Your Google Search results are about to look very different. Here are 4 reasons why

The world's most popular search engine is getting an AI-powered facelift. Here are the biggest changes announced at Google I/O this week.
Written by Jada Jones, Associate Editor
Google IO 2024
Kerry Wan/ZDNET

Google I/O, Google's annual developer conference, kicked off earlier this week, and this year's I/O was supercharged with generative AI, unveiling AI-powered features for creators thanks to updates to Google's AI model, Gemini.

Also: Microsoft Build is next week - here's why I'm excited (and you should be, too)

However, perhaps the most interesting AI-powered features from I/O 2024 are found in Google Search, as the company further embedded AI into the world's most popular search engine. 

If you use Google Search to inquire about anything from complex mathematical equations to vacation spots near you, here's how AI is transforming your digital quest for information.

1. AI Overviews

AI Overviews offer searchers a topic summary and provide relevant information that further explains the searcher's question. Google says this feature works best for people who want a quick answer but don't have time to piece together suitable information from multiple sources.

AI Overviews also provide searchers with relevant links to other websites with more information, which Google says encourages people to visit a broader range of websites. Additionally, Google claims that websites suggested in AI Overviews receive more web traffic than websites that appear higher up on Search in a traditional query.

Also: 3 new Gemini Advanced features unveiled at Google I/O 2024

Google asserts that AI Overviews will benefit consumers and web publishers by sending more organic traffic to websites with thoughtful, accurate, and helpful information. Sponsored results will still be in the mix, but Google says they will remain clearly labeled and in dedicated slots.


Google uses AI Overviews to flex Gemini's multi-step reasoning capabilities for complex questions, offering searchers answers to thought-provoking questions with nuance and distinctions.

So, if you want to find a Thai restaurant within 15 miles of your house that offers dairy-free desserts and outdoor seating, Search can understand your request. But your questions don't have to be complicated; AI Overviews can simplify the answer, too.

Also: Google I/O 2024: 5 Gemini features that would pull me away from Copilot

If you're asking about something unfamiliar and still don't understand the information provided in the AI Overview, you can request Search to simplify the information.

AI Overviews is available in the U.S. beginning today, while simplified answers and answers with Gemini's multi-step reasoning will be available in Google Search Labs at an unspecified time.

2. Plan Ahead

Another benchmark of an advanced AI model is the ability to plan, and Google is embedding Gemini's planning skills into Search. Say goodbye to wondering what you should make for dinner this week or what should be on your vacation itinerary -- Search can figure it out for you.

Google says you can ask, "Create a 3-day meal plan for a group that's easy to prepare," and you'll receive recipes from various websites. You can export your results to Google Docs or Gmail to keep track of your plans.

Compared to asking an AI chatbot like ChatGPT what you should have for dinner, Search offers relevant recipes from across the web. Although ChatGPT can pull recipes from the internet to fulfill your search, you may find more specific and accurate results.

Also: The best AI chatbots: ChatGPT and alternatives

Meal and travel planning with Search are now available in English in Google Search Labs in the US.

3. Video Search with AI

You may frequently ask questions with your words, but sometimes, it's difficult to ask a question about something you see with your eyes. Google's solution is to ask questions with video footage, and the company says Gemini can accomplish such tasks.


For example, if you purchased a vintage CD player and it continuously rejects every disc you put in it, you can record a video and upload it to Search. You'll receive an AI Overview with relevant troubleshooting recommendations.

Searching with video will be available in English for Google Search Labs users in the U.S. at an unspecified date.

4. AI-organized search page

Searching for Korean recipes that aren't too spicy and take less than an hour to prepare can be time-consuming. You have to scroll through multiple search results pages and save each relevant one to your bookmarks.

Also: What is Gemini Live? A first look at Google's new real-time voice AI bot

To mitigate this problem, Google announced an AI-organized search page that uses generative AI to brainstorm and create an easier-to-navigate page. The most helpful results to your query will appear under AI-generated headlines, and Google says the results will include a "wide range of perspectives and content types."

AI-organized search results are available now for English searches in the U.S. for queries surrounding dining and recipes. Soon, Google says this feature will apply to questions regarding movies, music, books, hotels, shopping, and more.

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