Google is bringing its AI search engine up to par with Google Search, adding images and video to the search results which will bring more context but also continue to take up more space. At least it still doesn’t have ads.
Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) is problematic. It attempts to synthesize results and provide you with an answer, rather than point you at a sea of links and allow you to arrive to your own decision. And yes, in that it can succeed. Our hands-on tests of Google’s AI search, however, revealed other problems: first, it used information from other sources on the Web without attribution, and second, any links to sources were either shunted up and to the right or pushed way, way down on the page.
Now, Google is adding integrated video and images to its synthesized answers, it said. To its credit, the videos appear to be directly attributed right underneath the video, so that at least you’ll see who created the content.
Is there a way that Google should handle AI-powered generative search? We attempted to come up with an example via Smart Answers, PCWorld’s new generative search that’s been trained by a third party on our own data and articles alone. The tool, co-developed with a third party with input from PCWorld editors, synthesizes answers from our own recommendations on topics like “What is the best gaming PC?” To be fair, though, the tool suffers from the Google SGE problem: while it highlights the source links, they’re pushed down on the page. It appears we both have work to do.