When was this announced?
SGE, an experimental version of Google’s search engine was announced by Cathy Edwards (VP Engineer at Google) at the recent Google I/O conference held on May 10, 2023. Google took this step in order to optimize and make the search interface a better experience for users using artificial intelligence or AI.
What Is SGE? How Can I Get Access to SGE?
Google Search Generative Experience (SGE) integrates generative AI-powered results into Google search engine query responses. It makes use of a large language model (LLM).
By using various other models like LLM, Google further aims to optimize, fine-tune the Search Generative Experience, and meet the unique needs of users to help them throughout their information journeys.
Wow, SGE is cool! How can I start exploring it?
Unfortunately, the new SGE is not yet made available for public access. Google has released a beta version of SGE to a limited number of users on Google Search Lab even though the final date of release is yet to be determined.
To get access to the new AI-based search experience, follow the steps below:
- Open the search lab website
- Sign in with your Google account
- Join the waitlist
- Click on Search labs and then get started
- Turn on the SGE option to enable Google AI to search
PS – It is unclear how long the waitlist is but if you’re lucky, you might just get in and be one of the few people with access to this new AI search engine.
It is sad that SGE or Search Generative Experience is not yet public. But wait a minute, I can tell you how it works.
How Does SGE Work?
The Search Generative Experience brings forward a more organized look so that the users can get more out of only one search. It can also solve complex questions and queries that previously, the SERP could not generate.
Now, if you search for a question like “What is the difference between a Lion and a Bobcat?” instead of loading a page with several websites, the new SGE will solve your query in one, simple text paragraph. It can also be used to solve day-to-day life conundrums like “Which national park is the safest for kids under 5” or a question as simple as “Which is the closest restaurant to me that has the least waiting”.
All of these results are possible because of Google SGE’s 3 new features:
AI Snapshot (Pictorial answers)
SGE uses AI to generate a unique response to the user’s multi-angle query, drawing information from several sources at once. Google calls this a Snapshot.
Source – Google
Conversational Mode (Follow up questions)
Traditional Google Searches ended after loading the results to a user’s query and had no room for follow-up questions. Search Generative Experience curbs this problem by providing a conversational mode where users can ask any follow-up questions that they may have to their query.
Here is an in-depth video explaining more about what conversational mode is.
Vertical Experiences (Shopping and personal use)
SGE is reshaping vertical experiences like shopping and finding local businesses in order to make the whole experience a lot smoother and hassle-free for the user and their multiple-angle needs. A classic example given by Google itself is that of a bicycle.
Eg: You’ve decided to ditch the car and cycle to work. You don’t want just any bike, you need one good for your five-mile, hilly commute. Search Generative Experience understands these parameters, searches the 38 million products in Google’s Shopping Graph, and delivers this result.
Source – Google
Now that you know how SGE works, let us dive into how it can change your search experience.
Pros and Cons of Using Search Generative Experience.
Like everything, Search Generative Experience has its pros and cons as well. While the cons might be a problem for some, the pros could pose a challenge for SEO.
Hence, instead of influencing you with my opinion, I want you to read both, the pros and cons & see whether it works for you or not.
|Improves search with Generative AI||Slower than the normal SERP|
|Provides all key information on one page||It is cluttered and provides extra information|
|Helps in making decisions||The original source of information isn’t mentioned|
|Uncovers new viewpoints and insights||Loading time is too long|
|Improves user experience||Breaks down from time to time when asked simple questions|
|Reimagines what a search engine can do||Takes the element of investigating sources for yourself out.|
How Is SGE Different from SERP?
One major difference between SGE and SERP is the personalization factor. SGE focuses on personalizing search results based on user-specific information, while SERP offers a more generalized and uniform set of results.
Another area where SGE and SERP are different is interactivity. Google has programmed Search Generative Experience in such a way that it is more user-friendly. It also aims to provide an engaging search experience by incorporating features like auto-suggestions, voice search, and personalized recommendations. SERP on the other hand, primarily presents static search results without much interactivity.
SGE attempts to understand the context and intent behind a search or query to deliver relevant results that meet your needs. While SERP relies more on traditional methods of presenting information like keyword relevance and site authority.
Overall, Search Generative Experience represents a more advanced and personalized approach to online search, while Search Engine Research Page follows a more traditional and standardized format.
How Will SGE Impact User Search Behaviors’?
The shift from search engine results page (SERP) to SGE can have a significant impact on user search behaviors’. SGE provides much more interactive and dynamic features that help users refine and explore their search queries. Here’s how SGE can influence user search behaviors’:
- Query suggestions and auto complete: SGE will frequently provide users with query suggestions and auto-complete options while they are typing their search queries. These suggestions can shape user behavior by giving them more precise or useful search terms. As a result, users might change their queries based on these suggestions, leading to changes in the search results they receive and influencing their overall search behavior.
- Instant search results: Google SGE offers instant search results that continuously update as users type their queries. This interactive feature enables users to view real-time results, which can influence their search behavior in several ways. They can clarify their queries on the spot, dive into related topics, or quickly obtain answers without having to complete their entire query. This in turn helps users to stay updated.
- Entity linking & cross referencing: It can link related entities in search results, allowing users to explore additional information and navigate between topics. This encourages deeper exploration and understanding of interconnected concepts, influencing user search behavior.
- Contextual search suggestions: It offers contextual search suggestions tailored to the user’s search history, location, and past interactions. These personalized recommendations shape user behavior by prompting them to explore specific topics or revisit previous searches.
- Related search & people also ask: On the search generative experience page, users frequently encounter related search queries and “People Also Ask” sections. These features expand users’ options, thereby shaping their search behavior.
- Visual search & voice search: Search generative experiences encompasses visual search and voice search functionalities. Visual search allows users to search using images, while voice search enables hands-free interaction. These features impact user behavior by offering alternative search methods and influencing the types of queries users make. This broadens their search spectrum and customizes each search query and result.
- Search history & personalization: SGE personalizes search experiences by using the users’ search history and preferences. By considering past behavior, search engines customize search results, suggestions, and recommendations to align with their preferences and interests. This personalization influences user search behavior by providing tailored content that resonates with them.
Why Should We Care?
As search advances, we’re looking at a new interface and branding of Google. Although the new SGE might be a hit or miss, what we do know is that AI is taking over and there isn’t going to be much time before a big leap to flying cars for that matter.
If you’re still confused about what SGE is, I recommend you to read these frequently asked questions.
Q. What is SGE Google?
Google Search Generative Experience (SGE) integrates generative AI-powered results into Google search engine query responses.
Q. What does Generative AI do?
Generative AI refers to a branch of artificial intelligence that focuses on creating or generating new content, such as images, text, music, or even videos.
Q. Is Google using AI now?
Yes. In an attempt to make the users search experience better and more optimum, Google has come up with an AI search model.
Q. How does Generative AI work?
Generative AI is like teaching a computer how to create something new by showing it lots of examples. Imagine you want to teach a robot how to draw pictures of animals. You would show the robot many pictures of animals, like dogs, cats, and birds. The robot would carefully study these pictures and try to understand the patterns and shapes that make each animal unique.
Similarly, with Generative AI, when somebody searches for ‘what is an apple’, algorithms will study patterns of various resources that answer this question & give you the most optimum answer.
Q. What is the difference between SGE and SERP?
Search Generative Experience represents a more advanced and personalized approach to online search, while Search Engine Research Page follows a more traditional and standardized format.
Q. What are the 3 new features of SGE?
The 3 new features of Google’s search generative experience are:
- AI snapshot
- Conversational mode
- Vertical Experiences
Hope you enjoyed this blog and are leaving having learned more about Google’s new search engine. If you liked it, please let me know in the comments what you think about SGE and what more you would like to see from us in the future.