SGE is out in the wild, following the launch of Google’s AI Overviews in the USA. Here’s all the reactions and opinions from the publishing industry


What’s The General Consensus On Google SGE?

  • 🔍 Zero-Click Searches: SGE increases zero-click searches, affecting websites that rely on traffic from clicks.
  • 📉 Impact on Organic Traffic: SEO experts expect a drop in organic visibility and traffic as users get answers directly from the search results.
  • 💰 Paid Search Implications: Reduced click-through rates (CTR) might alter keyword bidding and ad placement strategies.
  • ⚠️ Concerns About Content Quality: Publishers worry about their content being used without driving visits to their sites.
  • 📝 Comparisons to Featured Snippets: SGE is like enhanced featured snippets, potentially harming businesses providing simple answers.
  • 🌐 Reduced Need to Visit External Websites: Users might not visit external sites, affecting long-term SEO strategies.
  • 📉 Visibility for Small Websites: Smaller sites and niche content may have reduced visibility due to preference for authoritative sources.
  • 😠 Testing Without Opt-In: Users are frustrated by being included in SGE testing without the option to opt out.
  • 📉 Impact on Advertisers: AI-generated answers may push down ads, leading to less traffic compared to traditional search results.

Google AI Overviews represents a massive change to the way Google Search works. Google is now both an answer and search engine, a pivot that brings with it plenty of issues and potential legal problems for Google. 

Because Google Search powers literally hundreds of millions of businesses, this change in how search works is a very significant moment in the history the internet. 

Sentiment towards SGE – AI Overviews – by and large appears to be fairly negative, both from users and publishers. Legally, I’d expect the EU to wade on the change very soon. Google cannot be allowed to scrape the entire web, without renumeration to the content creators, and profit from it. 

Google AI Overviews Reactions

Zero-Click Searches: “Zero-click searches, where users find what they need right on the SERP, could become more prevalent with SGE. This trend may particularly affect informational websites or those that provide straightforward answers to common queries”​ (Propeller MediaWorks)​.

Impact on Organic Traffic: “SEO experts predict a drop in organic visibility as SGE provides answers directly in the search results, potentially reducing the necessity for users to click through to websites”​ (Search Engine Journal)​​ (Search Engine Land)​.

Paid Search Implications: “With direct answers provided on the SERPs, the necessity to click through may diminish and drop CTR rates, affecting the dynamics of bidding for keywords and ad placements”​ (Propeller MediaWorks)​.

Concerns About Quality: “Many in our industry are on edge about SGE launching. Those who publish content are worried that Google will take their content, serve the answer to the searcher and not benefit with a single impression on their site”​ (Search Engine Land)​.

Comparisons to Featured Snippets: “Some experts believe SGE to be like Featured Snippets but on steroids. Businesses focused on short, easy answers and fast information are in the worst position”​ (Search Engine Journal)​.

Reduced Need to Visit External Websites: “A reduced need to visit external websites and wade through content to decide what to do. This is likely to lead to a permanent change in user behavior that has further ramifications for SEO practitioners and their clients”​ (Authoritas SEO)​.

Visibility for Small Websites: “There is concern about potential bias towards publishers and authoritative sources, which could limit the visibility and exposure of smaller websites and niche content”​ (Yoast)​.

Testing Without Opt-In: “Google is testing AI overviews in Search results even for folks who have not opted in to SGE. Users have expressed frustration with the inability to opt out during the testing phases”​ (Search Engine Roundtable)​​ (Search Engine Land)​.

Impact on Advertisers: “These AI answers may push down both the organic and standard search ads. The likelihood is these experiences will likely drive less overall traffic to sites than what the current Google Search results do”​ (Search Engine Land)​.

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