Google's SGE: AI-Powered Search Digests Get Updated Interface and Source Attribution
In a bid to enhance user experience, Google has updated its generative AI tool, Search Generative Engine (SGE), with a more transparent approach to source attribution.
Earlier this year, Google introduced SGE as an experimental feature aimed at providing AI-generated summaries of search results, allowing users to find answers without navigating away from the search results page.
However, this feature faced criticism for not crediting sources, potentially raising concerns about content attribution.
The updated SGE now displays arrow icons directly on the page, offering users visibility into the sources of information presented in the summaries. Google believes this approach enhances user understanding and transparency.
SGE is accessible through a waitlist and is exclusively available within Google's experimental playground, Search Labs.
It's worth noting that experimental products may have inherent flaws during their development phase, even if they are in extensive use.
Early users have observed that SGE sometimes borrows content, including verbatim excerpts, from human-written articles without providing explicit citations.
Hema Budaraju, Senior Director of Product Management of Search at Google, highlighted the importance of presenting both content and source information. While feedback from publishers regarding SGE remains unclear, Budaraju emphasized Google's commitment to driving traffic to the web.
SGE, considered an experiment, may evolve in response to user feedback. The updated SGE interface within Search Labs places greater emphasis on source attribution, addressing previous concerns.
If you are based in the U.S. and have access to Search Labs, you can explore these changes starting today. Furthermore, Google is extending access to Search Labs beyond the U.S., with Japan and India being the first countries to receive the original SGE, followed by the updated interface in the coming weeks.
Google reported that since the launch of SGE, it has gained popularity among younger users, particularly those aged 18-24, who appreciate its conversational query style. While the company claimed that integrated ads were found useful, it did not provide click-through rate data.
To access SGE, simply navigate to the Search Labs section in the Google app on Android and iOS or use Chrome on your desktop.