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Google Expands Generative AI Search to India and Japan

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Google is taking its generative AI search engine, known as Search Generative Experience (SGE), beyond the United States. The company has announced its plans to launch SGE in India and Japan, allowing users in these countries to experience the power of generative AI in their search queries. This move is part of Google’s efforts to explore how SGE performs at scale in different languages and cultures. In this article, we will delve into the details of this expansion, the features of SGE, and the potential impact it may have on the search landscape.

Generative AI in Search is an experimental feature that aims to enhance the search experience by incorporating a conversational interface powered by artificial intelligence. With SGE, users can ask Google questions about a specific topic and receive responses that resemble a conversation with an AI chatbot. This technology opens up new possibilities for users to explore complex queries, refine their searches, and find information more efficiently.

Expanding SGE to India and Japan

Google’s decision to launch SGE in India and Japan is driven by the desire to understand how the generative AI search engine performs in different languages and cultural contexts. In India, SGE will offer support for both Hindi and English, catering to the diverse linguistic preferences of Indian users. Additionally, Indian users will have the option to switch between languages seamlessly, thanks to a language toggle feature. In Japan, SGE will be available in the local language, providing a more personalized search experience for Japanese users.

Voice Input and Audio Responses

To further enhance the user experience, Google is introducing voice input and audio responses in SGE. This feature is particularly popular in India, where users can now speak their queries instead of typing them. The audio responses provide a convenient way for users to consume information, especially when they are on the go or prefer an auditory format. By incorporating voice input and audio responses, Google aims to make SGE more accessible and user-friendly for a wider audience.

Improving the Visibility of Web Pages

In its continuous efforts to refine SGE, Google has made improvements to the way web page links appear in generative AI responses. Previously, users had limited visibility into the sources of information provided by SGE. Now, Google has introduced an arrow icon next to the AI-generated overview, which users can click to access the relevant web pages. This feature allows users to explore the sources behind the information and delve deeper into specific topics of interest.

Insights from Early Users

Google has been gathering valuable insights from early users of SGE. According to Hema Budaraju, Senior Director of Product Management for Search, the highest rate of satisfaction comes from users between the ages of 18 and 24. These users appreciate the ability to ask follow-up questions and engage in more conversational queries. The suggested follow-up questions have proven useful in guiding users to refine their searches and find the information they need quickly. Overall, SGE empowers users to explore queries they may not have considered before, opening up new possibilities for knowledge discovery.

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Integrating Ads in SGE

One of the key considerations for Google in developing SGE was integrating ads alongside the AI-powered overview. As a company heavily reliant on ad revenue, Google needed to ensure that the introduction of SGE would not negatively impact its ad business. Early feedback suggests that users are finding the integrated ads useful, as they offer relevant options for taking action and connecting with businesses. By assuaging concerns about the impact on ad revenue, Google aims to strike a balance between providing a seamless search experience and maintaining its business model.

Competition in the Generative AI Space

While Google is expanding the reach of SGE, it faces competition from Microsoft, which has been offering its own generative AI-powered version of Bing search. Microsoft has been actively investing in the generative AI space, adding capabilities to both its consumer and enterprise products. The battle between Google and Microsoft for dominance in the AI search landscape continues to intensify, with both companies striving to innovate and provide users with the best possible search experience.

The Future of SGE and Generative AI

Google’s expansion of SGE to India and Japan marks an important milestone in the company’s exploration of generative AI in search. As more users experience the benefits of SGE, Google will continue to gather feedback and refine the technology. The introduction of voice input, audio responses, and improved visibility of web pages demonstrates Google’s commitment to enhancing the search experience and providing users with a seamless and efficient way to access information. With generative AI becoming increasingly prevalent in search, we can expect further advancements in the future.

Conclusion

Google’s decision to expand its generative AI search engine, SGE, to India and Japan is an exciting development in the search landscape. With support for multiple languages, voice input, and audio responses, Google aims to provide a more personalized and accessible search experience for users in these countries. The integration of ads and the improved visibility of web pages further enhance the utility of SGE. As Google continues to refine SGE based on user feedback, we can expect generative AI to play an increasingly significant role in the way we search for information online.

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