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Staying ahead of recent changes in Google’s search and AI results

Google searchMay 2024, Google announced some major changes for search as well as the rollout for AI Overview.

Aimed at revolutionizing how users plan, research, and learn, these new features include:

  1. The option to simplify or break searches down further with AI Overview
  2. Multistep Reasoning Capabilities
  3. Planning Capabilities
  4. AI-Organized Search Results
  5. New Ask-With-Video feature with Google Lens

AI overviews

Available soon in Google Search Labs, AI Overviews will allow searchers to simplify language presented in the search results and/or break it down in further detail. The purpose is to refine search results without requiring multiple searches to find the information you need. After searching, two buttons will appear: “Simpler” and “Break it Down,” allowing you to see the information in an easier format, or with more detail.

Multi-step reasoning

By using Gemini AI’s step-by-step reasoning logic, Google can now begin to understand searches no matter the complexity of your search — including some very subtle nuances. While Google can currently understand long-tail keywords, better multi-step reasoning will allow more complex queries to be more easily understood, providing more accurate results. For example, if you want to find a seafood restaurant on the west side of town that’s open late and offers discounts, you can search: “find the best seafood restaurants open late on the west side that offer discounts.” Google will then return a much more granular result.

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Planning directly within Google

The planning capabilities feature in Google Search lets you organize what you need directly within the search engine. This functionality offers you flexibility and collaborative options. For example, if you want to create a 3-day meal plan, you can do so with the option to make edits to the generated plan within the search results, adding your preferred meals or selecting from Google’s generated options and export these results seamlessly. Google also mentions enabling users to co-create plans with others, but it is unclear how that will function. The feature also actively assists you in crafting your plans every step of the way.

AI-organized search results

Google Search is harnessing AI technology to categorize search results into distinct groups, helping users flesh out searches much easier. Going forward, users will now begin to see search results displayed under AI-generated headlines. These headlines will represent a wide range of different content types and perspectives, as defined by the Google search algorithm.

Google lens ask-with-video

Google has also enhanced visual search, adding the ability to ask questions with video. Google Lens has added a video search function that will allow users to record a short-form video with questions. Google can then generate a response to the user questions presented in the video.

What this means for hotels

As ever, it’s important for hoteliers to maintain an awareness of the way Google’s search works. The search giant’s underlying algorithm is extremely sophisticated and ever-changing, but it always prioritizes consistency, quality, and relevance in order to deliver users the best results. This most recent round of updates incorporates further refinement that makes use of emerging AI technologies, but the incorporation of these strategies dovetails with Google’s current ranking methodology. So best practice for hoteliers remains relatively consistent.

  • Ensure that the information on your website is accurate.
  • Do regular checks for timeliness of content and refresh as needed.
  • Always seek to identify opportunities for expansion of website content (e.g., offering information on hotel updates, improvements, local attractions, dining, current events, a blog, etc.).
  • Ensure content is compelling. Google’s search results prioritize content that is written for a human audience.
  • Avoid AI-generated content. Although it might be counterintuitive to assist AI search functionality by avoiding AI content, this is recommended.
Tags: AI, Google search

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Cendyn is a global hospitality cloud-based technology company that enables hotels to drive revenue, maximize profitability, and create deeper connections with guests through its integrated solutions.

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