On November 11, Google announced that its own Search Generative Experience (SGE) will be released in more than 120 additional countries (after the USA) and in four additional languages. Even if Europe still seems to be the last “blind spot” for this expansion, it is already worth taking a look at the goals that Google is pursuing with it.
The question of how Google will react to the release of generative artificial intelligence in order to avoid being left behind by OpenAI and Microsoft has been raised even before ChatGPT. Following the launch of Google’s chatbot Bard, Google’s SGE was presented at the Google I/O 2023 conference in May.
Although the integration of generative AI into Google search results with SGE is based on Google’s Large Language Model PaLM 2, like Bard, the two applications are very different. Bard is a chatbot designed to help with tasks and show a certain “personality”. SGE is about getting the most helpful and relevant answers from Google search in a new and faster way. As a result, the answers in SBU also appear less “human”, which was a conscious decision by Google.
Google is introducing three new, important elements to search with the Search Generative Experience:
- AI Snapshot
- Conversational Mode
- Vertical Experiences
The AI Snapshot summarizes information from various sources for every Google search in order to provide the fastest possible answer. The aim is to avoid AI illusions and thus misinformation to the greatest extent possible. In addition, a link carousel is displayed from which the answer was generated and which shows the source of the answer – certainly very relevant for SEO in the future.
Conversational mode allows users to enter further questions at the end of the AI snapshot. This means that Google already knows the context of the question from the original query. As a result, users can interact with Google in natural language and no longer have to integrate specific keywords into their search in order to receive a suitable answer. This makes the search more intuitive and natural.
Vertical Experiences have a particular influence on users’ shopping behavior. With the help of the shopping graph, even more suitable offers are compiled than before. The information no longer only comes from the product page of the item, but also includes reviews and other content. This means that products from different providers can also be compared. Vertical Experiences also include personal aspects, such as your own location or preferences based on previous shopping and search behavior. This means that you no longer have to specify a city or region when searching for a good restaurant nearby; this information is automatically included. The search therefore becomes more contextual and personal.
My Take: Google has chosen a clever way to enhance its own search engine with AI and develop an answer engine from it. With the SBU, Google wants to introduce nothing less than a revolution in online search that will change the way we find information, shop and interact with the internet. This will undoubtedly change SEO, but those who provide truly helpful content will continue to benefit.