Understanding Google’s New AI Overviews Feature

Google’s Documentation on AI Overviews:

Google recently released new documentation regarding their latest AI Overviews search feature. This feature is designed to provide a concise summary of search query answers, along with links to webpages where users can find more detailed information. The documentation offers valuable insights into how this feature functions and what publishers and SEOs should take into consideration.

Triggers for AI Overviews:

AI Overviews are triggered when there is a user intent to quickly grasp information, particularly when it is tied to a specific task. According to Google’s documentation, these Overviews appear in search results when their systems detect the need for a rapid understanding of information from various sources, including the web and Google’s Knowledge Graph. The feature is particularly useful for users looking to advance their tasks through the information they find.

Types of Sites Linked to AI Overviews:

It is essential to note that AI Overviews are not exclusively triggered by informational queries. Google’s documentation clarifies that a diverse range of websites, including creators, ecommerce stores, and businesses, can benefit from being linked in AI Overviews. This indicates that a wider array of websites beyond informational sources can benefit from this feature.

The documentation specifies the types of websites that may receive a link from AI Overviews. These links enable users to explore a variety of content from publishers, creators, retailers, businesses, and more, to support their tasks.

Sources of Information for AI Overviews:

AI Overviews display information from both the web and the Knowledge Graph. Large Language Models require complete retraining when incorporating substantial new data. Therefore, the selected websites displayed in the Overviews feature are drawn from Google’s standard search index, suggesting the use of Retrieval-augmented generation (RAG).

RAG serves as an intermediary between a large language model and an external database of information. This external database, whether a specific knowledge set or a search index, provides additional information to substantiate the data provided by a Language Model or to guide users to further information on the topic at hand.

Google’s documentation emphasizes that AI Overviews draw information from a variety of sources, including the web and the Knowledge Graph, to enable users to quickly understand information.

SEO Implications of Automatic Inclusion:

Inclusion in AI Overviews is automatic, and no specific actions are required by publishers or SEOs to be featured in this feature. Google’s systems autonomously determine the selection of sites displayed in AI Overviews based on the topics surfaced. Adhering to Google’s guidelines for ranking in regular search results is the key to being considered for AI Overviews.

All indications point to AI Overviews sourcing data from the standard search index, without any specialized adjustments for this feature. Following Google’s Search Essentials guide is sufficient for publishers to rank in AI Overviews.

Emphasizing Topic Targeting in SEO:

While keywords and synonyms are important in search queries and content, focusing solely on them in SEO efforts may be limiting. Search engines utilize various methods, such as semantic annotation, to link web content to concepts and enhance the understanding of unstructured data.

Google’s longstanding practice of matching webpages to concepts underscores the importance of topic targeting in SEO. Semantic Annotation enables search engines to comprehend the context and substance of webpages more effectively. This approach has been integrated into Google’s search engine for years, enhancing the accuracy and relevance of search results.

Google’s documentation regarding AI Overviews reaffirms the importance of topics in determining the sites featured in this feature. By aligning webpage content with relevant topics, publishers can improve their visibility in Google Search, including in AI Overviews.


Google’s new AI Overviews feature presents an innovative way for users to quickly access information and explore topics further. By understanding the triggers, sources of information, and SEO implications associated with AI Overviews, publishers and SEOs can optimize their content to enhance visibility in search results. Embracing topic targeting in SEO strategies can broaden the reach and relevance of web content in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

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