Testing Out the New Google AI Search Feature – My Thoughts

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AI certainly has had an impact on my life as a content strategist and creator – from brainstorming to analyzing source content, there are many positive applications. AI is even available right inside WordPress to step up your blogging. But what about Google AI search? How will that impact things? Now that I’ve run across the new Google search functionality, let’s have a look.

What is Google AI Search?

A while back, when Perplexity AI was launched, some people said it would replace Google search for them. I saw the potential. Perplexity AI is an AI assistant that cites its sources. So, for example, when I asked whether or not it’s true that I was once named Internet Marketer of the Year and, if so, why, it gave me the answer, with links to where it sourced its information.

christoph trappe internet marketer of the year perplexity

And I have to say, Perplexity AI, in some instances, really was superior to the traditional Google Search results. And as everyone was fawning over the new platform in the middle of the room, Google AI search (quietly?) entered through a side door. It works in a similar way, and I spotted it first on Safari on my iPhone.

Once I saw it, I searched for a topic I knew my blog was ranking high for: Did somebody block me on LinkedIn?

Instead of giving me links or even a featured snippet, its Generative AI, listed as experimental, simply answers the questions – like any similar AI model would. Think ChatGPT or Claude AI but right there in your search results.

Google AI Search answers

Google AI Search answers

Google AI Search answers with links

As people scroll, at some point, Google shows where the information was sourced from, including my article.

Read next: Can AI edit videos?

Do people still have to click with Google AI Search?

Clearly, they don’t. I’m basically ranking No. 1 with my article on the topic, but grabbing the top spot in search results isn’t what it used to be. It’s now way below the AI summary and overview of the topic.

So, I wondered if this already is impacting my click-throughs. For this particular article, it doesn’t appear to be, according to Google Search Console. The click-through rate, impressions, and clicks in the last 28 days actually increased. So far, that particular article hasn’t seen a performance decrease.

Google AI search click through analysis

But, I would be shocked if there won’t be an impact on click-throughs as Google rolls this product out further and adoption increases.

Read next: AI Content Creation: What is AI Content and the Stages to Use it

What is Google AI called?

Officially, Google Search AI is called Search Generative Experience (SGE). The rollout was announced in May 2023 at Google I/O.

So that’s the new Google AI search, and it’s an experience similar to tools like Perplexity. Regardless, it’s still worth producing unique and relevant content to draw your target audiences to you through search. After all, people go to search to find things. Currently, there are 8.5 billion Google searches per day!

While we aren’t stopping the AI train moving forward, I prefer AI tools that link to the content by a mile to the ones that use and regurgitate the content without a link. You can see in your referral traffic if AI tools send people your way. For example, my blog saw referral traffic from Microsoft Co-pilot and Perplexity on this day. At the end of the day, AI search results aren’t a reason to give up on your content marketing. But be aware of it and the impact.

AI referral traffic


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