Google CEO Says AI Reviews Are Increasing Use of Search

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Google has fielded “billions of questions” with its creative AI features and plans to further expand “the types of questions we can present to our users.” That's according to Alphabet/Google CEO Sundar Pichai, speaking during Alphabet's Q1 2024 earnings call.

According to Pichai, AI review, which Google introduced for a small portion of queries in the US in late March and in the UK earlier this month, is also increasing search usage:

  • “Based on our testing, we are encouraged that we are seeing an increase in search usage among people who use the new AI review as well as an increase in user satisfaction with the results.”

Later during the question-and-answer segment, Pichai was asked several times about search behavior and user engagement within SGE. What Pichai said:

  • “I think by and large, we've always found that over the years when things do well on the organic side, monetization follows. So, in general, the trends we see are good. Kind of goes. Overall, I think with creative AI in search, with our AIO ideas … I think we're going to expand the kinds of questions that we can serve our customers.”
  • “We can also answer more complex questions in general. It seems to all happen in quarterly categories. Obviously, it's still early, and we're going to be measured and put the user experience first.” But we are positive about the meaning of this transition.
  • “We see an uptick in engagement, but I see that as something that will fade over time. But if you wanted to step back in the moment, there were a lot of questions last year, and we're always confident. And felt comfortable that we would be able to improve the user experience.
  • “People question if these things are going to be expensive to deliver, and we're very, very confident about how we can manage the cost of delivering those questions. People are worried about the delay. Looking at the progress we have made in latency and performance, we feel comfortable.
  • “There are questions about monetization. And based on our testing so far, I'm comfortable and confident that we'll be able to manage the monetization transition here as well. It will fade over time. , but I think we are in a good position.

Why do we care? All signs point to Google continuing its slow evolution toward a search-driven experience. I'm skeptical of an increase in user satisfaction, considering an unimpressive product AI review and SGE going on. But I'm not the average Google user – and this was an earnings call, where Pichai has mastered the art of using a lot of words and saying nothing at all.

SGE will continue to evolve in 2024. During the question-and-answer segment, Pichai was asked what kind of questions or scenarios the AI ​​has been doing best so far. Pichai put it bluntly:

  • “On SGE and search … we're seeing early confirmation of our thesis that it will expand the universe of questions to where we'll be able to really provide people with a mix of real answers linked to web sources and take different perspectives. will do, all in an innovative way. And we're looking at AI in the US and the UK, basically trying to tackle questions that are more complex, where we think SGE is clearly the experience. Will make it better.”
  • “We've already fielded billions of questions, and it seems like it's broken down into different categories. But we're still continuing our testing … we're metric-based in those areas. … But I'm optimistic. That it clearly improves the user experience, users are telling us that, and we're seeing that in our metrics, and we'll continue to build on that throughout the year.”

This was followed by a search query that colored more around AI changing search volume or Google use cases. Pichai responded nonchalantly about Google's positive and profound path:

  • “We see this moment as a positive moment for discovery. And I think it allows us to develop our product in a deeper way. And discovery is a unique experience. People come and find it.” Goes — whether you want answers, if you want to explore more, if you want to get perspective from across the web and be able to do it in the breadth and depth of whatever they're looking for. And the innovation you're going to need to sustain that, I think that's what we've been building for a long time.
  • “And so I feel like we're extraordinarily well-positioned, especially given the innovation path that we're on. And overall, I see this as a positive moment. see as

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About the author

Danny Goodwin is the Managing Editor of Search Engine Land and Search Marketing Expo – SMX from 2022. He joined Search Engine Land in 2022 as a senior editor. In addition to reporting the latest search marketing news, he manages Search Engine Land's SME (Subject Matter Expert) program. He also assists with US SMX programs.

Goodwin has been editing and writing about the latest developments and trends in search and digital marketing since 2007. He was previously Executive Editor of Search Engine Journal (from 2017 to 2022), Managing Editor of Momentology (from 2014-2016) and Editor of Search. Engine Watch (2007 to 2014). He has spoken at many major search conferences and virtual events, and his expertise has been utilized in a wide range of publications and podcasts.

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