Google’s AI Overview Explained

Danielle Rohan

DATE: 3rd June 2024
CATEGORY: acquisition
TAGS: pay per click marketing, search engine optimisation
AUTHOR: Danielle Rohan

Google's AI Overview is a new feature that utilises artificial intelligence to directly answer your questions on the search results page. Sometimes, these overviews will also include summaries of relevant web pages. While still under development, AI Overviews have the potential to significantly impact how people find information online.

What does an AI Overview look like?

Here are three examples that we know about already:


What does all this mean for Organic Search and SEO?

The arrival of AI Overviews shakes things up a bit for organic search and SEO, though the exact impact is still unfolding. Here's a breakdown of what we know so far:

Potential Downsides for Organic Search:

  • Lowered Click-Through Rates (CTR): If AI Overviews provide all the information users need directly on the search results page, they might be less likely to click through to individual websites. This could decrease organic traffic for some sites.

  • Reduced Visibility for Organic Results: AI Overviews can occupy prime real estate at the top of the search results page, potentially pushing traditional organic listings down the fold.

That said, there could be positive outcomes for organic search, for instance if your content is featured in an AI Overview, it can expose your brand to a wider audience, even if they don’t click through to your site. 

Tips to Boost Google's AI Overview

E-E-A-T is Crucial (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness & Trustworthiness): As with traditional SEO, Google's AI will likely prioritise content that demonstrates Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T). Focus on creating high-quality, reliable content from a credible source.

Leverage relevant Long-Tail Keywords: Early signs suggest AI Overview favours more detailed, long-tail keyword searches. Consider incorporating these into your content strategy.

Improve User Experience: Optimise content for various devices, like desktops, mobiles and voice assistants. Consider multimedia elements like images, videos or infographics to enhance user experience. 

Answer User Questions & Problems: Since AI Overviews often answer user queries directly, consider structuring content in a way that addresses potential user questions. This might involve using question-and-answer formats, including FAQs, or anticipating common search queries related to your topic.

Keep your Content Fresh: AI Overview may favour content that is up-to-date and reflects the latest information. Regularly refresh your content with new information and revisions to show Google's AI your site is a reliable source.

Build Backlinks: While the impact of backlinks might be evolving with AI Overviews, it's still considered a good SEO practice. Backlinks from high-quality, relevant websites can still signal trustworthiness and authority to Google's AI.

Engage with Rich Snippets: Rich snippets are those informative elements that sometimes appear next to search results, like star ratings for reviews or recipe cooking times. Optimising your content for rich snippets could potentially increase your chances of valuable information being displayed in AI Overviews.

AI Overview is a relatively new feature, and the best optimisation strategies will likely emerge over time. By focusing on high-quality content, user experience, and exploring these additional strategies, you can improve your website's chances of appearing in AI Overviews.

If you're interested in discussing your SEO and how you can best adapt your approach for Google AI Overviews, then please drop us a note below or email me directly.

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