Things to Know About Google’s AI Overviews

Much like the world, Google has transitioned and is now taking advantage of what artificial intelligence has to offer, and this shift has resulted in a change in how individuals can view SERPs with the help of AI.

Read on to learn more about Google’s AI Overview feature, as well as what it may mean for your online marketing initiatives.

But First, What is Google’s AI Overview?

Expanded AI Overviews summarize results for search queries at the top of the SERPs. These results appear when Google determines that generative responses can be impactful to the user’s search experience. Ultimately, the goal is to provide a clear concise overview of the topic, drawing information from many sources on the web to develop the most helpful answer possible.

How Often They Appear and Who’s Impacted

According to BrightEdge and Semrush’s Sensor, AI Overviews show up less than 15% of the time in search results. However, the presence of an AIO result does vary depending on the industry, as you’ll see here:

Additionally, data has shown an increase in average click-through rate (CTR), impressions, and total traffic since the overviews went live. The impact thus far does seem neutral; however, the future of AI leaves endless opportunities in the field of SEO.

What Searches Trigger AI Overviews?

Though AI Overviews are still rolling out and more research continues to be conducted, current data indicates that AI overviews are more likely to appear for queries related to comparison and questions.  We can’t guarantee that AI Overviews will always show up for these specific queries, but some searches that may trigger them include:

  • Informational questions – When you’re looking to educate yourself on a specific topic, these overviews can pop up:ai overview 1
  • Complex questions – Adding more specific details to your question can help trigger AI Overviews to provide an overview 2

On the other hand, some queries that you won’t expect to see many overviews for include navigational searches, transactional questions, and topics related to finance and health.

How to Rank in AI Overview

From an SEO perspective, there are many ways that you can take advantage of the Google AI Overview in the hopes of seeing your site show up in the carousel. In terms of appearing in the overview, some of the ways you can rank include:

  • Panels – These are prominent links to your site and typically include the title, date, favicon, and a short description. There are usually between 1 to 6 sources per panel.
  • Content – Google’s AI Overview might pull from the content on your site.
  • Drop down link – Additional panels will fold out when clicking on the dropdown symbol.
  • Ads – Current shopping, performance max, and search campaigns will be eligible to show in Google’s AI Overviews.

Aside from the areas you can show up on the SERPs, some strategies you can implement to try and be included in the overview are the following:

  • Research relevant inquiries – While it can be hard to predict which queries will get chosen to show up in AI Overviews, you can still search for keywords you already target or plan to target. You can then see if they have an overview and if so, check to make sure your site is cited in the carousel already. The goal here would be to find queries and answers. Then add them to your content to hopefully outrank the current featured sites.
  • Analyze traits and formats of the answers – You’ll want to see the format of which answers are chosen to show. That could be a list snippet, comparison table, paragraph, or video result. You’d then want to use the exact same format and traits in a similar manner as that’s what Google prefers. Some traits may include quality, readability, and word count.
  • Add queries and answers onto relevant pages – After everything, the last step is implementing these queries and answers. You’ll have two options when it comes to where to place them and that’s either an existing page or a new page. When adding queries to an existing page, make sure the questions share a similar topic and intent to the current page copy. The page has to perform well to get that spot in the overview, ideally ranking in the top 1-15 on Google.

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Our team has over 25+ years of collective experience in digital marketing for various niches. That has allowed us to stay ahead of the curve and on top in the ever-changing marketing industry with changes such as AI Overviews.

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Ally Hosler

About the Author

Ally Hosler

Ally Hosler is an Account Manager at Sixth City Marketing. Her role includes a mix of writing content, account management, and updating websites for some of our ecommerce, tech, law firm and landscaping clients.

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