Google begins integrating ads into AI Overviews on Google Search

Martin Brinkmann
May 22, 2024

Google is revamping its search engine with the help of AI. The company announced AI Overviews not long ago. This new feature displays an AI reply at the top of the Google Search results.

Now, Google announced the start of showing ads as part of AI Overviews on Google Search. The addition is available for searchers in the United States at the time, but will expand to more regions and countries in the future.

The advertisement shows up as sponsored blocks in the reply of the AI. This section can be distinguished better from the AI's content than regular ads from organic search results on Google Search.


Google claims that people "use Search more, and are more satisfied with their results" when AI Overviews are shown. The advertising giant says that website links included in AI Overviews get more clicks when compared to traditional lists of websites returned by Google Search.

Google continues to enhance AI Overviews. It is currently working on integrating options to simplify the AI's result or break it down in more detail. At the end of the year, Google plans to make AI Overviews available to over 1 billion Google Search users.

Google highlights the following capabilities of AI Overviews specifically:

  • Get answers to complex questions. Example search query: "Find the best yoga or pilates studios in Boston and show me details on their intro offers, and walking time from Beacon Hill". Previously, users had to run multiple searches to find the information.
  • Get help with plans. Starting with meals and vacations, AI assists users when it comes to creating plans. Google says users may fine tune the results.
  • AI-organized results pages. These pages help searches "find inspiration" and make it "easy to explore" a certain topic.
  • Get search results from videos. Take a video, ask a question, and get an AI response.

AI Overviews criticism

Criticism can be broken down to two major concerns:

  • Hallucinations and outdated information -- Generative AI may hallucinate, which refers to content being returned that is not true. It may also show old information, as it relies on previously generated content.
  • Less traffic for websites who produce the content -- AI relies on content that has been created by humans. Without it, generative AI would not exist. With Google Search showing AI Overviews at the top, webmasters and publishers fear that users will click less on links pointing to their sites, regardless of whether the link is included in an AI Overview or part of the organic results. Who needs to click on links anymore when Google returns the information right on its search page?

With generative AI, it is important to verify the returned information, especially if you plan to act on it.

Closing Words

Most search engines will integrate AI on search results page, if they have not done so already. On Brave Search, for instance, AI generated results are already the default. Some allow users to turn the functionality off, but it seems likely that the majority won't.

What about you? Will you use AI Overviews or other AI generated search results once they becomes available?

Article Name
Google begins integrating ads into AI Overviews on Google Search
Google announced the start of showing ads as part of AI Overviews on Google Search. These will be displayed to users from the United States first.
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  1. TelV said on May 23, 2024 at 3:28 pm

    More Google propaganda and yet another reason never to use Chrome (based) browser. I think that Google Chrome became so popular because it used to be bundled with ‘free’ apps on which users were persuaded to accept the “Recommended” installation which automatically installed Chrome and reset it as the default browser. Non-techies didn’t know how to reinstate their previous browser and just accepted it without question.

    Fast forward to today and those same users have now been thoroughly brainwashed and accept anything that Google says without question.

  2. Anonymous said on May 22, 2024 at 10:57 pm

    Latest Google searches are terrible – I had to turn off Javascript to get anything near decent…

  3. Chow Down said on May 22, 2024 at 8:52 pm

    Disroot’s search is really nice, they offer a Tor .onion as well. It cuts through the bullshit and doesn’t serve ads to you at all, or record your IP.

  4. boris said on May 22, 2024 at 8:38 pm

    I got extension to block all Google AI overviews. Hopefully it will block included AI ads too.

  5. Tony said on May 22, 2024 at 8:14 pm

    A primary thing I tell most people when I help them with tech is that when you click on a Google ad, you open yourself to viruses and scams. Google does not utilize proper linking to be able to see where you’re going and thereby protect yourself.

    And then I install an ad blocker to help protect them.

  6. UnobservantWatcher said on May 22, 2024 at 4:48 pm

    Every ad that is pushed at me is one more product I will not buy, one more product I will suggest others also not buy.
    When I shop on the net, I already know what it is I’m searching for. Ads injected into my search results will be blocked if possible, ignored if not, and added to my list of undesireable stores/manufacturers.
    In other words, you want to force yourself and your products into my conversations? Do you cmprehend what “counter productive” means?

    1. bruh said on May 23, 2024 at 6:18 pm

      Advertisements weren’t always as insufferable as they are. And you have to keep in mind that a lot of people that go browsing for something to buy actually aren’t too sure which exact product they need and what company they want to buy it from.

      I completely and totally ignore adverts now, but that wasn’t always the case when I was younger, I remember at least a handful of adverts where the advert either helped me learn of the existence of a product I had never seen before, or the advert was from a company that didn’t totally suck. Or the classic case of “Whoa, what is that?” and you click on something and then go “That has given me inspiration, I am gonna find something like this, but elsewhere”.

      The thing is, not just bad and scummy companies advertise, some good and decent companies advertise as well, relying on word of mouth is not that easy for a business.

      If you see an advert for something (in a search):

      45% – this is some industry leading brand, they have the money to shell out for constant advertising, probably a company many use out of convenience, not because they support it
      35% – this company sucks but are hoping you’ll think they’re successful because they can afford advertisement, if you clicked the ad chances are you probably aren’t aware that it’s a bad brand people don’t like.
      10% – this is probably a straight up scam or false advertising of some sort, you will lose your money
      10% – this might just be a normal company, maybe it sucks, maybe it doesn’t, but they’re not well known and are trying to establish a reputation

  7. Tom Hawack said on May 22, 2024 at 2:36 pm

    Times Square and its devotion to advertisement : nice article picture :)
    AI and its fame is THE vector to progressively and increasingly add an extra touch of ads, lol.
    Vade retro satana! GAFAM definitely need to be exorcised. I love Lucy, not Lucifer :)
    Trying to have my word with a smile. Truth is I’m somewhere between anger and cries.

  8. Gregory said on May 22, 2024 at 2:15 pm

    Just use SEARX.

  9. 45 RPM said on May 22, 2024 at 1:15 pm

    Integrate this.

  10. John G. said on May 22, 2024 at 1:01 pm

    Ads everywhere, babies will be born with an advertisement on the forehead.
    Thanks for the article! :]

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