Google AI Overviews

Thought Leadership, Digital

On May 14 during Google I/O 2024, Google’s largest developer conference, it was announced that AI Overviews would be largely rolled out to U.S.-based search audiences. The AI Overviews feature, previously Search Generative Experience (SGE), is part of the wider “Gemini Era” of Google, in which search results will rely heavily on AI to generate answers instead of links.

Here is a list of some of the updates coming to Google Search:

  • Adjustable overviews to simplify language or provide more detail
  • Multi-step reasoning to handle complex queries with nuances
  • Built-in planning capabilities for tasks like meal prep and vacations
  • AI-organized search result pages to explore ideas and inspiration
  • Visual search querying through uploaded videos and images

What is the Gemini Era and how will it impact how we view search?

The Gemini Era is a term that is being used to describe the new search results page, in which Google heavily relies on its generative AI tool Gemini to deliver answers, and conversely not links to publishers’ and advertisers’ sites. In a new video released by Google, the Gemini Era experience is showcased with a series of AI-generated answers, directory listings and recommended queries. One thing you may notice that is missing from the video below is…blue links to publisher sites.

What does this mean for paid search?

Search Engine Journal provides some great context on what this specifically means for search listings: Data from ZipTie and Bart Goralewicz indicate that AI Overviews cover over 80% of search queries across most verticals. Additionally, under the unique ranking system for AI Overviews, only 47% of the top 10 traditional web results appear as sources powering the overview generation.

However, Google is not likely to take a large hit from losing revenue from its paid search business. The shift to dynamic creative such as PMAX is likely to become a larger focus of its ad business and make it easier to insert promoted messages into its AI-powered search results. The days of traditional paid search listing is likely limited and we will see an evolution to a series of informative “link cards” that feature products and services that are directly related to your search.


What does this mean for digital advertising on websites?

This is a growing concern, especially among the journalism and content creator community, that Google’s evolution will significantly reduce search traffic to their sites and therefore provide fewer eyeballs for their revenue engine, advertising.


Unfortunately, that will likely mean that the number of available impressions will decrease, causing the price of impressions to increase. This may cause a shift away from traditional web banners in favor of more high-impact placements and partnership opportunities that are shared across multiple platforms including social networks. 

Vladimir Jones is actively following the changes to the digital ads ecosystem and is monitoring the impacts of the changes listed above. While we don’t know exactly what the future holds, we are optimistic and energized by the possibilities the innovation of AI brings to our portfolio of services. 

Here are some resources that will help you gain a deeper understanding of the changes on the horizon and steps you can take to mitigate the risk of reduced search traffic. 

Search Engine Journal - Google Rolls Out AI-Powered Overviews To US Search Results

Martech - Google rolls out AI Overviews for more complex searches

Search Engine Land - Google AI Overviews: More searches, less satisfaction

Questions? Contact us today. We’d love to discuss how this could impact your business.