Google to Soon Test Ads Within Its Recently Launched AI Overviews Feature in Search

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Google is planning to test ads on its recently launched artificial intelligence (AI)-powered search experience dubbed AI Overviews. Notably, AI Overviews is a rebranded Search Generative Experience (SGE), which was released as an experimental feature to beta testers in May 2023. Now that the feature has been made generally available in the US, the tech giant is planning to introduce sponsored content within the experience. Whether these ads will be shown to a limited number of users or be shown to everyone was not revealed by the company.

The development was announced by Google in its Ads and Commerce blog post. The company said, “Soon, we’ll start testing Search and Shopping ads in AI Overviews for users in the U.S. They will have the opportunity to appear within the AI Overview in a section clearly labeled as “sponsored” when they’re relevant to both the query and the information in the AI Overview.”

Highlighting the advantage of placing ads within AI Overviews, the tech giant claimed that its early testing results have shown that people find ads placed above and below the AI-generated summary helpful. Currently, advertisers do not need to take any action to feature their ads in this space as Google continues to test its reception. Further, it said that advertisers who are running campaigns with the search engine platform under Performance Max and Standard Shopping will be picked for this space.

Answering concerns raised by some website owners, Google also claimed that the links included in AI Overviews get more clicks than those which appear via traditional web listing for a particular query. It also claimed that users who have access to the AI-generated summaries tend to use Google Search more often than those without it. However, the company did not explain if there were any specific criteria for websites to feature their links in this space. “As we continue to test and evolve the Search experience, we’ll remain focused on sending valuable traffic to publishers and creators,” the company added.

Interestingly, this development comes just a day after Google reportedly announced that it will create a specific space on smartphones where users will experience immersive content from apps they have not used in a while to bring them back to it. This feature is said to be run via Engage SDK and currently, its access is given to 35 major app developers on an invite basis.

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