Today at Google I/O, several advancements to Search were unveiled for the first time.
Two of the most significant updates to Search include integrating a “Perspectives” feature and applying generative AI to enhance search results.
These enhancements aim to reshape how users discover information and deepen their understanding of topics.
Transformative Generative AI
Dubbed the Search Generative Experience (SGE), Google’s new generative AI feature is a new approach to search queries.
This technology is designed to simplify complex search tasks and provide key information snapshots linked to deeper resources.
Google’s generative AI can answer more detailed questions, like comparing two national parks for a family with young children and a dog, by providing pertinent details and suggestions for further exploration.
SGE also enhances the online shopping experience, delivering comprehensive product information, including up-to-date reviews, ratings, prices, and product images.
This new shopping experience is built on Google’s Shopping Graph, which contains over 35 billion product listings, all continuously updated.
Aware of the known limitations of generative AI and large language models (LLMs), Google has set up safeguards, such as limiting the types of queries where these capabilities will appear, to ensure the quality and reliability of search results.
The SGE feature is currently available as an experiment in Search Labs on Chrome desktop and the Google App for Android and iOS users in the U.S., with its interface being English-only at launch.
Diversifying Search With ‘Perspectives’
Complementing its generative AI technology, Google is introducing the ‘Perspectives’ feature.
This new tool will highlight long-form videos, images, and written posts from discussion boards, Q&A sites, and social media platforms in search results.
The feature is designed to help users understand topics through the experiences and perspectives of others, providing a more human touch to digital information.
For instance, if a user seeks advice on making friends in a new city, the ‘Perspectives’ filter would show results containing personal stories and tips from various online sources.
Google emphasizes that ‘Perspectives’ will enhance review content quality in search results, giving prominence to first-hand experiences or content created by individuals with deep knowledge of a subject.
Update To Helpful Content Ranking System
As part of its focus on the quality of information, Google is updating its helpful content system to better understand content from a personal or expert viewpoint, thus helping to surface more of these “hidden gems” on Search.
For the latest guidance on Google’s helpful content system, see this report from SEJ’s Roger Montti.
Today’s updates from Google, driven by advancements in AI, are a leap forward in search engine technology, blending AI-powered insights and diverse human perspectives.
Sign up for the Google Search Labs waitlist here.
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