Google is inviting more users to try Search Generative Experience

Google has released a new YouTube short film inviting more people to try Search Generative Experience through Search Labs.

Google SearchLiaison also announced on Twitter that Google has made several improvements to SGE over the past two weeks.

Two weeks ago we started opening access to SGE. Since then, we’ve made a number of quality updates, including a major improvement that cuts the time it takes to create AI snapshots in half! We hope everyone who tries it enjoys the faster experience. If you haven’t already…

— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) June 8, 2023

Here’s what I found while testing the new and improved Google SGE.

The sources were not always complete

Has Google cited sources in overviews of generative AI? Yes, but it wasn’t always the full list of sources.

One of the first questions I asked SGE almost two weeks ago was what Google Bard is. I asked it again and the answer was traced back to articles from four sources.

Screenshot by Google, June 2023

When I ran the text through, some of the text matched an article from PC Guide that was not included in Google’s source list.

Screenshot from Originality, June 2023

Something similar happened when I searched for ChatGPT in the AI ​​overview.

Screenshot by Google, June 2023

Originality discovered sources not included in generative AI text.

Screenshot from Originality, June 2023

There have also been conflicting sources in answering what link building is between what Google AI cites…

Screenshot by Google, June 2023

…and what Originality discovered.

Screenshot from Originality, June 2023

This issue could be of concern to unnamed authors and publishers of Generative AI answers.

Sponsored results were displayed above some SGE responses

Instead of always appearing first, some SGE responses appeared under Google Ads sponsored results.

It happened in this search for the best SEO courses.

Screenshot by Google, June 2023

This query for the best place to buy a laptop showed sponsored shopping results before SGE responded with local search results.

Screenshot by Google, June 2023 More branded websites have appeared in sources

When I first accessed Google SGE, most of the responses pointed primarily to publisher sites. Some replies I received included links to official/brand resources.

For example, this search for Google Search Console returned a Google support source.

Screenshot by Google, June 2023

When I inquired about the biggest announcements of WWDC 2023, the AI ​​overview included a link to the Apple Vision Pro page.

Screenshot by Google, June 2023

I bought a robot vacuum cleaner. The sources included links to two retailers and one manufacturer.

Screenshot by Google, June 2023

Finally, I checked who the CEO of Microsoft was. Two links included in the response were Microsoft News links about Satya Nadella.

Screenshot by Google, June 2023 More social media sources have surfaced

In addition to including relevant brand websites in the SGE responses, I also noticed more social media results.

For example, I asked about the current pricing for the Twitter API v2. One of the response sources was a tweet.

Screenshot by Google, June 2023

I wanted to find out who the CTO of OpenAI is. The response included Mira Murati’s LinkedIn profile.

Screenshot by Google, June 2023

I checked if Best Buy offers customer support through social media. Sources included Best Buy’s Twitter and Instagram profiles.

Screenshot by Google, June 2023 The speeds were about the same

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any significant difference in speed compared to the last test by SGE.

Screenshot by Google, June 2023

Overall, Google SGE responded quickly, even if some strange questions could not be answered.

Screenshot by Google, June 2023 Google SGE continues to improve

Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) will continue to evolve, expanding the scope and variety of its source materials and indicating a more generative future for search experiences.

The shift from predominately using publisher websites to including branded websites in search results provides users with a wider range of information. It enables more direct access to information and helps consumers make better decisions.

The integration of social media as a source in SGE responses shows that Google has recognized the importance of these platforms in providing real-time, user-generated data for more relevant responses.

The inclusion of sponsored results via SGE responses isn’t a complete surprise considering Google’s continued emphasis on monetizing search results.

Despite these updates, the exact sources and expected speed improvements are not consistent across searches, leaving room for further optimization.

The future of Google SGE is one of continuous transformation aimed at making search experiences richer, more engaging and faster.

However, it remains to be seen how these changes will affect the user experience in the long run and whether the search giant will continue to strike a balance between providing accurate results and maintaining a user-friendly experience.

Featured image: PixieMe/Shutterstock