A Comprehensive Guide to Search Generative Experience

Last updated:
March 15, 2024

On May 10, Google made a pretty exciting announcement. They've rolled out a new feature called Search Generative Experience. What's so cool about it? Well, it takes Google's search engine to a whole new level by generating fresh text results based on what you're searching for.

Think of SGE as a massive leap forward in AI search. It doesn't just find information—it creates it, based on your queries. That means your search experience just got a whole lot more personalized and relevant.

While we're still waiting for the timeline on when SGE will be fully integrated into AI search, it's clear that it's already making waves. It's not just a new feature—it's the beginning of a new era in search technology.

What Is the Search Generative Experience (SGE)?

Google's SGE is an experiment using AI to improve web searches. SGE offers familiar web results in new formats for a richer search experience.

Using generative AI, searchers can:

  • Ask more complex and descriptive questions to get the information they need.
  • Quickly grasp the essence of a topic, with links to explore further.
  • Get started on tasks right away, like writing drafts or creating images.
  • Easily progress by asking follow-up questions or trying suggested next steps.

SGE builds on Google Search to connect people with quality web content. The goal is to make progress in key areas like:

  • Complexity - Handle more complex questions and needs. SGE aims to understand context and semantics to provide relevant responses.
  • Personalization - Tailor responses to individual searchers and their needs. SGE considers search history and other signals to provide personalized results.
  • Conversationality - Enable natural back-and-forth exchanges. SGE allows searchers to ask follow-up questions and provide feedback to refine results.
  • Visual responses - Generate visual responses like images, diagrams, timelines, and more. SGE taps into neural networks to produce visual content that complements web results.

SGE is experimental but has the potential to transform search into a visual experience. Google will improve SGE based on feedback and research for future searches.

How Search Generative Experience Started

Google created the SGE to use advanced AI in search functions. AI has long aided Google Search, enhancing relevancy and supporting an open web.

SGE's idea began in Google using machine learning for spelling correction in 2001. The goal was to help users find results quickly, even with spelling mistakes or typos. In 2019, Google improved its system by introducing BERT for Search ranking.

BERT improved Search by understanding words in context. Users can ask longer, conversational queries and get more relevant results. Google applied larger language models to Search, like the Multitask Unified Model (MUM).

These models improved Google Search and changed how people use it. Google also focused on diversity and inclusion in its outreach and initiatives. Limitations were in effect for query types where guardrails were in place. Generative AI was tested, providing a better user experience.

How Search Generative Experience Works

source: Google

SGE uses AI to analyze web content and generate new information. It combines sources to give an overview, suggest the next steps, or create draft content. The experience feels familiar. It's built on search foundations, connecting you to high-quality web results. Here's an in-depth look at how SGE works:

1. AI-Powered Overviews

SGE provides AI-powered snapshots that quickly provide an overview of a topic. Snapshots help users explore diverse web content and perspectives. SGE provides links to verify and explore more.

2. Follow-Up Questions

SGE lets users ask follow-up questions or try suggested next steps for info. This feature is especially useful for complex or evolving information journeys. The system uses AI to understand if a user's search is related to a previous question. It keeps the context to reflect the user's intention better.

3. Vertical Experiences

SGE is helpful for info journeys in shopping or local searches. For shopping, SGE can reveal important factors and data to simplify buying choices.

4. Creativity and Productivity

SGE also introduces the ability to create images with generative AI. SGE has a feature that lets you create images using AI. It's interactive, and fun, and helps you visualize ideas and find inspiration. SGE prioritizes safety and quality, limiting its creative use to some extent.

5. User Experience

SGE has been designed with user experience at its core. SGE aims to make generative AI accessible and user-friendly with resources and UI.

6. Image Generation

SGE's image generation feature allows users to be creative. With generative AI, you can turn ideas into visuals, making it a fun and interactive process. Whether you're brainstorming for a project, designing a presentation, or simply seeking visual inspiration, SGE's image generation feature opens up a world of possibilities.

Development of SGE Using LLM Models

Training the models

SGE's LLMs were trained on big datasets to find quality web results for its outputs. Google uses various models to optimize and meet users' needs at every search stage.

Setting clear expectations

Google must clearly communicate what SGE can and cannot do to users. Google releases SGE through Search Labs, allowing a trial of new technology openly. Google is working to enhance SGE based on user feedback from Search Labs.

SGE advantages and disadvantages

Users can benefit from SGE's search capabilities and be aware of its limitations.


  • Asking complex questions. With SGE, people can ask more nuanced questions and get helpful responses. SGE grasps complex questions, even when they are unclear.
  • Getting information quickly. SGE gives users the gist of a topic fast, with links to explore for more details. This speed and efficiency means people can find what they need rapidly.
  • Starting tasks promptly. SGE lets people dive in for research, brainstorming, or visual references. Suggested next steps and follow-up questions keep the momentum going.
  • Progressing easily. The conversational SGE helps you when you're stuck or need to change direction. Users can ask for clarification or alternative options to continue moving forward productively.


  • Bias in results. Efforts to reduce bias in SGE may still reflect web opinions and assumptions. This could lead to skewed or imbalanced information, especially for sensitive topics.
  • Contradicting other features. SGE integrated with search results may appear to contradict other sources. A featured snippet may differ from SGE's synthesized summary based on multiple sources.
  • Opinionated responses. SGE aims to be objective but may sometimes appear biased due to the data it accesses. Users need to consider the context and limitations of the technology.
  • Known limitations. SGE has constraints on how well it can understand language, evaluate information quality, and generate fully coherent responses. Keep AI system limits in mind to manage expectations and avoid frustration.

Google’s AI-Powered Search Experience In Generating Images

source: Google

Google's SGE program uses AI to create up to four images based on complex search queries. Someone can search for "draw a picture of a capybara wearing a chef’s hat and cooking breakfast" and SGE offers options. Google believes AI images can inspire and boost productivity for users.

SGE utilizes Google's expertise in NLP, ML, and UX design. The image feature uses neural networks trained on large datasets. It understands complex queries and generates matching images. Google has improved its search interface for a long time to make it better for users. SGE is an advanced search that combines AI and provides an integrated experience.

The image generation capability in SGE is currently limited to users over 18 years old in the U.S. who have opted into the SGE experiment. Google is prioritizing the improvement of AI quality and safety before widening access. Google plans to improve SGE technology and expand its creativity and availability.

SGE's image generation feature gives a glimpse into the future of search and AI. On-demand images spark creativity and aid users in achieving more with one search. AI can change how people find and interact with info. Tools like SGE show Google's commitment to pushing search boundaries. SGE shows why Google is the top search engine with its innovative approach and user focus.

The Future of AI in Search Generative Experience

The future of AI in Google's Search Generative Experience (SGE) looks optimistic. It has the potential to change how we access and use information. SGE is the beginning of transforming search with generative AI. It helps users ask more complex questions and get more from a single search.

In the future, we can expect to see even more uses of AI within SGE. We may see more AI uses in SGE, like better image generation. Users can visualize ideas, making search more interactive and enjoyable.

As AI apps get better, more creative uses will emerge, giving users more options. Google will use user research and feedback to drive advancements in search.

AI in SGE will improve web content, providing people with better information.

Implications of SGE for Marketers and Businesses:

  1. Compliance with E-E-A-T Guidelines: In the era of Search Generative Experience (SGE), adherence to the Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) guidelines becomes even more critical. Content must be crafted with these guidelines in mind to increase the odds of visibility and ranking in SGE.
  2. Diversification of Content: SGE encourages a diverse content strategy, meaning that content should not only be text-based but also include other formats such as videos, images, infographics, and more. The more comprehensive and varied your content, the more likely it is to feature prominently in SGE results.
  3. Competition Among Businesses: With the advent of SGE, competition among businesses is likely to intensify. To keep up, businesses must continuously optimize their content, stay updated with the latest developments in SGE, and carry out regular performance analyses to ensure their strategies are effective.
  4. Detailed Product Information: For product searches, SGE provides comprehensive descriptions, including up-to-date reviews, ratings, prices, and product images. Leveraging Google’s Shopping Graph, it provides constantly changing, detailed product information, making purchase decisions faster and easier for users.
  5. Facilitates Creativity: SGE not only helps find information but also assists in more creative applications. For instance, generative AI in SGE can create images to visualize ideas or find inspiration, offering a more interactive and fun search experience.
  6. Continuity of Search Ads: As SGE evolves, search ads will continue to play a significant role. They will serve as additional sources of useful information and help businesses reach potential customers along their search journey.
  7. Adapting Content for Generative AI: SGE uses AI to understand and carry over context from previous searches, implying that your content must be adaptable for AI interpretation. This means focusing on clarity, relevancy, and the strategic use of keywords so the AI can better understand your content. Utilizing AI tools like Hypotenuse AI can significantly enhance your search generative experience (SGE).

FAQs about Search Generative Experience

How do I get generative AI in Google search?

To access the generative AI feature in Google search, you can follow these simple steps:

  1. To make it easier to use Google, update the app on your device or visit the website on your computer.
  2. Open the app or navigate to the Google search.
  3. Tap or click on the search bar to start your search.
  4. Type in your search query or question as you would normally do.
  5. Look for suggestions that have a "Get an AI-powered overview for this search?" label or similar indication.
  6. Tap or click "Generate." Google search will provide a detailed information from diverse sources.

The availability of AI in Google search may change based on your location and device. Google is working to make this feature more widely available to users worldwide. Learn more about search labs availability.

Is SGE available to everyone?

Generative AI in Search has now been made available to more users around the world. Search Labs has expanded access to generative AI in Search in English to more than 120 new countries and territories. As part of this expansion, four new languages have been enabled using SGE: Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, and Indonesian. So, for instance, if you are a Spanish speaker in the U.S., you can now utilize generative AI in Search with your preferred language.

How can I be part of the SGE experiment?

SGE is available in Search Labs, so Google can learn, improve, and build Search together. To sign up, visit

How will generative AI change search?

Generative AI will revolutionize search by enabling more complex and descriptive queries, providing context-rich results, and facilitating conversational follow-ups. Users can quickly understand a topic and even write drafts or create images on the search page. AI analyzes data to offer detailed info, helping with shopping or local searches. Despite these advancements, the commitment to information quality and relevance will remain, ensuring the search experience continues to be reliable and useful.

How Can Google’s SGE Impact SEO?

Google's SGE impacts SEO. It demands detailed, contextual content for complex queries. It also emphasizes the creation of comprehensive information for AI-powered overviews or snapshots. Additionally, interlinked content that can answer a range of related questions is important due to SGE’s conversational follow-up feature. SGE emphasizes the need for reliable and accurate content in SEO.

For a more in-depth understanding of Search Generative Experiences (SGE), you might find these resources helpful:

SEO Specialist
Hazel has over 3 years of experience in SEO. She has helped multiple clients in different industries grow their online presence through SEO, content creation and other marketing strategies.

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