On May 25, 2023, Google came up with a notice that it is starting to open up access to Search Labs. This is a new program to access early experiments by Google. Here, you can access and start testing lab experiences such as SGE (Search Generative Experience), Code Tips, and Add to Sheets.
It’s easy to opt in for these experiments. Just tap on the Labs icon in the Google app of the latest version (Android and iOS) or on the Chrome desktop to sign up.
The new generative AI-powered search is being tested and will likely be rolled out for all users in the coming days. According to Google, this is going to add a new dimension to searches and take some load out of searching. For example, searches like ‘Which bike should I choose for a 10-mile commute along hilly roads’ will typically list search results that may contain the results but are scattered over a number of articles. But with generative AI-powered search, the result will be precise and with various features to try, as we will soon discuss.
What is Search Generative Experience?
So, what does the new SGE comprise, and how does it appear? And most importantly, why is Google planning to roll out such a revolutionary search element at this point in time?
In the new Search result pages, the ‘AI-powered snapshot’ containing the results will appear at the top (in a colored background chosen by AI as per the topic), followed by the usual Organic search results. The snapshot will contain the relevant information with features like a button at the top corner to find out which sources the information was taken from. Also, there will be options for ‘follow-up questions’ with sample follow-up questions which you can click to enter into the conversational mode and get further insights into your original query.
The look and name, i.e., SGE, might change in the future because Google is marking this as an experiment. But as we see, Google is not leaving the field of AI-generated search results to specific queries to ChatGPT alone. At a time when AI is making all the noise in making lives easier for many, why should Google Search fall behind? So, Search Generative Experience from Google is an attempt to incorporate AI in generating search results that are more useful and precise to the user.
Here are a few ways SGE can make your next search more useful and interesting with new generative AI capabilities.
Complicated Topics Will Have a More Straightforward Answer
Say, you aim to learn a new language and are stuck between Spanish and German and want to find out which one is going to be more suitable for you. When you type in the query – ‘learning Spanish vs. German,’ an AI-powered snapshot will highlight the factors to consider.
This vastly differs from the current scenario, where for this query, you may need to break it down into several sub-queries.
Quick Tips for Specific Queries
Sometimes, you want to know answers to specific queries like ‘how to get an old coffee stain out from a suede shoe.’ The yet-to-be-rolled-out SGE promises to provide a simple and straightforward reply with easy-to-follow points, which is going to benefit you in times of quick need. Or, when you want to know, say, ‘How to renew my passport quickly?’ Typing in these types of queries will give quick and exact pointers to follow, which is going to be superbly useful for users who want quick assistance.
You Will Get to Consider a Lot of Factors and a Range of Products While Shopping
Another great way that SGE is going to help users is while shopping. Let’s take up the question from the beginning of this blog- ‘Which bike to buy for a 10-mile commute along hilly roads.’
Typing in this query will generate a response with the features to consider while choosing a bike for the specific requirements, with a number of options available for buying online from which you can select the one which will fit your particular requirements. While the decision will be yours, it will be more informed and likely serve you much better than the current search result option.
The AI-powered Google Search Generative Experience is still in its experimental phase. It is in this stage most likely because Google wants to make sure that the feature is close to being flawless and running complex queries by users, and their feedback will help Google to sort out any issue with it.
Google is likely to show SGE results for different types of queries. But for YMYL queries, if an AI-powered snapshot is shown, it will only come with a disclaimer that users should not rely only on those answers to make a decision.
SGE is likely to take the search world by storm once it rolls out, and in all probabilities, the future aim of SEO will not remain bound to ranking high in SERP only, but content curators and marketers will have to spend a thought about how to get into the SGE.