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While on the one hand, Google is embroiled in an ongoing antitrust case , on the other, the tech giant is soaring with its recent Q3 earnings. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, saw an 11% revenue growth, returning to double-digit figures after a year.
CEO Sundar Pichai was not only pleased with the results, but also emphasised on the robust growth of Google Search, the largest contributor to its revenue growth. With AI capabilities being brought through search generative experience (SGE), the company is on the path to change Search forever.
SGE to Lead the Way
Google continues to dominate the search engine market by a huge difference, and is still building features to push it ahead. With 8.5 billion searches on Google every single day, and a 90% market share of the search engine market, the company is comfortably placed way ahead of its competitors. And, they are not stopping at that.
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In the recent earnings call, Google mentioned that with generative AI being integrated in Search, SGE which is currently available in the US, Japan and India, a broader range of queries with multiple perspectives can be addressed. Google is also now linking to a wider range of sources on the results page, for pushing content discovery.
Interestingly, their improved search feature will bolster their advertiser revenue.
Search and Advertisers Go Hand-in-Hand
In May, Google had launched SGE, an experiment in Search Labs, in the US alone, to test AI integration in Search, and the goal was to get user feedback and further build on it. The experiment seemed to have paid off with Pichai expressing his pleasure on the positive feedback received from SGE users, and also confirming about rolling it out to more users.
Notably, out of the $76.69 billion revenue for Q3, the advertising business accounted for $59.65 billion.
Pichai also emphasised on how ads will continue to ‘play an important role’ in this new search experience. The company will continue to experiment with new formats in SGE to create relevant, high-quality ads that are customised at every stage of the search journey. Lead tech analyst at I/O, Beth Kindig mentioned that SGE will promise advertisers better ROI.
Google had suggested their plan to introduce ads in SGE during the I/O event in May, showing a glimpse of how ads will look in the future. Integrating ads into AI search, akin to how Microsoft pushed ads into their AI-powered Bing Chat, Google looks to make the platform wholesome.
The company is also building generative AI templates that combine the capabilities of LLMs with Google APIs to solve industry-specific use cases such as travel.
While Google is working on enhancing its existing search experience, its large language model Bard continues to progress on the sideline. Recently, Google introduced browser extensions for Google apps such as YouTube, Google Flights, Google Maps, and Google Drive, Google Docs, and Gmail on Bard.
Furthermore, Google also announced the integration of Bard on Google Assistant in an attempt to provide a more intuitive, intelligent and personalised digital assistant.
While OpenAI only recently went completely multimodal, allowing voice and image input, and even released an update on allowing upload of any form of documents including PDFs, Bard was multimodal way before that.
Furthermore, Pichai spoke about the much-anticipated Project Gemini. “I’m very excited at the progress there and as we’re working through getting the model ready.” He also hinted at it being multimodal, and ‘highly efficient with tool and API integrations’.
With AI being the main focus, and even making it to big tech companies’ quarterly earnings (Google said AI at least 76 times), the road ahead is laden with AI-driven developments and integration for these companies. Search being the key revenue driver, Google’s efforts to make it more enhanced is undeniable.