I’ve already expressed some concern over how much ads push things down in SGE based on what Google showed when it revealed the new experience at I/O. But those ads were only above and below SGE, and what Google showed on Tuesday were examples of ads within SGE.
See for yourself in a GIF of the video below:
The GIF moves kind of quickly, so let’s break down exactly what we can see here:
All of this for three search queries.
Granted, this video was included as part of a Google blog post promoting ads products, so the heavy amount of ads might be a case of the company emphasizing what’s possible and what things might look like instead of what you’ll actually see. “Over the coming months, we’ll experiment with Search and Shopping ads that are directly integrated within the AI-powered snapshot and conversational mode,” Google VP and GM of ads Jerry Dischler said in Tuesday’s blog post. Dischler also noted that the company is going to experiment with “new formats native to SGE that use generative AI” to create ads.
So far, I’m not a fan of these SGE ads; they appear to take over the search experience and are difficult to distinguish from actual results. But ads are where Google makes its money, and Search is still Google’s most important product, so if the company actually does roll out SGE widely — right now, you can get on the waitlist to try out SGE, which Google is labeling an experiment — it seems like a sure thing that it will have ads, too, whether you want them or not. Google needs to pay for all that AI work somehow.