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  • Writer's pictureCarli Van Stolk

AI Overviews (Formerly SGE): What You Need To Know

Google officially rolled out AI-powered overviews, formerly known as Search Generative Experience (SGE), to U.S. search results. It won't be long before we see it globally.

Google plans to expand access to more than 1 billion people around the world by the end of 2024, according to Semrush.

While it may seem daunting, there are ways to adapt your content to this new era of search. Here's a breakdown of what you need to know.

What Are AI Overviews?

Thanks to its integration with Google's LLM, Gemini, AI Overviews are AI-generated results in SERPs. Here's an image from Search Engine Journal on what this looks like.

A screenshot of Google's AI-powered overviews in SERPs.
AI-generated overviews. Image source: Search Engine Journal.

Put simply, it's now an LLM in search complete with images and targeted insights. Google is hoping to improve the search experience for its users by providing immediate answers, and that will impact SERPs dramatically.

What's the Impact of AI Overviews on Your SEO Performance?

Traffic and Ranking Fluctuations

Expect drops in traffic and ranking. This is because SGE might prioritize AI-generated summaries over individual websites.

Messier Reporting

Reporting will be clunky. Consider metrics other than traffic and ranking to measure your content, such as engagement time and engagement rate.

Look at qualitative factors like user behaviour and feedback to gauge content effectiveness, too.

But, interestingly, if your content is featured in AI Overviews, expect CTR to increase. In general, expect reporting to be messier across the board.

How Can I Optimize my Content for AI Overviews?

Structure Content as Questions and Answers

If you aren't already, start structuring your content directly as questions and answers. That way, Google can easily pull your content into AI Overviews.

Target Mid-Funnel Queries

Top-of-funnel queries will be most affected, such as "best restaurants in san jose." Start prioritizing mid and bottom-funnel topics to reach users further along the buying journey.

This is especially relevant for E-Commerce businesses, as there may be less information about your specific product online.

Engage With Community Sites

You're probably seeing a rise of Reddit results in SERPs, potentially thanks to a $60M deal between Google and Reddit.

But according to Search Engine Journal, studies found that content frequently featured in Reddit or Quora are being shown increasingly in AI Overviews.

So what does this mean for you? Building a presence on these platforms can benefit both your SEO and social media strategy, and potentially help your content get an AI Overview feature.

Test out prioritizing them and see how that works for your business.

Keep Creating Quality Content

Google prioritizes content that addresses EEAT, follows the on-page SEO basics, and is providing genuinely helpful information for its users.

Content that gets featured in AI Overviews won't be much different, says Semrush.

Don't Ignore Technical SEO

Google still relies on crawlers to find and access information. Make sure all your content is optimized for crawlability, and that your content is successfully (and speedily) being indexed.

Keep prioritizing your technical SEO, and consider running technical audits more frequently than you normally would.

Prioritize Visual and Voice Search

Images will become much more prevalent with AI-powered overviews. Keep optimizing your images for visual and voice search. Here are some tips.

Stay Up-To-Date

Keep on publishing fresh, relevant content.

AI Overviews will need to pull content from somewhere. If you're up-to-date on your niche industry, you have a higher chance of being featured in AI Overviews over your competitors.

Moving Forward

The integration of AI in search marks a major shift in the SEO landscape, even if it's only in the U.S. for now.

If you aren't in the States, start adopting the points above sooner rather than later. You'll be ready to go when SGE comes your way!

Interested in other content and SEO tips? View services or get in touch.


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