Low Online Traffic Is A Problem Raised by Google’s New AI Policy In Search

Low Online Traffic Is A Problem Raised by Google’s New AI Policy In Search

Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has revealed plans to completely revamp its search engine, giving artificial intelligence (AI)-generated results precedence over conventional website links.

During its yearly developers’ conference, the tech giant revealed its plans, stating that a test version will begin in May with a complete release scheduled for the next few months. The notice states that readers will first see summaries created by AI, followed in second place by links to official websites.

Google clarifies in the statement that users won’t always get AI summaries for their queries and that the functionality would only apply to requests about brainstorming or difficult subjects. Google claims that consumers will see standard website links prior to any AI results for inquiries pertaining to weather predictions or store recommendations.

For the most part of the year, Google has been testing the waters with AI results, releasing the functionality to a small number of customers. After receiving excellent feedback, the business is eager to assess the product in the United States before launching it globally for its more than 1 billion customers.

Regarding the company’s cautious approach to incorporating AI into Search, Google CEO Sundar Pichai stated, “This bold and responsible approach is fundamental to delivering on our mission and making AI more helpful for everyone.”

But there are a number of negative obstacles impeding the integration plans, such as concerns that the advertising industry may suffer as a result of the AI results. The corporation made over $170 billion in ad income last year; this amount might be greatly impacted by the platform’s increased emphasis on AI results.

Because of the bleak likelihood of seeing fewer hits on their websites if the AI results are thorough enough, website publishers are also anticipated to be impacted by the new regulation.

Analysts predict a legal struggle between Google and publishers over the new strategy, with some forecasting a wave of copyright and unjust enrichment assertions.

“The relationship between Google and publishers has been pretty symbiotic, but enter AI, and what has essentially happened is the Big Tech companies have taken this creative content and used it to train their AI models,” Marc McCollum, chief innovation officer at Raptive, said. “We are now seeing that being used for their own commercial purposes in what is effectively a transfer of wealth from small, independent businesses to Big Tech.”

Google minimizes the concerns

Google says that, in contrast to publishers’ concerns, their preliminary research using AI-generated search results showed that people were clicking on more website links following an AI summary.

Google’s head of Search Liz Reid observed that people typically start their search for information with AI-generated results before continuing down the rabbit hole and visiting several websites. Though Reid hinted at a staged approach to integrating new developing technologies into its current offerings, the company did not release any statistics related to website-clicking rates throughout the year-long AI experiments.

“We will continue to innovate on the AI overview and also on how do we send the most useful traffic to the web,” added Reid.