Google continues to sprinkle AI into its product line with a new feature coming to its Search Generative Experience (SGE), where Google’s Chrome web browser will summarize the articles you’re reading. Currently, SGE already summarizes your search results so you don’t have to scroll forever, but with this new feature, you’ll get a little more help after you’ve clicked the link.
According to a Google blog post announcing the new feature, we won’t see the new feature right away, which Google has named “SGE while browsing”. The generated summary will begin rolling out next week Tuesday as an “early experiment” within the opt-in Search Labs, a program for people to experiment with early Google Search experiences and share feedback. Interestingly, it will be available on mobile before the Chrome browser on desktop, so keep your eyes peeled while you’re Googling on Android or iOS.
As you can see, the little pop-up appears as you’re scrolling through a blog page or article, and you’ll be able to see what Google’s tool thinks are the key points of the page. If you click a highlighted point, you’ll be taken down to that paragraph in the article.
The Verge notes that the feature “will only work on articles that are freely available to the public on the web,” so you won’t see it on websites or articles that are behind a paywall.
There are a few other smaller features that will be introduced as well via the SGE, like being able to hover over certain words and see definitions or diagrams (mostly for scientific, economic or historical topics).
Should Bloggers be worried?
This feature could certainly be super helpful, especially if you’re looking for concise information very quickly. However, it may be bad news for the people writing the content and I don’t think Google has considered that.
If you’ve spent time and energy to really flesh out your article, give your topic context and personality and people are just given summaries and skip over that, it may be discouraging. Especially if you’re writing about sensitive or serious topics, if the generated summaries are leaving out crucial information people may only go with the presented points and leave behind something important or useful (like mixing cleaning products or medication information).
Content creators may not be happy about the new change and the way it might CEO Sundar Pichai said that “over time this will just be how Search works” so, I guess we’ll have to get used to it.