Google’s AI-powered search experience is very slow

The worst thing about Google’s new AI-powered search experience is how long you have to wait.

Can you think of the last time you waited for a Google search result? For me, searches are generally instant. Whenever you type something into the search box, Google immediately posts an answer to that thing, and then you can click on some links to learn more about what you’re looking for or type something else into the box. It is an interesting and useful course that has turned Google search into the most visited website in the world.

On the other hand, try Google Generative Search download animation.

Let me go back a bit. In May, Google introduced an experimental feature called Search Generative Experience (SGE) that uses Google’s artificial intelligence systems to summarize search results for you. The idea is that you won’t have to click through a list of links or type something else into the search box; Instead, Google will just tell you what you’re looking for. In theory, this means your search queries can be more complex and conversational – a move we’ve heard of before! – but Google will still be able to answer your questions.

If you opt in to SGE, which is only available to people who have opted in to Google’s queue of its research labs, the AI ​​summaries will appear just below the search box. I’ve been using SGE for a few days, and I’ve found that the responses themselves are generally pretty good, if crowded. For example, when I searched for “Where can I watch Ted Lasso? The AI ​​response that came up was a few sentences long and factually accurate. It’s on Apple TV Plus. Apple TV Plus costs $6.99 a month. Great.

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Screenshot by Jay Peters/The Verge

But the answers are often enhanced with a bunch of additional features Things. On desktop, Google displays source information as cards on the right, although you can’t easily tell which pieces of information come from which sources (last The button can help you with that). On mobile (Google app only for now), cards appear below summary text. Below the query response, you can click on a series of possible follow-up prompts, and under each that It is a standard Google search result, which can be populated with additional information boxes.

This extra stuff in your SGE score isn’t quite as helpful as it should be. When Google showed off SGE at I/O, Google also showed how the tool can automatically generate a buying guide on the fly, so I thought “Where can I buy Kingdom Tears? It would be a softball question. But the result was a mess, filled with giant sponsored cards over the score, a bewildering list of suggested retail stores that didn’t actually take me to the game’s listings, a Google Map identifying those retail stores, and to the right, three link cards where I could Finding my way to buy the game Looking for a used iPhone 13 Mini in red couldn’t have been much better Had to scroll down.

The increasingly crowded search screen isn’t exactly new territory for Google. What bothers me the most about SGE is that its summaries take a few seconds to appear. As Google generates an answer to your query, a blank colored box will appear, with loading bars fading in and out. When the search result finally loads, the colored box expands and a Google summary appears, pushing the list of links to the bottom of the page. I really don’t like waiting for this one; If I weren’t specifically testing this article, for many of my searches I would instantly scroll away from most AI responses until I could click a link.

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You get used to seeing these bars.
GIF by Guy Peters/The Verge

Confusingly, SGE got stuck for me at odd times, even with some of the more searched terms. For example, the words “YouTube,” “Amazon,” “Wordle,” “Twitter,” and “Roblox” returned an error message: “AI-powered overview is not available for this search.” On the other hand, “Facebook”, “Gmail”, “Apple” and “Netflix” all came back with good answers in SGE format. But for queries that were valid, results took what seemed like forever to appear.

When I was testing, the Gmail result appeared faster, at about 2 seconds. Netflix and Facebook took about three and a half seconds, while Apple took about five. But for those one-word queries that failed, they all took more than five seconds to try and load before displaying the error message, which was very frustrating when I could have scrolled down to click a link. the Kingdom Tears Inquiries for the iPhone 13 Mini and iPhone 13 took over six seconds to load — an eternity of the internet!

When I have to wait that long when I’m not specifically doing test queries, I scroll down past the SGE results to get to something to read or click on. And when I have to tap my feet to wait for SGE answers that are often full of information I don’t want to sift through, it all makes the research experience worse for me.

Maybe I’m stuck in my ways. I like to research sources myself, and generally don’t trust things AI tools say. But as someone who has wasted eons of her life looking at loading screens in streaming videos and video games, having to do so on Google Search is a deal breaker for me. And when the results don’t look significantly better than I could get just by looking at what Google has offered before, I don’t think SGE is worth the wait.

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