Google Search Generative Experience officially rolls out links to webpages within answers


Google is now rolling out links to webpages within the Search Generative Experience AI-powered answers.

You will see the AI-powered overview answers have these down-arrow icons; when you click on them, Google will show you the relevant webpages used to help form that part of the answer.

  • “Starting today, when you see an arrow icon next to information in an AI-powered overview, you can click to see relevant web pages, and easily learn more by visiting the sites. This is launching first in the U.S. and will roll out to Japan and India over the coming weeks,” said Hema Budaraju, Senior Director of Product Management at Google Search.

What it looks like. Here is a screenshot of an example of what this feature looks like:

Google also shared a GIF showcasing how it works:

Previous tests. Google started testing links within AI-generated answers in SGE in three different formats earlier this month. Google paused the test 16 days later, but continued testing the down-arrow cards test. Now, Google has decided to go with the down-arrow format with link cards.

Google said it will continue to test various formats:

  • “We’ll continue testing different ways of presenting results and listening to feedback, while prioritizing approaches that continue to drive traffic to relevant websites.”

Launching in Japan and India. Google also said that SGE is launching as a beta in more countries and languages, including Japan and India. While Japanese users will be able to use generative AI capabilities in their local language, Google said in India users will be able to use SGE in English and Hindi.

Voice search. Google said SGE will also allow voice search “so users can simply speak their query instead of typing it and listen to the responses, which are both popular preferences in both countries.”

Ads. Ads will remain to be seen in the dedicated spots in the SGE AI-generated answer interfaces.

Early data from SGE. Google also shared some generic feedback on its “earliest experiments” with SGE.

  • Searchers have a positive experience.
  • 18- to 24-year-olds enjoy the SGE experience the most.
  • Searchers enjoy the follow-up questions within SGE, letting them refine and explore their queries more.
  • Ads are also helpful, according to Google, specifically that they are placed above or below the AI-powered overview helpful.

Why we care. It is great to see Google officially add links to webpages in the SGE AI-powered answers. The lack of citations has been frustrating for search marketers, publishers and searchers in general. Google added it will continue “prioritizing approaches that continue to drive traffic to relevant websites.”

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