May 22, 2024

AI Overview Google: The Silent SEO Killer? 2024 Survival


Generative AI tools are changing everything. Content writing, images, videos and yes, SEO! Artificial intelligence can scale our content at blistering speed.

Oddly enough, AI overviews are scraping our content to display in Google searches. Oh, and your web links might not even be displayed.

In this post, we'll look at what this means for us as SEO's, bloggers and entrepreneurs.

AI Overviews and more

Google is supposedly making its search engine smarter with the help of AI and our content. Here’s a simple way to understand all of this stuff involving AI Overview and Google Search:

1. AI Helps Answer Questions Faster: Imagine you type into Google "explain SEO." Normally, you would have to click up and down the Google search results to find what you're looking for. Google’s AI now gives you a quick AI overview of the topic. This makes it easier and faster to find answers, just maybe not our sites!

Google search result with AI

2. Follow-Up Questions: Once Google gives you the AI generated answers, you can continue to ask follow up questions. It's basically like a chatbot conversation- only, it's Google.

3. Safe and Accurate Information: Google says it pulls from extremely trustworthy site when it comes to subjects like medical. You can probably think like YMYL content. If the AI systems determine that there isn't a consensus, no AI overview.

4. Special Features for Complex Topics: If you’re like me and you're trying to build things with code or repair broken tools, Google could explain it easily. Possibly present videos to help you quickly understand information.

5. Interactive Searches: The future will have users type or talk with voice search. The search query will be interactive and a continuous conversation with Google's AI.

6. AI Overviews for Planning: Google can also help with planning activities, like creating meal plans or travel itineraries, and let you customize the results based on your preferences. Hopefully it's helpful on planning how to rank in the AI overviews!

Google says these updates are designed to make searching easier and more intuitive. It's supposed to help you find what you need quickly and reliably.

I know one thing, it will reliably impact a ton of websites that ranked in the default search results.

Google's defense mechanism-

Google is visibly scared and they should be. Their market share has shifted with the updates, Open AI and other AI tools. One article sees a 25% drop in search engine queries by 2026.

According to Stat Counter, Google is slowly dropping and Bing is slowly climbing over the past year.

Bing has had their Copilot that is available on a ton of apps and Explorer. Below is a screenshot of a interactive chart from Stat Counter displaying search market share in the US.

Below is a screenshot of a interactive chart from Stat Counter.

How to Survive AI in Google Searches

In today's world, keywords and longform optimized content ain't enough. You need to be a multi-tasker. You need to become a media empire as well.

It's not that hard. AI can save a ton of time and help you scale your media efforts.

  • Use prompts to have ChatGPT scrape your blog post and write 10 titles, descriptions and images for social media posts.
  • You can use the outputs to post on Pinterest, Instagram, and use Canva to create shorts and reels.
  • Start writing on Medium, Flip Board and short briefs on Linkedin.
  • Use downloadable items to build the email list.
  • All of these need to link back to the blogpost, money page or home page.

Continue to optimize your articles and build backlinks like traditional SEO. These are all important to survive the ongoing Google slapping. Don't panic! Simply slap them back.

How to prevent content from appearing in AI Overviews

There's two ways to look at this.

  1. You add a nosnippet metatag and block Google from scraping. Good for you! Stand your ground and watch other blogs slide above you. No big deal unless Google continues to have links in the AI overviews.
  2. Continue to optimize your content, build backlinks and climb the search results. Hopefully your content will rank organically and Google uses your info with a nice pretty link back to your site.

I myself, I'm going to keep diversifying my traffic sources and continue optimizing my content for search.

Can you turn off AI Overviews in Google search?

No, but luckily there are studies that show only 60% of searches have the AI overview feature. Google says AI overviews are part of search and are here to stay.

Final thoughts on Google AI Overviews

Generative AI will continue to change the way we search, optimize and rank on the web. Organically ranking is still the best way to get found on the first page.

Google is all in on Gemini and will continue to push hard to implement it into everything they can get there hands on. You name it, phones, apps and various software platforms.

Google's a business. They have to compete with Open AI's Chat GPT. Unfortunately, the small publishers will hurt. Supposedly they're looking to update algorithms to rectify the latest Google update.

I wouldn't go into panic mode. It's my opinion that small business SEO will continue to work for brick and mortar businesses. It's just change but bloggers should all start to diversify their traffic sources if they haven't already.

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