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Google Adds ‘Web’ Search Filter to Show Old-School Text Links as AI Rolls Out

As Google retools itself for the AI ​​era, offering AI previews in its search results, the company is introducing a new way to filter only text links. With the new “Web” filter that appears at the top of the results page, users will be able to filter text links in the same way they can today filter images, videos, news or purchases.

The news was announced on Tuesday via a post on amid the company’s developer conference, Google I/O, where the company introduced a massive change to Google with, among other things, news of AI-curated search results and previews of the AI in research.

According to Google, the new “Web” filter will appear either at the top of the results page or as part of the “More” option, depending on your query.

This launch is an admission that sometimes people will just want to bring up text links to web pages – the classic blue links which today are often of secondary importance as Google answers the question either in its informative knowledge panels or , now, through AI experiments. .

The Google SearchLiaison long. documents, using a device with limited internet access, or those who simply prefer text results displayed separately from search functionality,” the message read. “If you are part of this group, enjoy! »

Google also clarified that on mobile devices, it will display the new “Web” filter alongside other filters by default, without requiring users to go to the “More” menu. Meanwhile, on desktop, Google will display the filters that seem most relevant to the search results.

The feature will roll out today and tomorrow to users around the world, Google said.

News of a “web” filter will likely spark some debate, especially among SEO specialists, who have historically worked to optimize their links to appear on the first page of Google search results for a certain term. But this type of SEO manipulation has arguably also made Google much less useful than in the early days, when its PageRank algorithm wasn’t manipulated by search experts.

The move is also a big bet that the future of search won’t necessarily be about surfacing links to websites. Instead, the answers a user searches for may be other forms of content, or even AI answers with cited sources for those who want to investigate further. It remains to be seen how all of these changes will manifest in industries that rely on clicks and visitors.

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Read more about Google I/O 2024 on TechCrunch


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