Google Search Update: AI Overviews Take Center Stage

Website owners and SEO experts, rejoice and take notice! Google Search just dropped a major update in May 2024, and it’s shaking things up. They’ve introduced a brand new feature called “AI Overviews” and revamped their documentation to reflect this shift. Wondering what this means for your website’s visibility and SEO strategy? Buckle up, because we’re diving deep into this exciting update and how it can impact your online presence.

What’s New?

Gone are the days of “Search Generative Experience” (SGE)! Google Search is now using AI Overviews, which seems to be the next step in their search result presentation. While both functionalities likely rely on similar AI technology, AI Overviews might present information differently and interact with websites in a unique way.

To accommodate this shift, Google has created a dedicated webpage within their documentation specifically for AI Overviews. This new page presumably explains how websites are treated within the AI Overviews framework. Additionally, they’ve revamped existing documentation on robots meta tags, subscriptions, and paywalled content to ensure website owners understand how these aspects work with AI Overviews.

Why This Matters

This update highlights Google’s ongoing commitment to transparency with website owners. By providing clear documentation on how AI Overviews function, website owners can optimize their content for this new way of presenting search results.

The Updated Documentation:

The new documentation page for AI Overviews likely explains how Google treats websites within this framework. This could include details on:

  • How AI Overviews choose content: Will they prioritize specific sections of a webpage, or can content from various parts be used?
  • Website control: Can website owners opt out of having their content included in AI Overviews?
  • Performance tracking: Are there ways for website owners to track how their content performs within AI Overviews?

Staying Ahead of the Curve

As AI continues to revolutionize the search landscape, staying informed about these updates is crucial. Here are some tips:

  • Keep an eye on Google’s Search Central documentation: This is the official source for updates on how Google Search works. “
  • Follow industry blogs and publications: Many SEO and digital marketing blogs regularly discuss Google Search updates and their implications.
  • Experiment and analyze: As AI Overviews are still new, there might be an element of trial and error involved in optimizing your website.

While the specifics of AI Overviews remain to be seen, understanding this shift allows website owners to prepare for the evolving search landscape. By staying informed and adapting their strategies, website owners can ensure their content remains discoverable and valuable in the age of AI-powered search. If you have any concerns about how Google Updates might affect your website, contact SteerPoint or John Slimak for assistance.