SERPs API, our, you know, our keyword ranking API to be able to crawl generative results and click on the buttons if necessary.

And that means that data, once Google launches, we’re ready. I mean, we can capture that data immediately through our SERPs API. And so if you’re building your own internal SEO tools and you’ve got lots of dashboards and Data Studio or Tableau or whatever, then we can give you data that no one else can give you right now. And then obviously in the platform, same is true. We use our own SERPs API in the platform and we can give you an understanding of.

what the SERP looks like when someone clicks that button and you can compare your rankings. And I think an important point for everybody here who’s obviously used SEO tools to manage their rankings and track one measure of their SEO performances. If you move straight to an SGE enabled rank tracker and you start reporting on a post-click SERP, then your rankings are going to drop.

In most of cases, yes, they might go up to because you’re you might win some generative results But if you’re looking at all the universal ranking URLs You could possibly rank for which aren’t paid and are visible on the page Then you need a before and after you really need to especially in you know For you know in the initial stages of this one the rollout you need to understand What are my rankings like now? And then what are my rankings like if someone clicks the button and you need to be able to compare them and that’s what?

We’re building into our technology, into our platform, into our reports, so that users really understand that. And that’s what we can for a limited number of clients. We can give them that analysis now and we can do that SGE reconnaissance for them as part of the as part of our package to clients to try and support them, really understand early, as early as possible where they stand, what the impact is going to be and where the opportunity is going to be.

Laurence O’Toole (35:05.023)

So yeah, so lots to come. And then we’re also beyond that, we’re also obviously looking at how you optimize for this by analyzing top competing pages and looking for differences. And obviously, you’re just gonna have to run lots of tests.

Dave Davies (35:24.929)

I, of course, you know, on the show, try not to go, hey, here’s a specific tool or here’s like a specific thing. But I will say to support sort of what you’re talking about there that having a baseline understanding of where you’re at in the same tool that you might be using in the near future to measure the impact of SGE on your experience.

could certainly be an enormous advantage, especially if you’re trying to then explain it to your boss what’s happening to your organic traffic.

Laurence O’Toole (35:56.515)

Yeah, I mean, imagine you’re the global head of SEO now, you know, managing 100 markets or 50 markets like some of our clients are and other SEO tool providers clients are. You’ve got a big job and you’ve got a lot of ground to cover. And you know, SG might roll out slightly differently in different markets and start to have an impact. So you might see it early in one market and you’d be able to communicate that. But you don’t want it to sound like an excuse. You want to get ahead of this.

and actually, you know, you don’t have to go back to the board and say, sorry, organic performance is down 30 percent because X, Y and Z, this SG stuff, you know, obviously if you can get ahead of it, you might be able to justify more budget to try and actually gain a competitive advantage over the over your competitors who haven’t got a clue at the moment what’s going on and what’s likely to happen. So, so, yeah, so it’s, you know, I think it’s really important for SEOs, especially in big roles like that,

organisations and for agencies to communicate to their clients that they could see a significant impact this year and that impact could be adverse and significantly adverse if they’re not appearing in generative results at all. So for brands that haven’t been writing content for example and haven’t really been invested in showing their showcase and their expertise in content and perhaps have been e-commerce brands have been relying on their e-commerce category pages or product pages, I think they’ve got a lot of work to do.

Dave Davies (37:26.937)

Yeah, well, and there’s certainly some additional, or at least on my brain, just some additional sort of secondary things that I’ll be very interested in measuring and coming from weights and biases. One of our, like, it can generate code. Like I’ve seen examples, it will generate some code for you. Well, that may still lead to the same end result. People are using code that involves us. But what happened to my attribution, right? So that’s another area where, and for listeners,

thinking about those sort of questions as well and going, I might have as much business like I would in that scenario, but my attribution just went sideways. So having a tool that’ll go, this is what happened for these kinds of queries will help me explain, this is what happened to that attribution. We can see that it went here in this spot. So yes, while we didn’t win or lose from it, it’s still ours, it just changed its form. So we can sort of reverse that.

Laurence O’Toole (38:23.667)

Yeah, and I think, I think, I think, you know, for obviously, if you’re doing things at scale, you may not be looking at individual keywords, but you’re certainly for certain key keywords, critical keywords, you’ll probably be looking at it and actually having the full SERP before and after which we’ll give to clients is going to be invaluable in really understanding. Okay, I can see why because it’s the nature of, you know,

the SG results that’s so different. I mean, I was listing them out. I’ve seen so many different types and there’s probably more to come or more I haven’t seen because I haven’t queried those keywords yet. So there’s text, there’s text plus the carousel, there’s comparison, products, products to consider, what else, local SEO, news. I mean, so there’s a whole host of different types of results, lists, et cetera, that.

will appear. So the click through rate is going to be slightly different. The impact is going to be slightly different depending on the types of keywords.

Dave Davies (39:24.929)

Now, my last question, because I know we’re almost out of time here, and thank you, you’ve been very generous with yours. My last question, and I’m going to ask this of everyone, because the answers are always interesting to this. If you woke up tomorrow and you could be an expert in any field other than this one, other than AI or marketing, what would it be and why?

Laurence O’Toole (39:43.447)

Definitely golf, definitely, that’s what I’m doing as my hobby. You knew I was going to say that. But you know, A, because obviously the kind of money you can earn, I just signed for Live Golf and then probably just buy a few SEO companies for fun. So reverse things. But you know, I see a lot of parallels between golf and SEO. And I had the opportunity.

years back to produce some sort of golf DVDs and what have you with famous golf coaches and one of the most famous golf coaches I happened to work with and get associated with in a small way which is just shooting the videos was Pete Cowan who’s the best coach in one of the best coaches in the world and has coached most of the top European superstars and Ryder Cup stars and he talks about slight edge philosophy and you know isn’t one thing that gets you to the top.

It’s not just because you’re great at driving or great at piloting or great at iron play or you’ve got superb mentally. It’s a combination of things. It’s the team behind you. It’s your attitude. It is every single aspect that you can possibly measure. It’s that slight edge philosophy. You don’t need to be better than your competition at everything. You just need to try and be better than them as many things as possible. I relate that kind of…

my struggles with trying to improve my golf with the same with SEO. Sometimes everything seems to be going so well and it’s great. And then suddenly, you know, the rug will be pulled out of under your feet, whether it’s your own, of your own making a competitor or Google changing the SERP and you know, something will happen and you’ll go, crikey, why is that happening? You’ll have to diagnose what’s going wrong and, um, not necessarily start again, but, um, build on the basics, build on the fat, solid foundations and, um, and, um, you know, try, try and try again.

So I see SEO very similarly. You need solid foundations, you need a solid website, you need decent content, you need a good operational processes to produce that content and to, obviously to get eyeballs on that content. And you need a good understand of what’s going on and the competition around you and the playing field. So, yeah, so a long-winded answer to your question, but that’s definitely what I would be doing and why.

Dave Davies (42:10.969)

That is not surprising to me and a awesome answer. Folks, this has been AI and Marketing. My guest today was Lawrence O’Toole, CEO of Authoritas. Join me in two weeks when I’ll be talking with Cindy Crum, CEO of Mobile Moxie, and no, we will not be talking mobile. Well, maybe just a bit. Until then.