Remove Your Content From Google's AI Overviews

May 17, 2024 - 7:51 am 9 by

Google Logo Hiding Bush

When Google announced it is rolling out AI Overviews in the US search results and last year when Google launched SGE in labs, SEOs and content creators wanted to know how to prevent their content from showing up in these responses. Well, you can, but only through Google Search controls as I covered in my larger story.

Glenn Gabe tested the nosnippet control out and it worked - he wrote up a detailed case study here. He was able to remove his content and link card from the AI Overview by adding a nosnippet to the content that Google was using for the AI Overview. But when it was removed, that snippet in the Google Search results had its description removed from the normal search listings.

Here is what the AI Overview looked like prior to the nosnippet being added:

Ai Overviews Gsqi Outlook

Here is what the AI changed to after the nosnippet was crawled and processed by Google Search (it took a few hours, Glenn said):

Ai Overviews Gsqi Removed

But the normal snippet in search for his site now no longer shows a description section, it is just the title and date:

Ai Overviews Gsqi Nosnippet

Of course, you can all experiment with variations of nosnippets, like using max-snippet data-nosnippet. But that would mean you need to do trial and error on each and every URL that is used for the AI Overviews, which can be time consuming.

And the truth is, you may decide you want to show up in the AI Overviews, but with Google not showing us the data in Google Search Console, it will be a hard decision to make.

Here is more from Glenn on this, outside of the blog post he wrote:

As a reminder, Google added a separate page for AI Overviews and your website, and updated the existing pages for robots meta tags and subscription and paywalled content documentation accordingly.

Forum discussion at X.

Update: The following week, the nosnippet directive no longer works! Glenn posted an update!

Update 2: John Mueller of Google said he spoke to the team and there is just a processing delay, he posted on LinkedIn:

Hi Glenn - I checked with the team about this. It comes from the current internal implementation, where some things still take a bit more time to be reprocessed than directly in Search. This should settle down for your URL in the near future given your use of nosnippet. Like with Search crawling & indexing, there are no exact timelines to reprocess individual URLs, so I can't give you an exact time, but it could take up to a few days. Hope that helps!

Update: May 23rd the AI Overview links from Glenn's site are gone again. John Mueller from Google responded on LinkedIn saying, "Glenn, checking it again now, it looks like things have been reprocessed & things are showing as expected. Thanks!"


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