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Google puts AI overview ads first: Impact on organic search

First AI Overviews come into the picture that will take the top sweet spot on Google search pages and now they will be paired with ads pushing organic searches below. Here is what you need to know!

Google puts AI overview ads first: Impact on organic search

Friday May 24, 2024 , 3 min Read

Google has been bringing so many new features, tools and updates this year that it is hard to keep up. If you have missed out, the search engine giant recently held its keynote event called Google I/O on May 14th.

This event comprised several announcements that included virtual and video shopping ads, AI branding tools, etc. The Google I/O conference mainly focused on AI which was expected and a big update was related to search results. This caught everyone's attention and if you have guessed it, yes we are talking about AI overviews.

So, let's explore what this feature will change in search pages on Google and how the tech giant is planning to pair it with ads.

What is AI Overview?

Google I/O

At the Google I/O conference this year, the firm introduced AI Overviews that will be available for millions of users in the US and other countries in the upcoming months. By the end of the year, Google hopes to make this feature accessible to around a billion users.

From what we understand, an AI Overview is an AI-generated summary or short answer to the user query. For instance, a person wants to know the quickest way to beat the heat and the Gemini bot will share the relevant pointers. Apart from that, the AI overview also showcases the links of resources that it used to extract the information for reference.

This is a relatively new feature that is under testing mode but Vidhya Srinivasan, VP and GM, of Advertising at Google revealed at The Google Marketing Live 2024 that AI overview ads will go above organic search engines. Let's understand this in detail.

AI overview ads get priority over organic searches

The basic function of a search engine is to collect information that is relevant to a user's search query. With the help of crawlers or Google bots, the search results are indexed and organised. However, now the tech giant is introducing AI overviews that will appear at the top of the search page. This is definitely going to impact how Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) perhaps for the better or worse (we hope for the better).

If only AI overviews were not going to affect the search results, Google dropped another update which is it will feature advertisement. What's even more interesting is that Google will now display suggested ads below the AI overview. This means that organic content will be pushed below the AI-generated summary and of course ads.

These ads will not only be related to a user's search query but will also be based on the information presented in the AI overviews. While the idea of pushing advertisements seems obvious for Google to generate revenue, users have already started to pour in their distaste for this particular update.

Incidents of incorrect information listed by AI overviews are being pointed out and now they will be coupled with ads (this is under testing mode) soon.

The bottom line

Google's AI efforts have made headlines including this new feature. Understandably, the tech company wants advertisements to be given more engagement and ROI which is why their new feature AI overviews will now display shopping ads as well. However, it will be interesting to see how users respond to the new update.