Evaluating AI Overviews and Their Influence on SEO

Evaluating AI Overviews and Their Influence on SEO


AI Overviews – What it means for SEO

At the recent Google Developer Conference, the company announced a wave of exciting new additions. Overall, it was a big day for the company’s flagship AI model, with one curious unveiling involving the introduction of AI Overviews. Set to be a versatile search assistant, the ramifications of this innovation are now sinking. In this article, we’ll discuss what it is and what it spells for the future of SEO.

AI Influence

AI Overviews integrating with search

When you look up something online right via the Google search bar, you’ll just get a bunch of links to websites. There may even be a few ads on top of that, a couple of images, and even business reviews and listings depending on your search phrase.  However, AI Overviews is changing all that.

With this feature, if you were to look up something online, you may get a summary of the answer. This shows up on the search results page, which essentially means you can find what you’re looking for without clicking through to a website. This is quite a lot similar to how ChatGPT works, in that you ask it a query and it gives you an answer. No fluff, no redirects to external websites, just point-blank succinct information on what you

Of course, the answer is just a summary. If you were looking for more detailed information, you’d still need to click through to a link to learn more.

      The ramifications on SEO:

      1. The impact on website traffic

      AI overviews will likely sway traffic adversely particularly for very simple search queries that don’t need you to go into detail. It’s likely the case that we may notice a slight drop in website traffic for such queries.

      However, for more advanced search queries that never fully fulfill search intent with just a single paragraph, website traffic will largely remain unaffected. If anything, these summaries may even encourage more clickthroughs as they could entice the curiosity of the user to want to learn more.

      2. Guiding users towards relevant results

      Just like road signs guide road users on where to go, AI Overviews will also become the equivalent of digital signs on the expansive world that is the World Wide Web. The summaries it provides will enable users to discern search results more intelligently so that they can find a website that best meets their needs. When this happens, it’s likely that websites with high-quality, relevant content that matches search intent will also notice lower bounce rates and higher page view times.

      3. Long tail keywords becoming longer

      With conversational AI, we tend to ask search queries in more complete sentences just as we would in real life. This is quite different from how type-based search works where we use sentence fragments to quickly look up what we want.
      As a result, this will also mean that long-tail keywords will also become more important and longer as we look to incorporate natural language into search.

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        We’ll notice a surge in queries because of how simple AI overviews is making it to ask extremely complex questions that were quite difficult to do with traditional search.

        Yes. With users now able to ask complex queries with ease and search volume and frequency increasing, it’s also possible that websites will get more impressions as well.

        It’s always very likely that digital marketers will need to rework their content tactics to include more authoritative and detailed content so that they can appear in AI Overviews.

        While traditional metrics around use engagement and content performance will remain vital, marketers will also need to take into account AI Overviews’s feedback loop and adapt their strategies accordingly.

        AI overviews prioritizes ads and so this will mean that organic search results will be pushed further down the page, and this could lead to lower website placement. In turn, this may have a negative impact on a website’s traffic

        Parting shot

        At the moment, AI Overviews is only active in the US so we’re only getting a taste of what it will mean for SEO. However, it’s likely that traditional SEO strategies will remain unaffected, but it’s still important for brands to figure out how AI will change search user behavior. This will enable you to optimize your website to appeal to these changing patterns and preserve your SEO gains.

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