Google To Prioritize AI Overviews Ads Over Organic Search


Speakers at Google’s Marketing Live event demonstrated how they will utilize user search queries and AI Overviews content to show interactive shopping ads that will push organic search results even lower, stating that Google is “focused on opening up new opportunities for your business.

Google: We’re Not Building A Better Search Engine

The first speaker, Philipp Schindler, SVP & Chief Business Officer at Google, said out loud what Googlers normally don’t when he said that the purpose of search results is to show advertising.

He made the remark in the context of a new AI video tool that will help YouTube creators make more content.

At the 18:19 minute mark of the event, Schindler boasted:

“We’ve been collaborating with some really talented film makers, musicians and artists, and the results have been simply incredible. Soon we’ll bring video to shorts, opening up a whole new world of creative possibilities for you and your brands. Just imagine every creator with the power of AI in their pocket.

So what does all of this mean for you? More creators creating more quality content attracts more viewers, which means more reach, engagement and ROI for you. We’re not just building a better search engine or a better YouTube. We’re focused on opening up new opportunities for your business.”

The statement that Google is using AI Overviews and Search to build reach and ROI for advertisers is not the only one. The next two speakers made the same point.

Search And Shopping Ads In AI Overviews

The next speaker was Vidhya Srinivasan, VP/GM, Advertising at Google. She begins by describing how search experiences will drive traffic to websites. Then quickly switches gear to show how interactive advertising will push organic search listings literally beyond the view of users who are making the search queries.

At the 30 minute mark of the video, Srinivasan explained:

“AI overviews will appear in search results when they are particularly helpful beyond what search offers today. As we continue to test and evolve the search experience, we are going to stay super focused on sending valuable traffic to publishers and creators. But then, more avenues for user exploration leads to more choice and more choice leads to more opportunities for advertisers.

You may have noticed that we already show ads above and below AI overviews. These ads are matched to the user’s search query. We will now start testing, Search and Shopping ads ads in AI overviews for users in the US.

What is also new with this is we are going to match these ads not just to the query context, but also to the information within the AI Overviews. And, as always, ads will be clearly labeled.”

1. AI Overviews – No Organic Listings

2. Scroll Down For Shopping Ads

She next went on to describe an example of wrinkled clothes while traveling and turning to Google Search to find ways to prevent the wrinkles. She shows a search activity for travel hacks and shows how organic search results are pushed beneath the AI Overviews feature and new Search and Shopping ads that contain product images and pop out far more than any search results do.

She explained how the new AI Overviews shopping ads will be there to convert searchers:

“With the AI overview, I quickly found some common travel hacks that sounded promising. As I browsed the many options that showed up, I found a really nice fix, a wrinkle release spray that I’d never heard of before. So perfect. I want to try that.

Now, with this feature, I can just click on this ad right away, right there, and buy it.

So as you can see, we’re just making it easier and faster for consumers so that they can take action right away. So this is just one example of how we are using Gen AI. There are many more, and we’re going to start with more applications in search ads.”

3. Targeted Ads Based On AI Overviews

Google Search Is The Bait

Google search engineers are using the most advanced technology and data to create the most useful search results of any time in Google’s history, this is the best it’s ever been. But according to the people who are really in charge at Google, the purpose of Search is not “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” but to build more “reach, engagement and ROI” for advertisers. Sam Altman was right to call what Google is doing dystopian.

SEOs Were Social Engineered

Social engineering is the management of people’s behavior in order to get them to perform a certain way.  Google got a huge chunk of the web ecosystem bought into concepts like Core Web Vitals and also Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness in order to satisfy users that Google apparently never intended for them.

It’s not the fault of the Googlers who put their hearts into perfecting search. They do a good job. But it’s clear that Google’s mission is no longer to make information accessible and useful. Perhaps what can only feel like a dystopian horror, Google succeeded in social-engineering the search community and publishers to focus on creating  helpful content so that those on the advertising side can use it to build more ROI for advertisers.

It’s not just SEOs and publishers that were used for the benefit of advertisers.

Watch the Google Marketing Live Keynote 2024

Featured Image by Shutterstock/pikselstock



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