Google is releasing a number of new features for its new Search Generative Experience today. Those features include SGE while browsing, definition overlays in the SGE responses, and color-coded with syntax highlighting and other coding improvements within the SGE answers.
Google wrote these new features “help you better learn and make sense of information on the web: whether it’s deepening your understanding of complicated concepts, boosting your coding skills or tracking down details within a complex topic.”
SGE while browsing
Google SGE can now be used while browsing either on Chrome desktop or the Google app on iOS or Android. While browsing a webpage, you can ask Google SGE to generate key points from the page. Google SGE will then summarize the web page that you are browsing.
This works on “some web pages,” which means this feature might not work on all content on the web. Google added, “You can tap to see an AI-generated list of the key points an article covers, with links that will take you straight to what you’re looking for directly on the page.” Google will also show you an “Explore on page,” where you can see questions the article answers and jump to the relevant section to learn more.
Google’s SGE while browsing is not automated in that humans need to request that SGE summarize the page specifically; otherwise, it won’t happen.
Paywalled content. Google will not let SGE while browsing work on paywalled content. So if you are using the structured data for paywalled content, SGE while browsing will not work.
Other ways to opt-out. Google said there is currently no special meta tag to tell Google not to let SGE while browsing summarizes the content on your web pages. If you use the paywall structured data, that would prevent SGE while browsing to summarize your content, but if you do not use that, there is no alternative available, at this time, for preventing SGE while browsing.
Indexed. Google did tell me that a page needs to be in the Google index for SGE while browsing to work. So if you block that page from being indexed, that should also prevent this feature from working. But that also means your page won’t benefit from being listed in Google Search.
The key points are generated based on the latest version Google has indexed, it is not necessarily generated in real-time based on what is on the web page at the time you use this feature.
What it looks like. Here are GIFs of this in action on desktop; it is similar on mobile but the menu to request this feature is at the bottom of the browser window:
Google now is showing for select words within the SGE AI-generated answer definitions, similar to what Google showed in featured snippets contextual links. In fact, Danny Sullivan, Google’s Search Liaison, told us SGE is using similar technology that featured snippets use for this feature.
Google said, “You’ll be able to hover over certain words to preview definitions and see related diagrams or images on the topic.” These work for “various topics or questions related to STEM, economics, history and more,” Google added.
The “Tell me more about [topic]” bubble will take you to SGE’s conversation mode, where you’ll see more about the topic that’s referenced.
What it looks like. Here is a GIF of it in action:
Coding updates in SGE
SGE is also improving how it shows coding in the answers it generates with color syntax in code examples. Google said, “Segments of code in overviews will now be color-coded with syntax highlighting, so it’s faster and easier to identify elements like keywords, comments and strings, helping you better digest the code you see at a glance.”
Why we care
AI in search is evolving quickly, and SGE is one of the big players in this space. Offering SGE in web browsers is a big step in bringing it closer to Bing Chat’s Edge sidebar feature. This also may offer ways for your readers to better understand your content, give you insight into how Google SGE understands your content, and may give you ways to consume other content faster.