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Monday, July 15, 2024

Google AI Overviews Using Reddit Less, LinkedIn More: Study

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It’s been over a month since Google rolled out AI answers at the top of search results and received backlash for the feature’s inaccurate responses.

A new study from SEO platform SE Ranking shows that Google has now decreased how often AI overviews appear and switched up which websites it uses to source answers.

The Wednesday study took 100,000 keywords across 20 niches, including business, politics, and wellness, and ran Google searches on the keywords. The researchers found that AI has noticeably less of a presence in Google search results now than it did five months ago when they did the same searches.

Related: Site Traffic Down? Google Just Made Some Big Search Changes

Most of the 100,000 searches, over 90%, do not yield an AI result now compared to over 63% of them that did in January, the researchers found.

The percentage of AI summaries that Google automatically generates has dropped by over 52%.

The “sharp decrease” is probably due to Google trying to make AI overviews more accurate and trustworthy, the SE Ranking researchers wrote.

“The search engine is more selective when generating AI content than before,” they added.

Related: Google’s New AI Search Results Are Already Hallucinating

Reddit and Nerdwallet were on the top 10 list in January, but are now out. Same with Quora, Investopedia, and Local.google.com (or Google Maps with local companies present).

In their place are five newcomers: Runner’s World, Healthline, Run Repeat, Very Well Mind, and Men’s Health.

Runner’s World and Healthline fall under the sports, exercise, self-care, wellness, and healthcare niches, which “could indicate that Google is prioritizing sites with deep expertise within specific topics,” SE Ranking researchers wrote.

Sites like Reddit and Quora have still benefitted from an August Google update that prioritizes discussions and forums. Reddit traffic has almost tripled in the eight months ending in April since the update.

Related: Reddit Traffic Triples, Posts Prioritized in Google Search

Google is the global search engine leader, with more than 90% of the global market.

The top ten websites that Google’s AI overviews linked to the most, out of the 100,000 searches, are:

  1. Runnersworld.com (linked 1,200 times)
  2. Healthline.com (linked 1,114 times)
  3. Linkedin.com (linked 1,027 times)
  4. Runrepeat.com (linked 933 times)
  5. En.wikipedia.org (linked 775 times)
  6. Youtube.com (linked 761 times)
  7. Forbes.com (linked 680 times)
  8. Webmd.com (linked 583 times)
  9. Verywellmind.com (linked 562 times)
  10. Menshealth.com (linked 547 times)



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