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Google Search poised for heavier AI focus after behind the scenes shakeup

Google Search has a new leader.
By

Published onMarch 19, 2024

google search generative experience sge stock
Calvin Wankhede / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • There’s been a leadership change within the Google Search team.
  • Elizabeth Reid is now the head of Google Search.
  • Reid’s promotion, as well as other organizational moves, may hint at how Search could change in the future.

One of Google’s most important departments just went through a leadership shakeup. The Google Search team now has a new lead and the move could hint at how Google will move forward with Search in the future.

Today, Elizabeth Reid announced on LinkedIn that she will now be the head of Search. Previously, Reid led Google’s efforts on the Search Generative Experience (SGE) feature in Search — an experimental search page that puts AI answers and summaries front and center.

In addition to Reid’s promotion, The Verge points out that Pandu Nayak, an executive who oversaw ranking and quality, has taken the position of chief scientist of Search. Meanwhile, Cheenu Venkatachary, who was working on AI products in Search, is slipping into Nayak’s former role.

What does this all mean for Search?

We won’t truly know the implications of what these organizational moves mean until these people have time to execute their strategies. However, there’s a strong likelihood that Search will focus even more heavily on AI given Reid’s new role.

It’s no secret that the whole company is fully invested in maximizing its AI efforts and finding ways to incorporate the technology into all of its products. At the same time, Reid highlights Search’s recently added AI features in her LinkedIn post:

We’re helping people search in entirely new ways — whether that’s searching what they see with Lens or what they scribble with Circle to Search. And we’re piloting AI-powered overviews with Search Generative Experience (SGE).
In fact, people have already issued billions of queries with SGE since we introduced it as a feature in Search Labs last year. We’ve had incredibly positive feedback on the combination of quick answers and the ability to dive deeper on the web. With SGE, we are able to serve a wider range of information needs and answer new types of questions, including more complex questions, like comparisons or longer queries. More coming soon!

There’s a possibility that Search could start looking more and more like SGE as time goes on. But we’ll have to see how everything plays out.

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