A young woman sitting in a living room, scrolling on her phone. There is a speech bubble coming from her phone that says 'Google AI Overviews'.

Oban’s view on Google’s AI Overviews: A significant shift for SEO

At Google I/O on 14th May 2024, a range of AI tools were unveiled, demonstrating their potential to revolutionise various aspects of our lives and work. One announcement was particularly significant for SEO – the official rollout of SGE (Search Generative Experience), now dubbed ‘AI Overviews’. This unveiling marks a pivotal moment in how search results are presented and consumed. You can watch the video here.

Currently being introduced in the US, AI Overviews are set to be deployed globally soon, with the UK potentially being among the early adopters following a period of testing among select users. Google’s experimentation with SGE has spanned approximately 130 countries, providing valuable insights that pave the way for a smoother rollout.

In anticipation of this development, Google appears to have refined its approach, now presenting AI Overviews selectively, focusing on searches where they can offer substantial value or ensure accuracy. This adjustment has led to a decrease in the proportion of searches featuring AI Overviews, down from 65% to around 25%. The rationale behind this shift remains somewhat ambiguous, possibly stemming from considerations regarding user experience or potential implications for ad revenue.

In response, SEO platforms such as Dragon Metrics and Ahrefs have been vigilant in tracking this rollout, poised to incorporate these new result types into their services. We expect soon to be able to monitor for ourselves when AI Overviews start showing for each search term in each country and who is being pulled as a source.

There’s speculation that Google may introduce AI Overviews as a distinct search appearance within Google Search Console, enabling a deeper understanding of their impact on website traffic. This change might help businesses understand how being shown in AI Overviews affects their website’s performance, both directly and indirectly.

We first became aware that Google planned to bring what has evolved into AI Overviews to its SERPs in mid-2021. Since then, Oban has been leading the conversation within the industry on the expected impact and how to prepare. Since then, our strategy, especially around content, has been focused on preparing for this rollout. We feel confident that both we and our clients are well prepared.

. . .

If you have any questions on what SGE means for you and your business, please get in touch.

Oban International is the digital marketing agency specialising in international expansion.
Our LIME (Local In-Market Expert) Network provides up to date cultural input and insights from over 80 markets around the world, helping clients realise the best marketing opportunities and avoid the costliest mistakes.

Skip to content