Google testing links directly in Search Generative Experience snapshot answers

Google's SGE's AI-generated answers have failed to cite sources. This test aims to correct that. Here's what it looks like.

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Google is testing showing links directly in the snapshot answers generated by Google’s new Search Generative Experience.

The links appear within the text answer. Until now, Google has only been showing links in the cards at the top right section of the AI-generated answer.

What it looks like. Here are two screenshots that you can click on to enlarge that Shalom Goodman sent me after he posted about this on Twitter:

Google Sge Links
Google Sge Links2

You can see links by each section, showing where Google is getting these answers from.

More variations. Google is also testing these links as drop-down buttons and in a quotation format, here are those screenshots:

Google Sge Links Button 1690897664
Google Sge Quote Links

What I see. I see what SGE launched with – not showing links in the generative answer box:

Google Sge No Links

Why we care. One of the biggest complaints about the Search Generative Experience is that you cannot click from the text of the AI-generated answer to the source of the information. Having links in these generative answers makes this experience more useful. It is nice to see Google testing this. Hopefully, this rolls out more broadly.

About the author

Barry Schwartz
Barry Schwartz is a technologist and 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.

In 2019, Barry was awarded the Outstanding Community Services Award from Search Engine Land, in 2018 he was awarded the US Search Awards the "US Search Personality Of The Year," you can learn more over here and in 2023 he was listed as a top 50 most influential PPCer by Marketing O'Clock.

Barry can be followed on X here and you can learn more about Barry Schwartz over here or on her personal site.

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