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Google AI Overviews: New Research Study by SE Ranking

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article presents the results of a research study conducted by SE Ranking to analyze the impact of Google's rollout of AI Overviews (AIOs) in search results. The study compares the pre-rollout and post-rollout data on 100,000 keywords across 20 different niches.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] How frequently do AI Overviews show up in search results?

  • Only 8.71% of the 100,013 keywords analyzed resulted in AI Overviews (AIOs), a significant decrease from the previous research finding of 64% of keywords triggering AIOs or the "Generate" button.
  • The number of searches without AIOs increased by 636.24%, while the number of searches with technical errors decreased by 98.22%.
  • The sharp decrease in AIO presence likely reflects Google's efforts to improve the accuracy and trustworthiness of AI-generated answers in search results.

[02] What is the typical text length of an AI Overview?

  • The average AIO text length has increased by 24.59%, from 3,485 to 4,342 characters.
  • The longer AIO text lengths could reduce the need for users to click on traditional blue links and scroll down to organic results, potentially decreasing website traffic and CTR.
  • SEO specialists may need to adjust their content strategies to target niche-specific queries and provide sufficient topic depth to compete with or complement information presented in AIOs.

[03] How many sources do AI Overviews feature?

  • The maximum number of pre-click links decreased by 72.86%, and the maximum number of post-click links decreased by 81.94% compared to the previous research.
  • The most common number of pre-click links remains at 1, while the most common number of post-click links decreased from 8 to 4.
  • The decrease in link density may help counteract some of the negative effects on CTRs observed in the previous research, but SEO specialists should stay vigilant as new AI features and ads can still distract users.

[04] Do AI Overviews link to domains from the TOP 10 organic search results?

  • 84.72% of AIOs link to at least one domain from the top 10 organic search results, a slight decrease of 0.78% compared to the previous research.
  • The News and Politics niche maintained the highest intersection at 42.96%, while the Fashion and Beauty niche exhibited the lowest overlap at 9.02%.
  • Maintaining, tracking, and improving organic search rankings is still crucial, as this increases the chances of getting featured in AIOs.

[05] Which niches are more likely to trigger AI Overviews?

  • The Relationships niche is the leader, with 26.62% of keywords triggering AIOs, followed by Food and Beverage (24.78%) and Technology (18.11%).
  • Niches like Travel, Healthcare, Legal, and News and Politics have less than 1% of keywords triggering AIOs, indicating Google's caution in generating AI answers for sensitive topics.
  • The shifts in niche prevalence for AIOs suggest that Google is prioritizing certain topics and adjusting its approach based on user needs and concerns.

[06] Does the word count in a search query influence the chances of triggering AI Overviews?

  • Longer search queries, especially those with 10 or more words, are more likely to trigger AIOs, with a 19.10% rate.
  • This trend suggests that Google is focusing on handling increasingly complex queries, blending search features with AI-assistant capabilities.
  • SEO specialists should focus on optimizing for long-tail keywords, as they are more likely to trigger AIOs.

[07] Does keyword search volume affect AI Overview appearance in SERPs?

  • AIOs appear more frequently for keywords with a search volume of 50 or less, with 33.21% of such keywords triggering AIOs.
  • As search volume increases, the frequency of AIOs generally declines, as very specific long-tail keywords with a higher probability of triggering AIOs typically have low search volumes.

[08] Do AI Overviews appear alongside featured snippets?

  • When AIOs are present, featured snippets appear 45.39% of the time, a significant increase compared to the previous research (23.03%).
  • 61.79% of the time, the link from the featured snippet overlaps with the source in the AIO, indicating Google's efforts to enhance the user experience by providing comprehensive information.

[09] Does keyword CPC affect AI Overview appearance in SERPs?

  • AIOs appear more frequently for keywords with a CPC of $0.5 or less, with 53.65% of such queries ending with AIOs.
  • Lower CPC keywords are often associated with informational, niche-specific, non-commercial queries, which Google likely prioritizes for AI-generated answers.

[10] Do ads show up with AI Overviews, and where?

  • Ads appear alongside AIOs 87% of the time, with a significant increase in ads appearing at the top of the SERP (from 23.19% to 48.58%).
  • The presence of shopping ads alongside AIOs has decreased, occurring 9.51% of the time compared to 14.41% in the previous research.
  • Certain niches, such as Ecommerce and Retail, Food and Beverage, and Fashion and Beauty, tend to have a higher prevalence of shopping ads with AIOs.
Shared by Daniel Chen ยท
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