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Google Launches AI Overviews in US: More Countries Coming Soon

June 7, 2024 /
All industries  /   Algorithm Updates 

The rise of AI has seen every tech company from the smallest startups to the largest corporations adopt this incredible new technology. Google is no different and has integrated AI utility into its biggest products, that being Google Search and Google Maps. Google’s new AI Overview (previously known as the Search Generative Experience) utilizes artificial intelligence to deliver a more robust, personalized, and intuitive experience to its users. What we are seeing now is the largest shakeup of how Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) are being presented to users in years. This means a big change in how information is retrieved and displayed. All Google users, from marketers to everyday consumers, will need to understand how search is changing.

Google’s AI Overview is an AI-powered program that aims to create a more “natural” way to conduct research or dig deeper on a topic. It provides in-depth overviews of topics directly in the SERPs, reducing the need to click through several different web pages to find an answer. The aim is that users don’t have to be “good at googling”. By putting queries in a way users would naturally speak, as if they were talking to another person, Google’s Gemni Language Processor will deliver results based on assumed intent. This will offer immediate answers, products, and other piece of information that the AI determines that specific user is looking for.

In a more practical sense, the AI Overview will appear when Google thinks it can produce a succinct answer to a user’s query without having to guide them to any blue links. Google will utilize its Gemni natural language processing to present generative AI answers. Google will also be showing some ads along with this overview, with a strong preference for those from which the AI can pull additional information.

No action is required from advertisers for their previous paid ads to become part of AI Overviews. Existing Search, Performance Max and Shopping campaigns are automatically eligible to appear. When an ad is deemed relevant to both the search query and the AI Overviews, it will surface within that overview in a “sponsored” section. How these ads are prioritized however is a mix of regular ad buy and organic AI Overview snippets.

Ads at the top of the SERP accompany AI Overview snippets much more often than straight shopping ads (carousels). In fact, these ad-snippet mixes are almost always prioritized over pure adds or pure snippet information. This now means to succeed in the paid ad space, you also need organic rankings. You can no longer rely on just paid or just organic, both are required to filter to the top of the AI Overview.

The AI Overview has seen a full rollout within the USA. Google has also stated it is rolling out this feature in 120 other countries, but there is limited information as to what extent. While the AI Overview is slated to become a standard feature in every geography where Google operates, specific timeframes are not offered. What is known is that the USA is Google’s primary market and all updates to the AI Overview will begin there and then see implementation in other geographies.