● A Google account
● Smartphone connected to your Google account
● The Chrome browser on your computer or smartphone
● Internet connection
Google’s Search Engine Experience, or SGE for short, is a fascinating way to browse the famous search engine. What it does is enable the company’s generative AI tech to create contextual text with sources to whatever search inquiry you entered. You can get pretty specific and SGE will most likely be able to write up something. In our experience, we had a harder time finding queries that didn’t work.
Anybody can try out the SGE beta although there are some requirements: you must have Google Chrome and you must live in the United States. It's not available anywhere else. It’s unknown if or when Google plans on expanding its program outside the US.
But if you do live in the States you’re in luck because joining is easy to do.
Quick steps for how to join the Search Engine Experience program
- Download or update Chrome to its latest version
- Go to the Search Labs website
- Join the waitlist
- Enable SGE when it becomes available to you
Step-by-step guide for how to join the Search Engine Experience on desktop
- First, download Google Chrome from the official website and launch it.
- If you already have Chrome, click the three dots in the upper right-hand corner. Hover over Help and click About Google Chrome.
- Click Relaunch when the browser is done patching.
- Once the browser launches, head over to the Search Labs website and click the Join the Waitlist button. It may take several days to weeks before Google gives you access to Search Labs.
- Head over to the Search Labs after gaining access and click the toggle switch for SGE.
Step-by-step guide for how to join the Search Engine Experience on mobile
- On mobile, download or update your Google smartphone
- Tap the beaker icon in the top left corner to enter Search Labs. Enter the waitlist if you haven't done so already.
- Toggle SGE and the generated content will appear in search results.
Upon activating SGE, your version of Google Search will now have several new features. Of course, there are the generated responses that we’ve mentioned earlier. SGE offers a sample inquiry on Search Labs. As you can see in the image below, Search answers the question “what are the chances of seeing a shooting star” complete with sources for every paragraph. The sourced material will be on the right and embedded in the text.
You can continue the conversation by selecting one of the pre-selected questions or you can ask one yourself. At that point, Google’s generative AI will respond with original context alongside new sources and more search results.
Additionally, if you’re doing some shopping and want more information or suggestions, you can ask SGE and the AI will create a list of recommended products.
What's great is there are new features consistently being added.
A report from TheVerge claims Google is introducing images as well as videos to SGE queries providing further information. This can be quite helpful when looking recipes. The extra content will be right below the initial text.
Another piece from 9to5Google reveals results will now display “prominent in-line source links” on certain inquiries. The example given shows a description of the Galaxy Z Flip 5 smartphone with links to tech news sites woven in telling the readers where the information is coming from.
In our experience, we have yet to see any of these changes. It’s possible Google is only giving a select few access or the company is in the process of rolling out the features to more users.
We recommend acting fast if you’re interested in SGE. As you may have seen in the screenshots, the AI tool will be available until December 31, 2023 at which point the company will end the program. Presumably, Google will be making some adjustments to SGE before making an official launch.
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Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.