Google’s new AI-powered search experience, released in May, might have gotten a mixed reception. But the search giant isn’t letting that slow its feature roadmap.
Google today announced new capabilities, some of which it previously previewed at its I/O conference, heading to Search Generative Experience (SGE) — the moniker for its experimental search experience — focused on travel and shopping.
Now, when a user asks questions about a place or destination in Google Search (e.g. “Is this restaurant good for large groups?”), they’ll see a snapshot that brings together information from across the web as well as reviews, photos and business profile details submitted by business owners. And when they’re shopping for a product — Bluetooth speakers, say — SGE will show factors to consider along with product descriptions, reviews, ratings, prices, images and recommendations.
The experiences evoke AI-powered search rivals like You.com and Perplexity AI. But Rany Ng, VP of Search, argues that they uniquely benefit from Google’s proprietary data, including details on more than 200 million places in the world and 35 billion product listings.
“With this improved experience in SGE, you’ll get useful insights to guide you along the way, so you can spend less time planning and more time enjoying the plans you’ve made,” Ng wrote in a blog post this morning. “And if you need to buy something that requires extensive research ahead of your summer travels, generative AI in Search can be particularly useful.”
In a related announcement, Google’s soon launching a new Add to Sheets experiment that’ll allow users to insert a search result directly into a spreadsheet and share it with friends, family or anyone else they might be collaborating with.
To take advantage of any of the new features, you’ll have to be enrolled in Search Labs, Google’s proving ground for new search-related technologies. It’s currently only available in English in the U.S.