Google AI Overviews Rollout Update

Google AI Overviews has rolled out nationwide. Here is the latest update.

Video Transcript

David: All right, so now is a good time to take our regularly scheduled break and talk about whether you have discovered anything with the AI Overviews. Here’s the latest I understand. So, they are rolled out nationwide and are going to be rolling out worldwide shortly. However, not every query will have an AI overview. In fact, I have yet to encounter one.

Dave: Really?

David: So, maybe it’s just the queries I’m entering, but I’ve tried to get it, and I have yet to see it. Have you seen any?

Tricia: I see it more when it’s for personal use on my phone. When I’m just looking up a quick answer for something, I’ll see it.

Dave: I think I had enabled the experimental version on my browser, so I see it all the time.

David: Yeah. On one of my accounts, I’ve enabled labs, but I’m trying to wait for the one that doesn’t have labs to roll it out, and I haven’t seen it yet.

Dave: I read something today that they are going to start putting ads in there, as well.

David: So, yesterday was Google Marketing Live, which is their marketing ads, Google Ads, not organic but ads platform. They also showed what the ads would look like in the AI results. No surprise. This is how Google makes its money. So, it looks like they’re going to have the three organic citations within the AI answer, followed by paid search results and organics. So again, it’s pushing the organics down the page. And we can’t overlook the idea that they’re going to add (just like you have images or shopping or maps) a selection to select that you just want pages from the web, but that’s not going to be enabled by default. The other thing I heard, and this is we’re so early in this, I hate to even support rumors, but we’ll do it anyway. They interviewed the CEO of Google, and he basically said, yeah, we’re not going to share any data of AI Overviews from organic search and Search Console. So basically, tough, your data is gone and gone forever. But what we can verify that with is how that will look in our graphs. Will it look like we’re going down in impressions and clicks because we are now blind to AI Overview, organically reached things? So, watch your Search Console data of impressions and clicks and see how that affects it. And we should, especially in the near term, if you see declines, look at specific queries that have seen declines and enter them into Google to see if you are getting an AI search result for that phrase. And eventually, in six months, we will not be able to make that judgment, right? Because there will be nothing to compare against. But now that it’s just rolling out, if you see a drop, compare the data before May 18, which is when it rolled out. And if you see something drop, put that query into Google and see if you can get an AI Overview, and then you’ll be able to determine, oh, this dropped because of that. Or maybe we are getting data from Search Console even though it’s an AI. Or maybe people don’t trust AI. They scroll down to Google organics, just like people tend to scroll down despite Google Ads. Right? You’ve heard that idea that people don’t trust ads, so they skip them, and they go straight down to the organics, which is why Google started kind of hiding the ad notification in some of the ads a little bit or making them stand out dramatically by adding images to the ads. Any other things you’ve encountered or conversations with clients that are appropriate to talk about for AI Overviews? Alright, well, let’s keep putting our heads together as you encounter something.

Dave: It’s definitely going to be affecting our clients.

David: Then again, it might not. Right? We kind of just don’t know. The examples Google gave in I/O last week were all related to travel. I don’t have any travel sites that are clients. So, I’m not saying that this only applies to travel, but if we want to be conspiratorial, Google and travel sites go head-to-head all the time because Google wants you to use their travel solutions. And so, if they can do things to make organic travel sites go down, that’s a money-making effort for them.

Stephanie: I’ve been testing searches for my commercial realtor because I think of all my clients. He will be the one that will care the most if there’s a drop. And there’s been no AI Overview at all.

David: Right, well, this is another case for the weekly dashboard, sorry, Google Search Console data on the second page, because if this rolls out for a client, you should see this precipitous drop. And so, on a weekly basis, we should get those reports. And if we do notice a big drop, that might be the initiative we need to look at. There’s so much to do with SEO. I know it’s really hard to go in every week. Even though I recommend going to the Search Console every week, I know that gets pushed off. I know it because I do it, too. That’s why the weekly dashboard is so valuable: it at least gets sent to your inbox to e-nag you to do it. And sometimes, with that weekly dashboard, there’s nothing, no change. Great. That’s what we want to see on the weekly dashboard, right? We’re not using that to judge the success of a client. We’re using that to say, great, we’re still getting data, and there’s no major shifts. That’s what I want to see moving on. It’s when it dramatically up or down that we’re like, oh, crap, something’s wrong, or something really great is happening. We need to figure that out.

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