The one thing that is certain in this industry is the certainty of change.

Google I/O was held last week, and the most important change advertisers need to be aware of is the AI Overviews feature.

What are AI Overviews? You may have seen them populate in your search results as they were introduced last May and have been available to select users since March 2024. Starting this week, AI Overviews will be widely rolled out across Google Users. 

AI Overview results can populate alongside ads, spurring concern from advertisers that this feature will draw traffic away from their ads and towards Google’s own results.

Screenshot 2024-05-20 at 9.19.04 AM

The launch of AI Overviews represents a large step in the evolution of AI search, and Google shows no signs of slowing down as more changes and advancements are expected to be released throughout the year.

Here are the most important points advertisers should currently know about AI Overviews:

  • Rollout Begins This Week
    Users in the US will be the first to get AI Overviews next week. However, Google will not upend their ads business overnight, and there will not be immediate impact to any paid campaigns across Google. Our teams will monitor performance as always. 
  • Ads Placements
    Google has been showing ads above and below AI Overviews in their beta over the last year and report users have found them helpful. Google is continuing to experiment with Search and Shopping ads included in AI Overviews, but don’t anticipate this in the initial launch. 
  • Limited Queries
    Over the last year of beta testing, recent reports have shown that Google has reduced the number of queries AI Overviews appear for. This feature is intended to help answer more complex questions such as, “How to…,” and is not expected to be used on common product searches. There is likely to be more impact in the discovery or research phase of the customer journey where users are making more conversational, longtail searches.
  • No Measurement
    Google will not be providing any breakout of impressions or clicks garnered from AI Overviews in tools such as Google Search Console. They will be included in overall totals. Google has reported above average click-through-rates from AI Overview link cards and inclusion in the overviews would likely lead to a boost in performance.
  • No Opt-Out
    Businesses only have the same controls as traditional SEO to opt out of AI Overview which means opting out of search entirely in most cases. Google is launching a “Web Search” button where users are shown text-only results and strips away AI Overviews and other types of results such as knowledge panels.

We expect many changes to occur as Google and other competitors further develop AI Search capabilities. Keep an eye on this space for more updates as they become available. Yet, like all changes in this industry, information is power and the certainty of change - when embraced - keeps us rapidly innovating. 

Recent News

Getting closer to the customer
How do you get closer to your customers?
Shoptalk Europe 2024
Shoptalk Europe has earned the moniker "the Coachella of Retail."
Mastering Customer Centricity to Unlock Value
Do you know who your most valuable customers are?