Google officially launches AI Overviews for search

May 23rd, 2024 by Will Scott

Google announces AI Overviews are available for all US searchers

Google is trying to steal your searches, what can you do about it?

At yesterday’s Google I/O, Google announced it is rolling out “AI overviews” for all US searchers.

Without getting too geeky, the AI Overviews are “retrieval augmented generation,” where essentially Google looks into its large language model (i.e. big ol’ database of knowledge) and compares what’s there to search data to build a better answer.

If you’d like more information, Barry Schwartz has a good review on Search Engine Land.

Google Screenshot AI Overview Example - Datasite - Dataroom Providers

If you’ve been watching what Google is doing with SGE (Search Generative Experience) during its beta, you may have seen that the Google “answers” are sometimes incorrect and potentially distract searchers away from the valid results below.

What this means is that the “10 blue links” and the maps we were used to are pushed even further down the page.

AI Overviews are only part of the problem, though. Google is also putting more ads at the top of the page, meaning your winning map or organic search is lower still.

This is not the time to freak out, though. We are very early in this rollout, and at Search Influence we’ve been testing how to keep you on top even with these changes.

If you’re a Search Influence client, look forward to some interesting new tactics in your SEO strategies.

For the past decade, when we’ve said “search,” we’ve meant Google. In the coming decade, we may be talking about searches on any number of engines, apps, and devices.

At Google, as in life, change is the only constant. Look forward to updates as we get further in our testing.