Feb 11, 2024
The Search Labs program is also expanding to India and Japan Earlier this year, Google chalked out a roadmap for extensive AI integration across its businesses, including Google Search. Changes came
The Search Labs program is also expanding to India and Japan
Earlier this year, Google chalked out a roadmap for extensive AI integration across its businesses, including Google Search. Changes came in the form of the Search Labs program, which includes experiments like Search Generative Experience (SGE). Now, Google is optimizing the AI overviews from SGE, so it presents links for related information in a familiar fashion. Also, testing for Search Labs is expanding to new markets, namely India and Japan.
Back in May, we got our first glimpse of AI-generated overviews displayed in Search results. The overview contained relevant information, product/service suggestions, and related searches in colloquial language for lucid presentation. Now, Google has announced that the webpages from where the AI pulled this helpful information will be linked directly in the text body, just the way we have linked related coverage in this article. So, users in the US may see an arrow icon appear next to information in the AI-powered overview.
An example of AI-powered overviews in Search results
Google says that feedback gathered from SGE users so far indicates people aged 18 to 24 find the AI integration delivers answers in a conversational tone, right within Search. They also find the related search queries suggested at the bottom useful, and ads before or after the AI overview easier to act on. Feedback like this helps Google improve Search Labs and other services. To broaden the test pool, the company is now opening up Search Labs, and thus SGE, to India and Japan now — the first countries outside the US.
As always, testing will be on an opt-in basis. Users in Japan can access Search Labs in Japanese, while Indian testers will have the flexibility to choose between English and Hindi, or actively switch between the two. Google says people in India also prefer voice input, so Search Labs supports it too. With this expansion, Search users in these markets can take SGE for a spin, complete with recent improvements like support for images and videos in AI-powered results. The above–mentioned integration of related links in the AI-powered overviews will also roll out in India and Japan in the coming weeks.
A wider test pool helps Google stay on top of bugs, and improves Search for users all around the world. The significance of testing increases multifold for features like the Search Generative Experience, which is still in active development. Google doesn’t say when, but wider testing also gets our hopes up for a worldwide stable channel release sometime soon.
Chandraveer is a mechanical design engineer with a passion for all things Android including devices, launchers, theming, apps, and photography. When he isn't typing away on his mechanical keyboard’s heavy linear switches, he enjoys discovering new music, improving his keyboard, and rowing through his hatchback’s gears on twisty roads.