Is Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) replacing Internet’s chorus with its own solo?

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Google's Search Generative Experience

Internet search has perennially held the crown as the web’s most vital function. In the pre-Google era, this throne was contested fiercely by an array of aspirants, including Altavista, Lycos, Excite, Zap, Yahoo and even Ask Jeeves. The premise of the World Wide Web is the formidable strength harnessed in accommodating nearly an infinite number of voices. However, with the explosion of information across millions of publications and billions of web pages, effective search capabilities are indispensable.

Why Google emerged victorious in the search race

Google’s ascent to dominance can be credited to its superior results, swift load times, and a less cluttered page compared to rivals. Now, having secured over 91 percent of the search market, Google’s testing a significant change to its interface. This alteration could replace the symphony of internet voices with Google’s solo performance. The “Search Generative Experience” (SGE), powered by an AI plagiarism engine, collates data and fragments of text from diverse sites, patches them together (often verbatim), and presents the compiled work as its creation. This potentially presents a grave threat to the open web while potentially diminishing user experience.

The public introduction of SGE

Recently, Google unveiled SGE to the public in a restricted beta. Participants in this beta programme can catch a glimpse of what Google seemingly has in store: a search results page where Google’s responses and advice dominate the entire first screen, pushing the first organic search result far below the fold.

Take, for instance, a search for “best bicycle.” The response provided by Google’s SGE, coupled with its shopping links and other miscellaneous elements, occupied the initial 1,360 vertical pixels of the display before the first real search result made an appearance.

Google’s Search Generative Experience may be a game-changer, but whether it will be seen as an improvement or a degradation of the current search experience remains to be seen.

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