Many Searchers Want To Turn Off Google AI Overviews

May 16, 2024 - 7:05 am 6 by
Filed Under Google

Google Robot Dark Room

There are many searchers who have been using Google daily that are heading to the Google Web Search Help forums to ask how they can turn off the new AI Overviews within the Google Search results. As you know, AI Overviews started to roll out on Tuesday and some searchers simply do not want it.

But no, there is no way to opt out of AI Overviews in Google Search in the US. They are going to be turned on for all searchers in the US in the next few days and then for more users around the world later this year.

Here is a screenshot of some of the threads in the Google help forums, each thread can have dozens of searchers within the thread asking the same question. And trust me, most searchers who do not want this feature, do not head to the forums to complain:

Google Ai Overview Complaints Google Forums

Keep in mind, this is not even fully rolled out in the US - in fact, I think most people in the US do not even see it yet.

Here are some of the specific complaints, similar to what we saw when Google began testing SGE in the wild back in March.

I have tried to turn off the Google SGE results in Labs, but it's already off. I've tried restarting my browser and computer, but no help. I want to see results actually written by people, not generative AI.

In multiple instances, the first search result is exactly what I wanted, but the AI wildly misinterpreted my query. It's a horrible, intrusive feature that ruins my browsing experience. If there's no fix, this might be the last straw that gets me to switch to Firefox and DuckDuckGo.

If I can't turn off ai from Google.... Is Google trying to kill their search engine?

Are they trying to drive people to their competitors?

I guess I'm not using Google to search for anything anymore. Sad.

I never opted in for generative AI and do not see a way to turn it off. The common suggestions for how to turn it off do not work for me since I never turned it on to begin with. The search results are bad and take up half the first page when I do a search. How do I turn this crap off?

Is there any way to permanently disable AI Overview? This is maybe the single worst feature I've ever seen Google or any other tech company roll out. In addition to giving patently inaccurate information, the entire project is a moral abomination. Thousands upon thousands of real-life human beings who work in the media industry are having their livelihoods threatened because Google is now plagiarizing their work with no proper attribution or compensation to provide these results. Worst of all, the "overview" often gets crucial facts and context completely wrong. It is hard to describe how repugnant this is.

Google's new AI Overview is horrible. It caused issues at meetings this week and we are very disappointed in the search results. How can I permanently turn it off?

There are a few Chrome extensions you can use to turn them off, like this one.

Also, The American Board of Family Medicine lets physicians take tests online and use Google Search but not AI - so this being on by default causes an issue for that. See Sullivan's Mastodon response on that:

Mastodon Ai Doctors

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