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SERP Features: AI Overview

SERP Features: AI Overview

Google's AI Overviews, released in the U.S. in 2024, are AI-generated summaries that provide quick answers to search queries by summarizing content from multiple websites. While similar to Google’s Featured Snippets, AI Overviews uniquely combine information, making them a pivotal SERP feature for SEO strategies.

Understanding AI Overviews

AI Overviews use generative AI technology to create concise summaries for search queries directly in the search results. This SERP feature aims to deliver fast, complete answers by combining information from various sources. 

Google Search results page for a 'what is crossfit' search query. A red arrow is pointing towards the AI Overview SERP feature on top of search results that answers the posed question

Note: Google continues to refine these overviews while ensuring they drive valuable traffic to publishers and creators.

How to Be Featured in AI Overviews

To increase your chances of being featured in AI Overviews, adhere to Google’s standard SEO best practices, as outlined in Google Search Essentials. These include actions like: 

  • Creating helpful content that answers the search intent. 
  • Improving E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness)
  • Optimizing for keywords
  • Updating content regularly

Otherwise, no special actions are required other than following these established guidelines to improve overall visibility in search results. Note that due to the way AI Overview works, you will rank for being one of the data sources for the generation rather than the SERP Feature itself.

Tracking AI Overviews with Semrush 

There are two places in Semrush where you can see AI Overviews data: Position Tracking and Semrush Sensor. 

Position Tracking

Semrush’s Position Tracking tool allows you to monitor your website's visibility within AI Overviews. Here’s how to track your site:

  1. Set Up a Position Tracking Project: Begin by creating a project for your website, specifying your domain and target keywords.
  2. Navigate to SERP Features: Click on the overview tab in the Position Tracking tool. Then, use the SERP features filter to select AI Overviews. This will display keywords from your campaign that triggered an AI Overview and whether your site was highlighted.Overview report in Position Tracking. The name of the tab is highlighted. In the report, a SERP Features filter is opened and AI Overview is highlighted among all other options.

Semrush Sensor

The Semrush Sensor provides insights into the prevalence of AI Overviews across different industries, highlighting the volatility and frequency of this feature in Google search results. To use Sensor for tracking AI Overviews:

  • Access SERP Features Stats: Sensor’s dashboard includes statistics on various SERP features. Select AI Overviews to view their occurrence rate across all SERPs or within specific industries.
    An example of Semrush Sensor Overview report. The name of the tab is highlighted, as well as AI Overview metrics in the SERP Features Occurrence widget below the SERP volatility trend graph.

Note on Volatility and Feedback

As Google is still perfecting and gradually rolling out AI overviews, they display considerable volatility. Many users have expressed concerns about their prominence, leading to requests for more control over these results. We are closely monitoring these developments and will update our tools and strategies to help you maintain visibility as the search landscape evolves.