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Google Tests Feature to Help Users Click from Websites to Competitors



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Google announced it is experimenting with a new feature that allows users to see search results while on a web page, without having to click back to the search results. The goal is to help users compare search results and make it easy to quickly click away from a web page and visit a competing web page.

The new experimental Google feature is a side panel search that is one of two experiments that makes Google’s search results pages (SERPs) persistent.

When the presence of something lasts longer than normal or what is normally expected it is said to be persistent.

Both experiments show Google moving toward a more persistent style of search experience that makes the search results pages visible longer and accessible even when a user is on a web page.

The experimental side panel search results makes it easier for searchers to navigate away from a web page to a competitor web page.

Two New Google Search Experiments

There were two search experiments announced:

  1. Journeys
  2. Side Panel Search

Google Journeys

The first experiment is called Journeys. The feature collects past searches on a related topic and groups them together. The feature is like a history archive of past searches but they are grouped by topic, which makes it easier to find specific searches related to a topic.

The goal is to make it easy for Google users to use Google for researching topics.

Google describes the feature as a way to cluster web pages:

“If you’ve been researching a trip to Yosemite for the past few weeks, Journeys will cluster all the pages you’ve visited related to Yosemite so you can easily view them without having to sift through your browsing history.

You’ll also see related search suggestions so you can continue planning your trip right there.”

The Chrome Journeys data is not sent back to Google, it is information that is stored locally.

Google says they may consider expanding it in future versions so that the Journeys can be accessed across different devices.

Google Chrome Journeys Screenshot

Google Journeys

Google Side Panel Search

The second experimental feature is a three-step process that starts with a normal Google search and then a click to a website.

The third part is a side panel that opens up on the left hand side to reveal the search results that the user navigated away from moments ago.

From the Chrome browser side panel a user can scroll up and down through the search results while simultaneously still on the website.

If the user finds another search result more appealing they can click from the side bar and swiftly navigate away from the website they had previously navigated to from search.

Frictionless Way to Return to Google Search

The experimental side panel search result removes the need to click a back button to return to Google’s search results.

Side panel searching allows a user to more easily compare the page they are on to other pages in the search results and click back and forth between them.

Google Side Panel for Persistent Search Results

Google describes the new experimental feature as helping users compare search pages:

“To make it easier to compare search results and find what you’re looking for more quickly in Chrome, we’re experimenting with a new side panel in the Chrome OS Dev channel, so you can view a page and the search results at the same time.

This lets you view a page right in your main browser window without needing to navigate back and forth or losing your search results. The goal of this experiment is to explore how Chrome can better help users easily compare results…”

Screenshots of Side Panel Search

Screenshot of a Normal Search Result

Below is a screenshot of a normal search result from which a user selects a web page to visit.

Screenshot of a normal search result

How Persistent Side Panel Search Works

Below is a screenshot illustrating a user visit to a web page. In Google’s persistent search the Google “G ” logo serves to activate the side panel search results.

How Persistent Side Panel Search Works

Screenshot of Side Panel Search Result

Below is what the side panel search results looks like. As you can see, the website is on the right hand side and Google’s persistent search results are on the left.

Screenshot of Persistent Search Results

When and Where are the New Features?

Journeys is rolling out to the experimental version of Chrome, called Canary.

The side panel search is rolling out to the Chrome OS Dev channel.

The announcement stats that that if it rolls out to more OS platforms it will be search engine agnostic, meaning that it will work with the users default search engine.

Persistent Google Search Results

Persistent search changes how users traditionally interact with search. Rather than leave Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) after clicking away to a website, the Google search results remain accessible in a side panel or are grouped together by topic in a Journeys panel.

The side panel search may be good news for sites that are ranked below the number one position and could help spread search traffic around.

Whether that makes users less likely to stay on a website and explore remains to be seen because this is a new experiment and there is likely no data to understand how this may affect user behavior on websites.


Read Google’s Announcement of Experimental Search Features

Helping Users Explore the Web and Continue Prior Tasks

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Exploring the Evolution of Language Translation: A Comparative Analysis of AI Chatbots and Google Translate




A Comparative Analysis of AI Chatbots and Google Translate

According to an article on PCMag, while Google Translate makes translating sentences into over 100 languages easy, regular users acknowledge that there’s still room for improvement.

In theory, large language models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT are expected to bring about a new era in language translation. These models consume vast amounts of text-based training data and real-time feedback from users worldwide, enabling them to quickly learn to generate coherent, human-like sentences in a wide range of languages.

However, despite the anticipation that ChatGPT would revolutionize translation, previous experiences have shown that such expectations are often inaccurate, posing challenges for translation accuracy. To put these claims to the test, PCMag conducted a blind test, asking fluent speakers of eight non-English languages to evaluate the translation results from various AI services.

The test compared ChatGPT (both the free and paid versions) to Google Translate, as well as to other competing chatbots such as Microsoft Copilot and Google Gemini. The evaluation involved comparing the translation quality for two test paragraphs across different languages, including Polish, French, Korean, Spanish, Arabic, Tagalog, and Amharic.

In the first test conducted in June 2023, participants consistently favored AI chatbots over Google Translate. ChatGPT, Google Bard (now Gemini), and Microsoft Bing outperformed Google Translate, with ChatGPT receiving the highest praise. ChatGPT demonstrated superior performance in converting colloquialisms, while Google Translate often provided literal translations that lacked cultural nuance.

For instance, ChatGPT accurately translated colloquial expressions like “blow off steam,” whereas Google Translate produced more literal translations that failed to resonate across cultures. Participants appreciated ChatGPT’s ability to maintain consistent levels of formality and its consideration of gender options in translations.

The success of AI chatbots like ChatGPT can be attributed to reinforcement learning with human feedback (RLHF), which allows these models to learn from human preferences and produce culturally appropriate translations, particularly for non-native speakers. However, it’s essential to note that while AI chatbots outperformed Google Translate, they still had limitations and occasional inaccuracies.

In a subsequent test, PCMag evaluated different versions of ChatGPT, including the free and paid versions, as well as language-specific AI agents from OpenAI’s GPTStore. The paid version of ChatGPT, known as ChatGPT Plus, consistently delivered the best translations across various languages. However, Google Translate also showed improvement, performing surprisingly well compared to previous tests.

Overall, while ChatGPT Plus emerged as the preferred choice for translation, Google Translate demonstrated notable improvement, challenging the notion that AI chatbots are always superior to traditional translation tools.


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Google Implements Stricter Guidelines for Mass Email Senders to Gmail Users



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Beginning in April, Gmail senders bombarding users with unwanted mass emails will encounter a surge in message rejections unless they comply with the freshly minted Gmail email sender protocols, Google cautions.

Fresh Guidelines for Dispatching Mass Emails to Gmail Inboxes In an elucidative piece featured on Forbes, it was highlighted that novel regulations are being ushered in to shield Gmail users from the deluge of unsolicited mass emails. Initially, there were reports surfacing about certain marketers receiving error notifications pertaining to messages dispatched to Gmail accounts. Nonetheless, a Google representative clarified that these specific errors, denoted as 550-5.7.56, weren’t novel but rather stemmed from existing authentication prerequisites.

Moreover, Google has verified that commencing from April, they will initiate “the rejection of a portion of non-compliant email traffic, progressively escalating the rejection rate over time.” Google elaborates that, for instance, if 75% of the traffic adheres to the new email sender authentication criteria, then a portion of the remaining non-conforming 25% will face rejection. The exact proportion remains undisclosed. Google does assert that the implementation of the new regulations will be executed in a “step-by-step fashion.”

This cautious and methodical strategy seems to have already kicked off, with transient errors affecting a “fraction of their non-compliant email traffic” coming into play this month. Additionally, Google stipulates that bulk senders will be granted until June 1 to integrate “one-click unsubscribe” in all commercial or promotional correspondence.

Exclusively Personal Gmail Accounts Subject to Rejection These alterations exclusively affect bulk emails dispatched to personal Gmail accounts. Entities sending out mass emails, specifically those transmitting a minimum of 5,000 messages daily to Gmail accounts, will be mandated to authenticate outgoing emails and “refrain from dispatching unsolicited emails.” The 5,000 message threshold is tabulated based on emails transmitted from the same principal domain, irrespective of the employment of subdomains. Once the threshold is met, the domain is categorized as a permanent bulk sender.

These guidelines do not extend to communications directed at Google Workspace accounts, although all senders, including those utilizing Google Workspace, are required to adhere to the updated criteria.

Augmented Security and Enhanced Oversight for Gmail Users A Google spokesperson emphasized that these requisites are being rolled out to “fortify sender-side security and augment user control over inbox contents even further.” For the recipient, this translates to heightened trust in the authenticity of the email sender, thus mitigating the risk of falling prey to phishing attempts, a tactic frequently exploited by malevolent entities capitalizing on authentication vulnerabilities. “If anything,” the spokesperson concludes, “meeting these stipulations should facilitate senders in reaching their intended recipients more efficiently, with reduced risks of spoofing and hijacking by malicious actors.”

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Google’s Next-Gen AI Chatbot, Gemini, Faces Delays: What to Expect When It Finally Launches




Google AI Chatbot Gemini

In an unexpected turn of events, Google has chosen to postpone the much-anticipated debut of its revolutionary generative AI model, Gemini. Initially poised to make waves this week, the unveiling has now been rescheduled for early next year, specifically in January.

Gemini is set to redefine the landscape of conversational AI, representing Google’s most potent endeavor in this domain to date. Positioned as a multimodal AI chatbot, Gemini boasts the capability to process diverse data types. This includes a unique proficiency in comprehending and generating text, images, and various content formats, even going so far as to create an entire website based on a combination of sketches and written descriptions.

Originally, Google had planned an elaborate series of launch events spanning California, New York, and Washington. Regrettably, these events have been canceled due to concerns about Gemini’s responsiveness to non-English prompts. According to anonymous sources cited by The Information, Google’s Chief Executive, Sundar Pichai, personally decided to postpone the launch, acknowledging the importance of global support as a key feature of Gemini’s capabilities.

Gemini is expected to surpass the renowned ChatGPT, powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4 model, and preliminary private tests have shown promising results. Fueled by significantly enhanced computing power, Gemini has outperformed GPT-4, particularly in FLOPS (Floating Point Operations Per Second), owing to its access to a multitude of high-end AI accelerators through the Google Cloud platform.

SemiAnalysis, a research firm affiliated with Substack Inc., expressed in an August blog post that Gemini appears poised to “blow OpenAI’s model out of the water.” The extensive compute power at Google’s disposal has evidently contributed to Gemini’s superior performance.

Google’s Vice President and Manager of Bard and Google Assistant, Sissie Hsiao, offered insights into Gemini’s capabilities, citing examples like generating novel images in response to specific requests, such as illustrating the steps to ice a three-layer cake.

While Google’s current generative AI offering, Bard, has showcased noteworthy accomplishments, it has struggled to achieve the same level of consumer awareness as ChatGPT. Gemini, with its unparalleled capabilities, is expected to be a game-changer, demonstrating impressive multimodal functionalities never seen before.

During the initial announcement at Google’s I/O developer conference in May, the company emphasized Gemini’s multimodal prowess and its developer-friendly nature. An application programming interface (API) is under development, allowing developers to seamlessly integrate Gemini into third-party applications.

As the world awaits the delayed unveiling of Gemini, the stakes are high, with Google aiming to revolutionize the AI landscape and solidify its position as a leader in generative artificial intelligence. The postponed launch only adds to the anticipation surrounding Gemini’s eventual debut in the coming year.

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