Google’s AI overviews are less reliant on Reddit, data suggests

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

TL;DR

  • Third-party data strongly suggests that Google has tempered Reddit’s influence on search results that use AI overviews.
  • This change comes from results from outrageously terrible, high-profile AI overviews that were probably scraped from Reddit.
  • Elsewhere, Google appears to have significantly reduced the number of AI overview results delivered, overall.

At Google I/O 2024, the company launched the public version of its AI-powered search feature on Google Search. Formerly known as Search Generative Experience (SGE) and now known as AI SummariesIt was immediately clear at the event that Google thought this was the future of Search, by far its biggest (and most lucrative) product.

However, shortly after AI Overviews went live, people started noticing some really strange and, in some cases, dangerous AI Overview results. Putting glue on pizza to prevent ingredients from slipping, eating a few small stones a day, and drinking their own urine were just some of these results.

Interestingly, some of the outlandish responses were almost certainly caused by the AI ​​Overviews system pulling information from Reddit posts. The pizza glue it comes from a Reddit post from 11 years agoFor example.

After these ridiculous responses went viral, Google apologized and promised to further refine the system. Today we have some data that suggests that one of the biggest changes Google could have made is simply to rely less on Reddit.

According to search engine optimization (SEO) platform SERanking (via Search engine land), Reddit is no longer a top ten source of information on AI overviews. In an analysis of 100,000 keywords, SERanking found that the top five sources of results were Runners world, health lineLinkedIn, RunRepeatand Wikipedia. It’s unclear where Reddit now falls in the rankings, but SERanking claims that it was in the top ten at some point in the past.

It is also not clear where other dubious sources of information are now on the list. The suggestion to eat a few small stones a day almost certainly comes from The onion, probably the most famous satirical news site in the world. The fact that AI Overviews was even pulling information from this “source” is a good indicator of how reliable the results it provides should be.

This whole situation has apparently resulted in Google pushing AI overviews at a much slower pace than immediately after I/O. Similar SEO company SEOClarity says AI Overview results appeared in only 7.6% of its tested searches, down from 17.4% seen between May 14 (Google I/O) and May 30.

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