Two Conflicting Google AI Overview CTR Studies

May 29, 2024 - 7:21 am 1 by
Filed Under Google

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In the past couple of weeks, we had two blog posts published on the topic of the click through rates from the new Google AI Overviews to publishers compared to those clicks to publishers prior to the AI Overviews going live. And guess what - the studies conflict with each other. In short, one said there was a lift in clicks from AI Overviews and the other said there was a decline in clicks from AI Overviews.

As a reminder, Google won't share in Google Search Console the clicks and impression data just for those AI Overviews. But Google's PR team told us there are more clicks...

The first one was published Ross Hudgens on Siege Media that said he has "seen an increase in impressions, average clickthrough rate (CTR), and total traffic since the overviews went live." In fact, a 4% increase in the clickthrough rate from AI Overviews when compared to normal search results.

Here is that chart:

Rosshudgens Google Aio Clicks

The second one was published yesterday by Kevin Indig on Growth Memo that said he has seen "AIO citations send fewer clicks to cited URLs." In fact, he said there was almost a 9% decline in the clickthrough rate from AI Overviews when compared to normal search results.

Kevin Indig Google Aio Clicks

I do think Kevin's data is a bit better because he took a bit more time to let the data accumulate, when Ross did his study, AI Overviews weren't really fully rolled out. Also, Kevin took out a lot of outliers that can impact the authenticity of the data.

In any event, these are both studies people in our industry have been looking for - so I figured I'd share them both for you all to review.

Forum discussion at X and X.


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