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

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

Google’s AI Overviews (formerly known as Search Generative Experience when it was an opt-in experiment in Google Labs) at one time appeared on 84% of queries.

That number of Google Search results without SGE jumped substantially starting in mid-April and continued into May before Google I/O, when Google announced the launch of AI Overviews in the U.S.

The launch of AI Overviews was followed by numerous examples of incorrect and dangerous AI-generated answers, such as suggesting people drink urine to eat rocks.

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

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.

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).

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.”