Google Begins Testing Search And Shopping Ads In AI Overviews

There’s no surprise here but Google has confirmed testing for ads inside its AI Overview boxes.

The company went public with the news at the recently held Google Marketing Live event for this year where it spoke more in detail on this new initiative. The addition would allow ads to surface inside a certain overview that’s located in the section allocated for sponsored content.

So whenever a user embarks on a search journey with a complex query, they would be served ads, whether they like it or not.

But how does this whole process actually work? Well, when the ad is highlighted as relevant to the search question and AI Overviews, it would start surfacing inside the overview across the sponsored segment.

This might be a serious step for advertisers because it means a higher probability of having ads enhanced. But at the same time, it also means seeing a drop in click-throughs across the company’s website. So what we might also see is a decline in traffic as Google gives out the data that consumers need across SERP.

In terms of the bigger picture, the new update stands for the first steps that Google hopes to take in terms of monetizing its AI investments through the likes of consumer products and the biggest one out there is Search.

In terms of testing of early users, the company says AI Overviews were classified as being a great source of help to many and allowing them to visit more websites via the links added.

So in other words, Google says it hopes to stay focused on including valuable traffic to a host of publishers as well as creators. This way, a more balanced approach would be rolled out amongst AI material online and the web sources present externally.

But when we actually read between the lines, the thought of adding ads inside AI Overviews is a new domain that Google is experimenting with and could backfire. Remember, it’s coming at a time when we’re seeing the world of AI as an expensive and threatening endeavor to the firm’s core Search model for ads.

Did we mention how any kind of intrusive placements of ads seen across AI Overviews might undermine the objectiveness and its utility at the end of the day? Clearly, Google has a lot to think about.

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