Search Generative Experience (SGE) Statistics. Study with 30 Facts

30 Key Stats from a study on the impact of Google's Search Generative Experience on organic results and its implications for SEO professionals.

Written by
Daniel Højris Bæk
Calendar Icon - Dark X Webflow Template
January 12, 2024

A recent study conducted by Authoritas, a leading SEO and content marketing platform, has shed light on the impact Google's Search Generative Experience might yield in 2024 and moving forward.

The study, titled "The Impact of Google's Search Generative Experience on Organic Rankings," provides a comprehensive analysis of Google's planned integration of AI-powered Search Generative Results into the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

The research, spearheaded by Laurence O'Toole, CEO of Authoritas, was conducted in December 2023.

The team ran 1,000 commercial terms through a handful of SGE-enabled Google accounts using a desktop device in the US.

Googles own illustration of SGE from their PDF about Search Generative Experience

The objective was to assess the impact of Google’s Search Generative Experience on organic results and evaluate the likely implications for SEO professionals worldwide. The findings of this study are not only intriguing but also carry significant implications for the future of SEO.

I think this is the overall key statistic is this:

Google displays a Search Generative element for 86.8% of all search queries.

And then that it's not just the classic ranking content that is featured in the SGE:

Only 4.5% of generative URLs directly matched a Page 1 organic URL.

Top 30 key statistics from the study

The overall key stats from the study are the following:

  1. Google displays a Search Generative element for 86.83% of all search queries.
  2. 65.9% of searches trigger an SGE with a small generate button.
  3. 34.1% of searches trigger an SGE with pre-populated content and a ‘Show More’ link.
  4. SGE content causes the No.1 organic listing to shift down the page by 1,562 pixels (with 'Show More') and 1,630 pixels (with 'Generate Button'), on average.
  5. This shift is approximately 1.5 times the height of the average desktop viewport.
  6. The SGE post-click occupies an average height of 1,764 pixels for the 'Generate Button' content.
  7. The SGE post-click for the 'Show More' content occupies an average height of 1,841.9 pixels.
  8. The 'Generate Button' type of SGE covers a height of about 1.6 times the desktop viewport.
  9. The 'Show More' type of SGE covers a height of about 1.7 times the desktop viewport.
  10. On average, SGE content post-click contains 10.2 links from 4 unique domains.
  11. The largest SGE content introduced 37 new visible URLs above the organic rankings.
  12. 93.8% of generative links came from sources outside the top-ranking organic domains.
  13. Only 4.5% of generative URLs directly matched a Page 1 organic URL.
  14. A mere 1.6% of generative URLs showed a different URL from the same organic ranking domain.
  15. The number 1 organic result drops by about 1,630.9 pixels or 151% of the screen height when the 'Generate Button' type of SGE is triggered.
  16. With ‘Show More’ SGE triggers, the first organic result drops by 1,562.1 pixels or 144.6% of the screen height.
  17. Featured Snippets average vertical drop with SGE is 1478.7 pixels or 136.9% of the viewport.
  18. Wikipedia's organic ranking drops by an average of 9.7 positions post-SGE click.
  19. Wikipedia's organic results post-SGE are pushed down by 1,507.9 pixels on average, which is 139.6% of the viewport.
  20. Wikipedia's "People Also Ask" rankings drop by an average of 8.5 positions post-SGE click.
  21. The height of the generative 'Generate Button' content post-click averages 1.6 times the desktop viewport.
  22. The height of 'Show More' content post-click averages 1.7 times the desktop viewport.
  23. 'Show More' content has more unique domains on average (5.0) compared to 'Generate Button' content (4.5).
  24. On average, 'Generate Button' SGE content has a higher concentration of links (12.2 links) compared to 'Show More' content (10.7 links).
  25. The generative content can move up slightly (by -40.6 pixels or -3.8%) post-SGE click for Wikipedia.
  26. Wikipedia's image results drop an average of 9.4 positions post-SGE click.
  27. Image results for Wikipedia are displaced downward by 590.0 pixels, over half the height of the screen.
  28. Featured snippets for Wikipedia drop by an average of 8.8 positions post-SGE click.
  29. Featured snippets for Wikipedia are displaced by an average of 1388.6 pixels post-SGE click, more than the full screen height.
  30. SEO efforts need adjustment to optimize for prominent placement within generative results as SGE impacts visibility significantly.

We have earlier discussed and evaluated the impact of SGE on search results where the early predictions was that it only will affect a third of the search results.

Will search traffic really drop 50% due to AI?!

Related to the SGE or “AI search” as some coin it, there is a Gartner predictions/headline floating around, that organic search traffic will drop 50% by 2028.

But this seems more like a headline than any other thing, as the follow up below

Gartner's main argument for the predicted drop in organic traffic is the rapid adoption of Generative AI (GenAI) in search engines, which “will significantly disrupt the ability of CMOs to harness organic search to drive sales”.

But they do not really back this up.

I think search will continue to surge. But the platform and the methods will change. So SEOs (as always) needs to keep adjusting to the newest algorithm and interface changes to stay on top of the game.

Search Generative Experience (SGE) Statistics. Study with 30 Facts

This is an article written by:

+20 years of experience from various digital agencies. Passionate about AI (artificial intelligence) and the superpowers it can unlock. I had my first experience with SEO back in 2001, working at a Danish web agency.