Google Search
Google has introduced its generative AI-powered search in India and Japan. Pexels

Google is finally launching its Search AI features outside of the US. The search giant may have been a little late in terms of jumping in on the generative AI bandwagon, but it is currently testing SGE (Search Generative Experience).

To those unaware, SGE alludes to a generative AI-powered version of Google's search engine. To recap, the tech behemoth unveiled a new AI search tool that shortens lengthy articles and simplifies codes earlier this month.

What is SGE and how does it work?

In a new blog post, Google's Senior Director, Product Management, Search Hema Budaraju has confirmed that the company's generative AI search engine is headed to India and Japan. SGE could pave the way for a future in which Google Search works with a generative AI chatbot.

So, India and Japan will help Google to better understand how SGE works in different languages. The app is set to offer support for both Hindi and English in India. Moreover, it will support voice search and audio responses. However, both Indian and Japanese users will have to opt into using SGE.

Currently, Google says it is sparing no effort to improve the way links to web pages appear in generative AI responses. According to the company, generative AI answers will have arrows next to them, which indicate drop-down menus.

When clicked, these drop-down menus will show the websites where the search engine got its information from. Moreover, Google divulged details about how early users are receiving SGE. According to Budaraju, the company is seeing the highest rate of satisfaction among users between the ages of 18- and 24 years old.

Furthermore, Budaraju explained that the aforesaid users prefer asking follow-up questions to their initial search queries. "People tell us they find the suggested follow-up questions beneficial to see examples of how to refine their search, and they're asking longer and more conversational questions in full sentences because generative AI in Search can help them quickly find what they're looking for," Budaraju said.

Overall, the top executive said people are trying queries that they never may have thought they could search for before. This is creating new opportunities for Google to be helpful, especially with leading companies like Samsung prepping to unveil their own generative AI in the future.

Budaraju also points out that users are finding ads either above or below the large SGE box on the screen. It is no secret that Google earns a considerable bulk of its revenue from ad sales. So, the company had to figure out how the SGE box would coexist alongside the ads.

By confirming that users are still finding ads in SGE, Google is trying to ease any concerns regarding the impact of the change on its ad business. While SGE isn't the only generative AI-powered search engine. Microsoft has been offering a generative AI-backed version of Bing search for a while now.

Google, on the other hand, is still testing SGE. It will be interesting to see whether Microsoft can steal market share from Google by keeping ahead in the generative AI space. Meanwhile, the Redmond-based tech firm has been adding generative AI capabilities to its consumer, as well as enterprise products, such as the Microsoft 365 productivity software.

How to sign up for Search Labs?

SGE, which was introduced as an experiment in Search Labs, will be available on Chrome desktop. Also, it will be available on the latest version of the Google App on Android and iOS. With the access beginning today (August 31), people can opt-in to try it out.

Moreover, people can share feedback directly with the teams working on it. You can access it by tapping the Labs icon in the Google app or Chrome desktop. Alternatively, you can access it by visiting this link. The SGE experiment will be rolling out to the Google App on Android and iOS over the coming week.