Google AI Overviews visibility drops, only shows for 15% of queries

Google's AI Overviews (when it was known as Search Generative Experience in Labs) once showed 84% of the time.

Chat with SearchBot

Google’s AI Overviews now appear less than 15% of the time, according to a new analysis.

The drop. Here’s a screenshot showing the data:

Google reduces AI Overviews in Search

The data was shared with Search Engine Land by enterprise SEO platform BrightEdge and its BrightEdge Generative Parser, which has been tracking and monitoring SGE and AI Overviews since late last year.

AI Overviews and other Google Search features. AI Overviews are 195% more likely to appear when queries have a featured snippet. Question-based queries are also more likely to feature AI Overviews.

  • AIO is less likely to show when sitelinks are present and on local queries.
Google showing AI overviews

AI Overviews by industry. Google’s AI Overviews continue to appear most often in Healthcare (63%), which is down from 76% in January. AI Overviews appear less than 1% of the time for Restaurants (down from 36% in January) and Travel (down from 30% in January).

AI Overviews by Industry May 2024

Predicting and answering follow-up questions. Google has reduced the overlap between AI citations and classic search results, BrightEdge said. This means Google is less often showing users the same answers in two types of results.

Also, for “what,” “where” and “how” intent-based queries, Google is now more often:

  • Doing the second, third and fourth searches for users (as Google put it at I/O, “Let Google do the searching for you“).
  • Anticipating follow-up questions and showing those to searchers before they ask.

Search and AI acceleration. Despite the reduction of AI Overviews, AI in search is an inevitable change and things will only get exponentially better and more useful as testing continues, said BrightEdge Founder and Executive Chairman Jim Yu:

  • “It is inevitable that the relationship between AI and search will accelerate. We must acknowledge that it is getting some things wrong at the moment but be aware that it is fine-tuning several things – search quality, the flow of traffic in its ecosystem, and monetization (ads). It will get exponentially better over time.”

About the author

Danny Goodwin
Danny Goodwin has been Managing Editor of Search Engine Land & Search Marketing Expo - SMX since 2022. He joined Search Engine Land in 2022 as Senior Editor. In addition to reporting on the latest search marketing news, he manages Search Engine Land’s SME (Subject Matter Expert) program. He also helps program U.S. SMX events.

Goodwin has been editing and writing about the latest developments and trends in search and digital marketing since 2007. He previously was Executive Editor of Search Engine Journal (from 2017 to 2022), managing editor of Momentology (from 2014-2016) and editor of Search Engine Watch (from 2007 to 2014). He has spoken at many major search conferences and virtual events, and has been sourced for his expertise by a wide range of publications and podcasts.

Get the must-read newsletter for search marketers.