Google Search will now show you AI-summarized results whether you want them or not

Google Search will now show you AI-summarized results whether you want them or not

Google Search on smartphone stock photo (3)

TL;DR

  • Google is showing AI-generated result summaries for some searches as part of its Search Generative Experience (SGE).
  • This feature was previously optional but is now being tested on a limited group of US users without them needing to sign up.

Google is testing a new feature that utilizes AI to generate summarized results for your Google search results, somewhat bypassing the traditional list of links. Google announced the Search Generative Experience (SGE) last year, which offered generative AI-powered search result summaries, but this feature was only available to users who opted in.

First reported by Search Engine Land, Google is now testing these AI summaries with a limited group of US users, regardless of whether they signed up for SGE. These summaries will appear in a shaded section at the top of search results for specific queries, particularly those that Google deems complex or require information from multiple sources.

Imagine searching for “How to remove water stains from wood?” Instead of sifting through multiple websites, Google’s AI might analyze relevant sources and provide a concise answer within the search results themselves. This could significantly speed up your search process and potentially eliminate the need to click on any links at all. By making this feature default for some users, the company aims to gather feedback from users who haven’t opted into SGE to understand how a broader audience might find this technology helpful.

As of now, Google is still considering this an experimental feature, but it does raise a crucial question: Could this hurt websites that rely on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) traffic? If users find their answers directly in the AI summaries, they might not visit websites at all. This could have a significant impact on online businesses and content creators who depend on clicks to their sites for revenue and audience growth.

While Google emphasizes that these summaries will only appear when they offer a clear advantage over traditional results, the potential shift in user behavior is undeniable. This switch from making the SGE experience an experimental opt-in to default for many users definitely signifies Google’s growing confidence in its AI technology and its potential to revolutionize how we search for information online.

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