Search Labs, Google’s new platform for experimenting with search features, is now inviting some users to try out its revamped search engine powered by generative AI. It’s still guarded by a waitlist, but two weeks following its unveiling at the I/O 2023 event, at least some users are starting to get access now.
To recap, Google earlier this month unveiled Search Generative Experience (SGE), a set of new features that use generative AI to enhance Search. One of these features is AI-generated summaries, which show a concise overview of the topic at the top of the search results, instead of the usual blue links.
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Users can then interact with the AI by asking follow-up questions or choosing from the suggested actions to learn more. The AI also provides links to the sources of the information, so users can verify its accuracy and see how the AI selected the pages for review. Users can also use SGE to discover a range of products and things to consider while shopping.
Microsoft’s Bing launched similar features months ago, and it was about time Google did too.
In addition to SGE, Labs currently includes a couple of other features. One is Add to Sheets, which adds a button to every link in your search results allowing you to quickly add links to a sheet of your choice. The second is Code Tips, an AI-powered solution built specifically to help you write and fix code.
Google, which has around a 90% share in the global search engine market, has the power to shake up the search and SEO industry with these new generative AI features. If AI summarisation catches on, websites and brands may compete to be included in the AI summary rather than in the links that’ll be pushed down below.
Google says that these features are only being made available to users in the US for now. Trying to register for the waitlist in India currently returns a “Search Labs isn’t available for your account right now” message.