Google Search gets major update with AI generative answers in results

Google is about to rollout the most significant update for its search engine with AI front and center.

Google Search AI demo
Google Search AI demo / Image: Google
  • Google introduces the Search Generative Experience.
  • The new experience brings AI responses to search results similar to Bing.
  • The AI answers are powered by the PaLM 2 model same as Bard.
  • You can sign up now to get early access to the new search experience.

Google has unveiled that its Search engine platform will now use AI to give users answers directly on the results page. Although the Google Search experience has remained unchanged for many years, the engine has used minimal AI capabilities for a long time. However, now, the company is bringing the power of its AI chatbot to provide answers and a new modern design to the results page. Google calls the new feature “SGE,” short for Search Generative Experience.

In the new experience, when you perform a search query, the search engine will generate an answer in a new block using AI at the top of the results page. This new block will use a colored scheme based on the topic and different layouts depending on the content of the answer. Also, it will contain a snapshot of your response with the most important details and source links with thumbnails on the right side.

Search with AI
Search with AI / Image: Google

If you’re researching to purchase an item, you will also see a list of the best option alongside pricing, rating, images, reviews, and other information. Google Search is able to pull all this and more information because its generative AI for shopping uses the company’s Shopping Graph uses a comprehensive dataset that incorporates billions of product listings that are constantly changing. Also, when selecting one of the products, a new flyout will appear from the right with merchants’ options.

Search AI with flyout
Search AI with flyout / Image: Google

In case you need information,  you can click the “Converse” button to bring up the conversational experience, where you can ask follow-up questions knowing that the search engine will remember the context of the conversation.

Search AI with conversation
Search AI with conversation / Image: Google

According to the company, the new Google Search experience uses the PaLM 2 model, also available for Google Bard. The second version of the Pathways Language Model (PaLM 2) is the latest and far more robust large-scale language model than its predecessor, and it unlocks more features to improve reasoning, coding, math, and the ability to resolve more advanced problems.

While Google Search and Google Bard are two different products, they use the same technology to accomplish basically the same thing. However, Google Search will continue to be a place for a more traditional search experience that will now include some assistance from AI alongside web results. On the other hand, Google Bard is a technology to get straight answers in a conversational format as if you were interacting with another person.

If this AI integration into search seems familiar, it’s because Microsoft has been stepping up and adding similar features to its search engine by integrating Bing Chat into the results page with the option to continue the conversation in the Chat experience.

One thing these new search experiences from Google and Microsoft is that both will make mistakes and often present users with the wrong answer. As such, it’s crucial always to double-check and use the sources to validate the information.

Google is expected to start rolling out the new Search Generative Experience in the coming weeks. The rollout will begin with users in the United States on mobile and Chrome, and if you want to get early access, you will have to sign up to join the waitlist.

In related news, the company has also announced that Google Bard is now open to everyone, which means no more signing up and joining a waitlist.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me. Email him at [email protected].