Google Is Testing Search-Friendly Advertisements In AI Overviews

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Remember when Google released the Search Generative Experience or SGE? The feature, which provided AI-generated summaries of the search results, emerged as a Google Labs experiment in May 2023. A year later, Google officially unveiled the feature as “AI Overviews” at the I/O 2024 event. The feature is currently rolling out to billions of Google users in the United States. 

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Search Generative Experience Is Now AI Overviews, With Advertisements

What’s interesting is that just a hot minute after releasing AI Overviews, Google has started rolling out advertisements on AI-generated summaries. “With AI Overviews, people are visiting a greater diversity of websites for help with more complex questions,” writes the official blog post. Google adds that “the links included in AI Overviews get more clicks than if the page had appeared as a traditional web listing for that query.” 

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AI Overview Ads Are Currently In Early Testing Phase

Given that the company has found that people who use AI Overviews use Search more, are satisfied with the results, and that the links shown in this section are of higher quality, it has started experimenting with advertisements in the AI Overviews sections. “In early testing, we’ve heard that people find the ads appearing above and below the AI-generated overview helpful.”

The Ads Will Be Showcased In A Section Labeled “Sponsored”

AI Overviews with Sponsored section

These ads appear in a section in the AI Overview labeled “Sponsored.” Google says the ads will be relevant to both the search query and the content in the AI-generated summary. Advertisers, on the other hand, don’t need to take any action, as ads from existing Search, Performance Max, and Standard Shopping campaigns “have the opportunity to appear within the AI Overview.”  

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In an example shared by Google, the search query “How do I get wrinkles out of clothes” contains the Sponsored section in the AI-generated summary. The section included a carousel showing wrinkle-removing sprays on Instacart and Walmart. “As we move forward, we’ll continue to test and learn new formats, getting feedback from advertisers and the industry,” says Google in its blog post.

Advertisers Should Expect More AI-Based Features In The Near Future

Apart from ads in AI Overviews, Google is also testing a new ad experience in Search to help guide people through complex purchase decisions. Another Google Product Studio feature will allow advertisers to create short animations from a still image of their product. Performance Max will also allow advertisers to use brand-specific fonts and color schemes while creating digital ads. 

Moreover, the company is integrating generative AI in advertising, as a major chunk of its revenue comes from Search advertising.

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Shikhar MehrotraShikhar Mehrotra
A tech enthusiast at heart, Shikhar Mehrotra has been writing news since college for an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. Over the last four years, he has worked with several national and international publications, including Republic World, and ScreenRant, writing news, how-to explainers, smartphone comparisons, reviews, and list-type articles. When he is not working, Shikhar likes to click pictures, make videos for his YouTube channel, and watch the American sitcom Friends.

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