Google says ads are on the way for AI Overviews in Search

Google Search page on a Google Pixel 7 Pro
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google stated that it would bring ads to its AI Overviews in Search for U.S. users.
  • The company said that ads will only appear if they are relevant to the query and the information discovered by the AI.
  • According to its data, Google states that users in previous tests have found ads in its overviews to be helpful.

Google is preparing to create more "opportunities" for consumers seeking information through Search with ads.

According to a Keyword blog post, Google advised users that it will soon begin testing "Search and Shopping" ads in its AI Overviews. The company explained that ads will surface in these overviews via their own sub-section labeled "Sponsored." Ads will only appear if they are relevant to what the user is looking for and the information that artificial intelligence managed to gather.

For example, Google searched for ways to get wrinkles out of clothes. While the AI-backed overview delivered a few quick solutions and websites to help, the ads were listed at the very bottom. The section was described as "products to unwrinkle your clothes," followed by a horizontally scrolling carousel of "relevant" products.

Google states that advertisers don't need to do anything to get these ads to function properly.

Moreover, the company cites prior testing and feedback from SGE users as part of its decision to implement ads. Google said, "we’ve heard that people find the ads appearing above and below the AI-generated overview helpful."

Ads in AI Overviews are slated to begin with U.S. users before arriving elsewhere. However, the company did not state when this is set to begin.

An example of Google's ads in AI overviews for U.S. users.

(Image credit: Google)

Google launched its test for AI Overviews with the general public in the U.S. in March. This was done on the back of its acquisition of a new Head of Search, Liz Reid. The company hoped that the many questions users have will push its AI to scour multiple sources across the web to deliver appropriate answers.

More recently, during I/O 2024, Google highlighted several big generative AI features en route to Search — and AI Overviews. Understanding complex questions is expected to gain a boost as users will no longer need to break up their queries. Users will also gain the ability to "adjust" their AI Overview.

The company explained that users could ask the AI to simplify its language or to break its results down more for better understanding. Both the adjustment function and complex query understanding are on deck for Search Labs testers in English (U.S.) "soon."

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.