BITESIZE: Latest Google SEO News – June 2024

Latest SEO news including anxiety about Google's incoming 'AI Overviews' and what was discovered from the recently-leaked Google documents about rankings. Read below to get all the insights!

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Some anxiety about Google’s incoming ‘AI Overviews’

Certainly in the SEO community there has been a lot of talk and also concern over the announcement Google made at Google I/O mid-May about releasing ‘AI Overviews’ into the wild.

As you may have seen, there has been a flurry of reports about odd things popping up including Google telling people to put glue on their pizza. Google has released this across all users in the US and the ‘rest of the world’ is to follow between May and the end of the year. This means we are likely to start seeing these in the near future.

At the moment, recent reports are saying that they aren’t appearing very often. In fact, just 14% to 15% of searches where they are automatically showing. If you haven’t seen them and you are wondering what it looks like, example below (they do vary depending on the search of course).

google AI Overviews

So what?

This is a major thing for agencies and marketers. Firstly, new technology like this can influence user behaviours in big ways – changing user behaviours can surface both new opportunities and threats.

We are expecting people to start using longer tail queries and making more detailed queries in the coming years as this evolves. Google is trying to ‘do the searching for us’, which will also influence user behaviour.

Secondly, traffic… AI Overviews (AIOs) push down the current organic results which will influence where users click, hence we may see changes in traffic.

Finally, no, Google isn’t giving us the data for this. It is worth noting that content publishers are specifically concerned about losing traffic because of Google’s ability to summarise stories and content potentially meaning the user has no need to visit the website.

Google leaked documents

At the end of May several personalities in the SEO world received leaked API documentation from Google, over 2,500 pages. The SEO community has been going to town on analysing them and trying to pull information from them. There was no new information but several things we suspected that have been more solidly confirmed. The documents are genuine, as confirmed by Google. However, they are several years old and there’s a lack of context.

So what?

Although there was a lot, the main things that have come out of the documentation are:

  • Google does use click data as part of ranking – the module is called NavBoost
  • They have a measurement that represents ‘site authority’ – they previously denied this
  • They may use signals from Chrome to influence how they rank pages
  • How fresh content is does contribute to ranking
  • Links to a website contribute to how well they rank

Need help?

If you need help with anything covered in this round-up, drop us an email to [email protected] or submit your details here and we’ll be in touch.

Dave Colgate profile picture
Dave Colgate

Dave is head of SEO at Vertical Leap. He joined in 2010 as an SEO specialist and prior to that worked with international companies delivering successful search marketing campaigns. Dave works with many of our largest customers spanning many household names and global brands such as P&O Cruises and Harvester. Outside of work, Dave previously spent many years providing charity work as a Sergeant under the Royal Air Force Reserves in the Air Cadets sharing his passion for aviation with young minds. He can often be found in the skies above the south coast enjoying his private pilot licence.

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