Google Starts Testing AI Overviews from SGE in Main Search Interface

29 Mar, 2024 Google News

In the last two years, Google has had to make considerable changes in an attempt to compete with AI. In May of last year, 2023, Google started integrating AI into its search results. Initially, the feature was exclusively for individuals who opted to use it by signing up for what it dubbed Search Generative Experience (SGE) as part of Google Search Labs.

The new feature was first available in the US but had spread to over 120 countries by November, a testament to AI’s radical influence globally.

What Is Different?

Its difference from traditional Google searches is that it gives you straight-up AI answers without taking you to a specific site but includes links for resources that users can follow to specific sites.

The feature also allows users to engage in follow-up questions through chat. According to Google, some US users who have not signed up for the SGE will start to notice these AI overviews in their search results. By introducing these overviews to a wider group, Google aims to gather feedback from the general public.

After entering a search query, the user may notice a shaded section at the top of the search results summarizing the topic of the user’s interests but also include links for users who want to dive deeper into the topic. Google says it starts with a specific type of query that it thinks generative AI will be helpful in. The search engine giant is also highly confident that the AI overviews will offer real value to users.

There Will Be Different Variations

Also, Google will be testing several feature variations that are unique to the individual, so what one user sees may not be what another does. The sign-in-only option for joining SGE meant only people with some technical knowledge of the changing AI landscape used the feature. With this test, Google can reach a more general population who may find the technology helpful and get general feedback to help advise its rollout on a larger scale.

What Do The Changes Mean To SEO and Digital Marketing?

These changes can significantly affect organic traffic and standard search ads. In some cases, the user may not go beyond what is provided in the overviews, especially if they feel they get answers to their question in the overview. This development could mean more organic traffic for sites referenced in the links. However, one thing is certain: there could be changes in a site’s traffic depending on whether a site is referenced in the overview or not. This will be different from traffic that is driven by Google Search results.

The tech giant has also hinted that it will continue placing ads in and around these overviews, which indicates quite a shift in the company’s approach to revenue generation. Google hasn’t said when this future will become the standard, but it will happen. Site owners should wait to see how it affects their traffic and adapt accordingly, but it will redefine SEO and online marketing.

You can always rely on BluShark Digital to get the latest updates on the evolving digital marketing scene. Also, do not hesitate to contact us with all your digital marketing needs and queries in today’s ever-changing marketing industry.