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AI-Generated Summaries for Google Docs

Google has a new feature, and anyone who writes summaries for searchable content on the internet will want to learn how it works. Google Docs users can now create AI-generated summaries for their articles. These automatic summaries are handy for content writers responsible for drafting meta descriptions for their blog posts or other website content.

What are AI-Generated Summaries in Google Docs?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a computer function that allows the computer, or other machines, to perform actions usually thought to require intellect. In other words, AI is intelligence produced by a non-natural, manufactured apparatus.

AI-generated summaries are a brief review of the content contained in a document. A human writes the content, and a human-made computer functions generate the summary. In this case, it reviews the content contained in a Google Document.

Google produces these AI-generated summaries using advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology to review the content of your text and generate the summaries. This technology uses text summarization to re-generate complete sentences for the summary.

The Google Research Brain Team created this new feature. Members of the team have stated: “We hope the automatic suggestions now offered in Google Workspace make it easier for writers to annotate their documents with summaries….”

Are AI-Generated Summaries automatic or an add-on for Google Docs?

Google launched the AI-generated summary feature on February 15, 2022. It was “generally available” on that date, according to Vishnu Sivaji, Group Product Manager, Google Workspace-Collaboration. AI-Generated Summaries in Google Docs is an automatic feature. However, the roll-out of this summary feature is still happening and may not work for everyone.

To see if it works for you, open a pre-written document in Google Docs. On the left side of the screen, you will see an icon that looks like a piece of paper next to your document. Click it to see an automatically generated document outline. Above the outline, you will see “summary” with a plus sign. Then, move your cursor over the plus sign. Finally, you will see one of two options: “Add Summary” or “AI-generated Summary is available for this Doc.”

At some point, AI-generated summaries may be a feature for all Google Docs users with no add-on or additional services required. At this time, it is only available for business customers using Google Workspace in English.

Doc Summaries and Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are short summaries of a web page appearing within an HTML element. It is what generates the brief information that appears below a website title in an organic Google search.

The significant difference between meta descriptions and document summaries is that meta descriptions are directly connected to a page on a website through the site’s HTML. Document summaries are a summary of any document you create in any format. However, document summaries are not attached to a website unless you enter them specifically as a meta description.

Meta Descriptions contain summaries. Document summaries do not contain Meta Descriptions.

Meta descriptions require Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). HTML is a standard “language” used for website building. It is not considered a programming language, but it’s used to create the sections you see on websites, such as headings, paragraphs, and links.

Writers who actively publish content online are familiar with meta descriptions. Although a much-debated topic concerning SEO and improving Google rankings, the importance of meta descriptions remains consistent.

Well-written meta descriptions can help:

Can AI-Generated Google Doc Summaries Improve Meta Descriptions for Writers?

Yes! A meta description aims to inform web searchers about your article and compel them to click on your link. Achieving a higher click-through rate is the goal of building good content. As a content writer, it is often challenging to condense the main points of your hard work into 151-164 characters for a meta description. Google’s new AI-generated summary feature will give you a good starting point, even if you have to make a few changes.

The automatically-generated summaries may not be perfect and are often too long for a meta description. However, they can serve as a rough draft and possibly an editing tool. If your Google summary is inaccurate or has another significant issue, this may indicate you need to review your content to improve it.

Many writers already use Google Docs for creating content. The option of using AI-generated summaries is another time-saving tool from Google that can help you improve your organic website traffic with strong meta-descriptions.

Increased Efficiency

Any new feature that potentially increases efficiency is worth further examination. AI-generated summaries with Google docs appear to be a time-saving tool for writers who need to quickly summarize their blogs and articles to post on websites.

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