How AI Overviews Will (or Won’t) Impact Your Dealership

Automotive SEO professional lounging on chairs in front of a screen displaying a Google AI Overview
Posted on by Meaghan StPeter
Categories: Automotive SEO Tagged: , , , , , ,

Google has changed the game yet again. No, there wasn’t another algorithm update, not yet, at least. However, a major change has been made to search engine results pages (SERPs). You may have seen it, you may have used it, and you may have grown to fear it: AI Overviews, formally known as SGE (Search Generative Experience). This new SERP feature is definitely interesting and will absolutely make an impact on search, but not so much on automotive SEO. Auto dealers have little to worry about, and that’s exactly what I will talk about in this article. Let’s get into it.

What Are AI Overviews?

Before we discuss how this change will or will not impact your dealership, it’s important to understand exactly what AI Overviews are. In short, they are AI-generated responses to a search query.

Here’s an example of what they look like:

Google AI Overview displaying performance specs of the Toyota Tacoma

As you can see, these AI Overviews appear at the top of the SERP (search engine results page) in what is referred to as “Position 0.” Now, there are a couple of elements to this Google feature. First, you see the generated text that directly answers the user’s query, which, in this case, is the performance specifications for the Toyota Tacoma. Underneath that, you can see the resources the AI model used to write the excerpt of text.

When push comes to shove, these AI Overviews are quite similar to Featured Snippets. The difference here is that rather than quoting a specific source to answer the query, the AI model will compile information and write its own response. This means that AI Overviews are typically going to be longer, which could result in them being able to completely answer a consumer’s question, leading to a clickless search.

That said, it is expected that there will be instances in which the model does not completely answer the query, and the user needs to do some more digging. That’s where earning a spot as a “resource” by having high-quality, informative content that answers the specific query would come in handy; your site, if referenced, is likely to be clicked on for that further research.

Fortunately, though, dealerships don’t actually need to be too concerned about the logistics and inner workings of all of this.

How Will AI Overviews Impact Your Dealership?

The fact of the matter is that AI Overviews likely won’t have much of an impact on car dealerships. Why? Because they’re probably not going to exist on the SERPs you’re aiming to earn a position on. When it comes to marketing your dealership in search, transactional keywords are those you are getting the most juice (conversions) out of and those that you or your vendor are, or should be, working on. You can learn more about that in my article on how the keywords you target impact your data.

What does that have to do with anything? AI Overviews are unlikely to appear on a SERP for a transactional search. When it comes to consumers looking to buy a vehicle and searching for something like “Chevy Silverado for sale,” there aren’t many––if any––ways an AI model could help. These consumers want to look at the vehicles available in their area, schedule a test drive, or connect with a local dealership. These aren’t things an AI model can do. In all, dealers have little to be worried about when it comes to AI Overviews because this new feature isn’t going to live on their SERPs.

Another Reason to Focus on Transactional Keywords

If your SEO vendor is focused mostly on informational keywords, AI Overviews may cause a drop in traffic to your website. Controversially, that might be a good thing, though, as it may highlight a strategy issue of which you were previously unaware. If your SEO vendor is focused on the right keywords, those that are transactional in nature, the likelihood of your website being impacted by AI Overviews is low. There really is no need to panic!

Still have questions about AI Overviews? Seeing a drop in traffic and wondering if it has to do with the keywords you’re targeting? Contact us at Wikimotive! We are happy to answer all of your questions.