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Google set to bring ads in search AI Overviews: A New Era for Search Advertising?2 min read

Google set to bring ads in search AI Overviews

Key Points:

  • Google tests placing ads within its AI-generated answer summaries (Search AI Overviews) for US users, This means you might see sponsored content alongside summaries of complex search queries.
  • Google says these are “relevant product recommendations” to enhance the search experience. They argue users found them helpful in past tests.
  • Critics worry about information overload and potential bias in the AI summaries if ads influence them. Transparency and ad relevance will be crucial for the success of this feature.

Google is stepping into a new source of search advertising with its plan to test “Search and Shopping” ads within its AI-generated answer summaries, known as AI Overviews. This move is currently in the testing phase for US users and mentions Google’s attempt to leverage its generative AI technology to deliver targeted advertising alongside informative search results.

What are AI Overviews?

At Google’s I/O conference held earlier this year, AI Overviews was introduced. AI Overviews are essentially AI-powered summaries that appear at the top of search results for complex queries. These summaries provide information from various web sources to give users a concise and informative answer.

How will Ads be integrated?

Google assures users that these ads will only be displayed if they are relevant to the search query and the AI-generated information. They will be contained in a designated “Sponsored” section within the AI Overviews, clearly differentiated from the organic search results.


This targeted approach aims to enhance the user experience by presenting relevant product recommendations alongside informative summaries. For example, if a user searches for “ways to get wrinkles out of clothes, ” the AI Overview might include tips and tricks and sponsored ads for wrinkle-release sprays or steamers in the “Sponsored” section.

Why is Google doing this?

There are two main reasons behind Google’s decision. Firstly, it represents an effort to monetize their generative AI technology. As AI Overviews become more prominent integrating targeted ads provides a new source of advertising revenue.

Secondly, Google claims that user testing of a similar program, the Search Generative Experience (SGE), indicated that users found the ads helpful. This suggests that strategically placed ads within informative summaries might actually improve the search experience for some users.

Is this the future of search advertising?

Sometimes, integrating ads into AI summaries proves to be an effective and user-friendly approach. While some users might appreciate the targeted recommendations, others might find them intrusive. The success of this program will likely depend on Google’s ability to maintain the balance between delivering relevant ads and maintaining the integrity of the search experience.

Also Read: How To Turn Off Google AI Overviews While Searching

This development marks an important step in the evolution of search advertising. As generative AI continues to develop, it will be interesting to see how Google and other search engines refine their strategies to navigate the balance between information delivery and advertising.

Tanmay Sinha


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