The Curious Case of Google-Extended and Subtle Designs

We've seen two exciting developments in Google's ever-evolving universe, where artificial intelligence plays a starring role, that are as perplexing as trying to figure out why your grandparents still use AOL email. Google's effort to serve us with revolutionary AI-powered answers and experiences has resulted in some perplexing instances. Let's take a look at the amusing story of Google-Extended and the quest for nuance in Search Generative Experience (SGE).

The Google-Extended Fiasco

Consider yourself a website owner who has grown tired of Google's ravenous appetite for your site's material. You've probably heard of Google-Extended, the hero in shining armor who claims to keep your valuable content safe from Google's AI projects like Bard and Vertex AI.

Google-Extended is like a broken umbrella in a monsoon; it doesn't really shield you from the rain. In fact, it's about as effective as trying to stop a charging rhinoceros with a "Do Not Enter" sign.

The new child on the block, Google-Extended, was supposed to inform Google, "Hey, hands off my website content!" However, in an unexpected twist, it did not work for one AI-powered party crasher - Search Generative Experience (SGE). SGE, Google's wild child of search experimentation, kept munching on your website material like it was a never-ending feast, as spotted by Glenn Gabe.

So, what did Google have to say about this farce? Google Extended, they said, is about as useful for SGE as a chocolate teapot. According to a Google representative, SGE is a Search experiment, so website administrators should continue to manage their content in search results by using the Googlebot user agent via robots.txt and the NOINDEX meta tag, including experiments like Search Generative Experience.

Now, here's the punchline: there have been instances where SGE merrily displayed AI-generated answers from websites that explicitly told Google not to use their content for AI purposes. So, if you thought Google Extended would be your savior, think again. It's like ordering a salad at a burger joint – it won't save you from the indulgent delights of SGE.

But here's the kicker: If you don't want SGE to have access to your content, you'll have to do the unthinkable: block Googlebot entirely. And cutting off your hand to avoid a handshake isn't something most website owners are willing to do.

The Inconspicuous SGE Experiment

Now, let's shift gears and explore the area of nuance, which is frequently lacking in Google's grand plans. Consider Google to be that friend who can't help but give you the finale of a movie before you've even purchased your popcorn. They chose to experiment with a "lite" version (courtesy of again Glenn Gabe) of Search Generative Experience (SGE), which some have jokingly called "SGE Lite."

SGE Lite is like ordering a small coffee in a world of super-sized lattes. It's all about being more discreet, a quality that Google doesn't often embrace. Instead of the usual SGE spectacle, where it takes up your entire screen like a toddler throwing a tantrum, SGE Lite is a bit more well-behaved.

Google SGE Lite provides a brief teaser of AI-generated material, similar to a movie trailer that doesn't reveal the entire plot. Users have the option of expanding this teaser and delving deeper into the solution. It's like getting your cake and deciding whether to eat it, share it, or save it for later - the choice is yours.

In conclusion, Google's forays into artificial intelligence, from the Google-Extended blunder through the launch of SGE Lite, have left us with more questions than answers. It's a universe where the rules are as elusive as a mirage, yet where subtlety peeps through the chaos now and then. Whether you're a website owner trying to protect your content or a user seeking a more understated search experience,

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