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The best thing about Google’s new AI Search results: You can block them

Published May 15th, 2024 6:01PM EDT
Google app on iPhone lets you choose between Google Search and Gemini.
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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Google was very proud of itself when the company announced that it would be bringing its AI overviews to Google Search. These overviews are meant to summarize the findings of your search, and offer a ton of different resources. It sounds nice on paper, but in practice, it’s actually really messy. Luckily, you can hide it all with Google’s new web search feature.

I know—it sounds kind of silly, doesn’t it? Having a special “web search” feature for searching the web might sound dumb, but it’s actually probably the best way to search the web if you want to avoid all the issues plaguing Google’s search results—including those AI overviews.

Google revealed the feature after its heavily Gemini-focused I/O 2024 presentation, where it went hard on all the new AI things it would be bringing to its various offerings. With AI overviews rolling out to everyone, the ability to use Google web search to just search the web and get back text-based links is going to be nice.

It also means we’ll finally be able to search for something and not have to wade through dozens of YouTube video results because Google thinks we want to watch those. I don’t know about you, but typically, if I want to watch a video on something, I’ll look it up on YouTube, not Google.

The downside to all of this, of course, is that you’ll have actually to select the new mode. This means going out of your way to select it, which might be annoying for some since you have to find it under the More menu on the Google Search page. At the end of the day, it’s just a filter, after all, so it isn’t something you can really set up to be your default.

The feature is already rolling out globally, so you might be able to see it in your Google search results already. If, like me, were worried about having to wade through the annoying and often inconsistent AI overviews that Google offers, then Google’s web search mode is the answer to a prayer that many of us have been chanting since SGE was first introduced.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.