How Google’s Generative AI Will Improve Search Experience

May 30, 2023

Kerrie Ashall

Looking for a great restaurant to take your significant other? In the market for the latest smartphone? Hunting for a trustworthy builder in your area?  

Whatever you need, chances are you and, more importantly, your clients will jump on a search engine to find it. 

Google continues to dominate the global search engine market, holding around 85% market share, so it makes sense to pay attention to its latest innovations. Its most recent announcement to embed generative AI capabilities in Search is set to revolutionise the search engine and internet shopping experience. 

At Fibre Marketing, we understand the importance of keeping your content fresh and relevant, ensuring it continues to rank well under Google’s ever-changing algorithms. Here, we’ll explore what Google’s search engine enhancements mean for you.

What is Generative AI?

In simple terms, generative AI takes the patterns and structures it learns from its training data and goes on to generate brand-new with the same characteristics. This powerful technology can create various media and content, such as text, images or audio, based on your input criteria.   

What Does Generative AI Have to Do with Search?

In May 2023, Google revealed its plans to roll out generative AI to search. The beauty of this? The ability to generate natural, conversational sentences, rather than simply providing page after page of web links. 

In a traditional search scenario, users are rarely looking for an answer to a simple question like “is this hotel child-friendly?”. More often that not, it’s a simplification of a deeper motive, like comparing two potential holiday destinations.

With Google’s generative AI, users will not only be able to ask this type of multi-layered question, but Google will respond with an AI-powered key information snapshot, supported by web links and suggestions for further exploration. 

The snapshot will offer a more conversational tone, allowing users to naturally continue their exploration, transforming the search engine experience. Users will be able to get to the nuts and bolts of the topic more quickly, as well as uncover varying viewpoints.

A Variety of Sources and Opinions

Confidence is an essential factor in search engine results. Users need to trust that the information provided is accurate and representative of a wide range of objective insights.

Google addresses this concern by combining the power of generative AI to produce natural, human-sounding opinions alongside verifiable, web-driven sources. The snapshot highlights key information, while the suggested links drive users to relevant web content, making it easier to dig deeper. 

The new search experience will continue to provide ads to help users find relevant products and services. Google has committed to continuing to ensure that ads are transparent and distinguishable from its organic search results.  

Transparency and Responsibility

Numerous questions have been raised about generative AI and Language Learning Models (LLMs), namely around the accuracy of data, legality and ethics of their use. 

Recognising the challenges, Google has implemented limits on the types of search queries where generative AI capabilities can be applied. Additionally, the sources of results will be made transparent, with users able to evaluate the generated information for themselves. 

How Will Generative AI Improve the Shopping Experience?

Consumer reviews and insights play an increasingly powerful role in informing purchasing decisions. Google’s Shopping Graph is a comprehensive, real-time data set of 35bn global products and sellers, driven by Machine Learning (ML). The immense database is refreshed at a rate of 1.8bn listings an hour to ensure users get the most reliable results. 

The next step in Shopping Graph’s evolution is the addition of generative AI, which will open the door to complex purchasing questions. As with the search engine, when you search for a product, you’ll get a key information snapshot of all the factors you should consider, plus any products that fit your needs. 

You’ll then have the ability to delve deeper with follow-up questions – whether you’re looking for more detail about specific products or up-to-date reviews.

So What Next?

Google will introduce Search Generative Experience (SGE) within Search Labs, allowing interested end-users to experiment with early-stage generative AI capabilities. 

Throwing its weight behind generative AI suggests that Google continues to place emphasis on the human touch, meaning that sites, blogs and media offering personal insights or experiences are likely to fare better when SGE becomes mainstream. 

Get in touch with us for help optimising your website for generative search.  

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