May 28, 2024

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Google Search adds a “web” filter that skips AI answers

Google Search adds a “web” filter that skips AI answers

Google’s AI-powered search experience is now rolling out to everyone, and with it the web will never be the same again. However, with all these new layers on top of the “10 Blue Links,” Google is making it possible to go back to something simpler with the new “Web” filter in search.

When Google was founded more than 25 years ago, the company’s search engine was a relatively simple concept. By crawling the web, Google can return relevant websites to help you find what you need. That’s why “Google” is not only a company name, it’s also a verb. Over time, the original vision changed.

In 2024, Google search will have multiple layers on top of just links.

Some searches return shopping results, others return “knowledge panels” full of easy-to-read information, and others contain “featured snippets” that display a snippet from a website prominently at the top of the page. Now, an AI overview is being added to the mix, with generative AI being used to summarize search results, meaning, in many cases, you’ll never have to leave the search itself at all.

Google says AI Overviews, like knowledge panels and featured snippets, are a new feature for search.

In other words, it’s not something you can simply stop.

AI Overviews will appear in many searches, especially if you ask a question. This means traditional web links are pushed to the bottom of the page, sometimes completely out of view as shown below.

As such, Google has confirmed that it will add a new “web” filter to search. This new filter will work like images, videos, and many other search filters, but the goal will be to show only links to the web. You won’t get specific answers to questions, but you will be able to find the answers you’re looking for on the web, just like search used to be the focus.

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It’s not entirely clear when this new web filter will be rolled out to Google Search, but it looks like it will be available alongside the AI ​​Overviews rollout.

Google notes that its users find the additional search features useful, but is adding this new filter to make it easier to grab links when the user wants to do so.

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