Google patent describes how the Search Generative Experience works

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Google patent describes how the Search Generative Experience works


A recently uncovered patent issued and granted to Google named “Generative summaries for search results” describes possibly how Google’s new Search Generative Experience works. The patent can be read over here and was applied for on March 20, 2023 and the patent application was approved on September 26, 2023.

Abstract. The patent’s abstract reads:

“At least selectively utilizing a large language model (LLM) in generating a natural language (NL) based summary to be rendered in response to a query. In some implementations, in generating the NL based summary additional content is processed using the LLM. The additional content is in addition to query content of the query itself and, in generating the NL based summary, can be processed using the LLM and along with the query content—or even independent of the query content. Processing the additional content can, for example, mitigate occurrences of the NL based summary including inaccuracies and/or can mitigate occurrences of the NL based summary being over-specified and/or under-specified.”

Dig deeper. Juan González Villa wrote a very detailed and extensive deep dive on this patent. His piece named The Patent Behind Google SGE, Explained goes into detail on this patent. “The patent, which describes how to “selectively use a large language model (LLM) to generate a natural language summary in response to a user query,” matches what we see and know about SGE today,” he wrote.

Diagrams. Here are some select diagrams from this patent:

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Why we care. Reading this patent may help you better understand how the Search Generative Experience works. Do keep in mind just because Google has patent, it doesn’t mean it’s used. Googlers apply for and receive approval on patents all the time.

This one is probably worth a weekend read, but don’t expect to find any SGE ranking secrets within.

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About the author

Barry Schwartz

Barry Schwartz is a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry can be followed on Twitter here.

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