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Generative AI In Search: An Overview Of AI In Search Engines

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) continues to take the world by storm and become an integral part of business practices. Big companies like Google and Microsoft are no exception­­–– they’re now using generative AI in search to help enhance the online search experience.

What is generative AI in search?

Generative AI in search involves using artificial intelligence to help enhance the search engine experience. With AI in search, users can do anything, from generating images to getting help with writing.

So, what does generative AI in search look like?

Keep reading to learn:

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What is generative AI in search?

Generative AI in search involves using artificial intelligence to help enhance the search engine experience. With AI in search, users can do anything, from generating images to getting help with writing. Search engines use AI to help users uncover more insights about topics and process information more efficiently.

Google AI search: An overview

Google is one of the most popular search engines in the world, so it’s no surprise they’re taking advantage of all generative AI has to offer.

Currently, their AI-powered search, called Search Generative Experience (SGE), is only available through signing up for Search Labs. To access Search Labs, you must:

  • Be 13 or over
  • Use a personal Google Account (Search Labs is not available for Workspace accounts)
  • Be located in the U.S., India, or Japan

Once you join, you can toggle options to opt into different generative AI features.

Toggling options in Google Search Labs

So, what does Google AI search look like?

Information synthesis

With SGE, you can synthesize information. When you search with SGE enabled, you’ll get a summary of information at the top. It’s an easy way to get all the information you need quickly.

Google AI generating a list of the most popular Starbucks drinks

Once the information is generated, you can see follow-up questions you can ask based on the information you get.

Picture of starbucks drinks with buttons underneath asking to follow up on the query

Follow up query about Starbucks asking what the best drink is to get at Starbucks

Getting key points

Another feature of Google AI search is getting to the key points of a page of content.

When you look at pages of information, it can be challenging to skim through it and learn what you need to know. Google aims to make that easier –– with their generative AI features, you can get a summation of the page and learn the main points of a content page.

Clicking on the Google icon to reveal the AI feature that sums up the page about making coffee

When on a page, you click on the “G” on your bookmarks bar and will get a panel of information generated on the side.

You can also explore specific sections and jump to them.

Jumping to a section on how long coffee takes to make

Image generation

One area Google is testing with AI is creating images. Many people have trouble finding the right image they need. To help solve this problem, Google created a generative AI-powered feature to create images for people through their search engine.

You can give Google a prompt like, “Draw me a picture of a dog playing piano,” and SGE will generate up to four images that fit your prompt.

Google AI generating photos of dogs playing pianos

When it generates the images, you can click on them and see the description, which tells you how Google generates the images. You can alter this description to help you get a visual that better matches what you want.

Microsoft Bing AI search: An overview

AI in search engines isn’t limited to Google. Microsoft Bing is also using artificial intelligence to help improve the search experience. Their AI is integrated into their search engine, making it easy for users to use its features. You can click on the “chat” feature at the top to access the AI features.

Here’s a breakdown of what Microsoft Bing AI can do:

Information summation

With Microsoft Bing AI, you can get a summation of information about a topic. You can type your question into the Bing AI chat and get a summary of information, with sources cited:

Bing AI chat response to what the most popular Starbucks drinks are

Bing AI makes it easy to get the information you need about a topic in one place.

Creative compositions

With AI in search engines like Bing, you can create innovative pieces. Microsoft enables you to adjust the chat settings to choose the “more creative” option for content.

Bing AI generating a poem about coffee

This feature helps you spark creative writing ideas for your business.

Organization tasks

Need help getting your information organized? You can use AI in search to help you get the resources you need to organize data and information:

Asking Bing AI to generate a table that organizes sales and costs

While Bing AI can’t generate the table for you, it can direct you to articles that tell you what to do. Bing AI will give you a summary of the pages so you can determine which resources to look at first.

Using Bing AI makes it easier to find the information you need, so you don’t have to spend time vetting articles.

Image creation

As mentioned earlier, generative AI in search isn’t limited to creating text –– it can generate images for you, too. With Microsoft Bing AI, you can prompt it with what you want, and Bing AI will generate images for you:

Bing AI generating four images of dog cartoons drinking coffee

This feature helps you generate images that better match your needs.

The future of AI in search engines

As you can see, generative AI in search is already taking hold of the most popular search engines. So, how will AI in search impact search engines and users in the future?

The benefits of AI in search engines

With generative AI in search becoming more prominent, the future of search engines will change.

Here are some benefits you can expect:

  • Improved search results: Generative AI in search will help improve results for users. Bing AI is already using this technology to analyze the way people search to help improve the relevance and quality of results.
  • Personalized search results: As search engines continue to learn how searchers conduct queries, AI will help search results become more personalized. Searchers will see search results tailored to how they search, so they get the information fast.

Problems and challenges

While there will be many benefits from AI in search engines, there are some challenges and problems that come with it.

One of the biggest problems is misinformation. In the Internet age, anyone can publish information and data online, whether it’s true or not. That means that generative AI in search has the potential to deliver false information.

As a result, search engines like Google and Bing will have to take steps to ensure the sources and information used in their AI tools are vetted and accurate to prevent misinformation.

Additionally, businesses will face challenges with generative AI integrating into search. Since AI creates a summation of information from different sources, users are less likely to visit pages because they get the information they need from the search engine.

As a result, people will be less likely to click on listings in search results, which could lead to decreased traffic for businesses. Because of this, companies may need to adapt their search strategies.

Need help with generative AI?

Generative AI in search is just the beginning of what’s to come with artificial intelligence in marketing. That’s why you must stay on top of this trend and get your marketing strategy ready for the AI revolution.

At WebFX, we offer AI solutions that help you stay ahead of the curve. When you partner with us, you’ll get a team of experts with over 25 years of experience in digital marketing. We’ll help you create a strategy that enables you to harness the power of AI to grow your revenue.

If you’re ready to get started, contact us online or call us today at 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist!

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