With the AI race heating up, Google is impatient to implement their AI developments. According to the NYT report, after learning that Samsung plans to drop Google search as a default search engine in favor of Microsoft Bing, Google has started rapidly working on a “Project Magi” – a complete overhaul of the user search experience.
State of Search engines
First, it is important to recognize the state of the AI industry now. The close relationship between Microsoft and OpenAI is an opposing threat to Google, whose search engine was practically a monopoly for years. Last year alone, search brought $162 billion out of Google’s revenue of $280 billion – almost 60%!
“For every 1 point of share gain in the search advertising market, it’s a $2 billion revenue opportunity for our advertising business,” said Microsoft’s CVP of Finance Phillipe Ockenden.
With successful investments into OpenAI, Microsoft has a one-in-a-decade opportunity to become a more significant player in the search engine market. Bing has already acquired over 100 million users, and over a third of them switched in the previous four months.
It is worth mentioning that the desktop market share of search engines is a bit different, with Google having 85% and Bing being much more successful sitting at almost 9%. Most interaction with experimental chatbots is conducted through desktop versions of browsers, but both tech giants are also implementing new tech into the mobile experience.
Search remains main Google’s revenue stream, and the threat of being substituted by Bing is becoming real day by day. Bing chat is already available for the general public and is based on GPT-4, with all the developments from OpenAI. On the flip side, Google’s chatbot Bard is only accessible via waitlist, tends to give less accurate answers (and even made a mistake during the LIVE presentation of Bard), and was even proclaimed as “worth than useless” and a “pathological liar” by a Google employee.
Top stories certainly do not look promising for Google.
What is it all about?
After the rollout of ChatGPT in November 2022, Google issued a “code red” and sent an immense workforce to toil the existing Search Engine. Moreover, after rumors of Samsung dropping Google Chrome as their primary web browser on new phones, Google was in a complete shock.
At the moment, 160 full-time employees are dedicated to the project. Before the complete revamp of the search engine can be done, Project Magi will add several other AI-powered features which still need to be disclosed.
Google revealed what the new search experience would look like.
The tech giant plans to go away from the traditional feed of results and use the chat approach – the bot would answer your questions based on the data collected from the internet. Of course, it would not work for all search queries, but it seems like the next step after Google’s Knowledge Graph.
However, the biggest change would be in facilitating transactions.
Paying through Google
Google wants to handle all transactions through interaction with the chatbot – not the seller’s website! Imagine just googling a new shoe pair and checking out straight after seeing the results – without creating accounts on each third-party website.
It really reminds me of the Amazon experience – you can check out instantly with just a few clicks. On the good side, your website does not need to be tailored as well if your product is specific enough to the search query since the transaction would go through Google! But what about regular blogs and articles?
Outlook for search
Google still makes most of the money from ads – and the plans showcase that ads will appear at the bottom of the chat with the bot. However, what about regular blogs and articles that rely on SEO as the main source of attention?
With much less real estate on the screen for websites, only the best 2-3 results would be seen straight away by the user. The end user would spend even less time looking for the needed information. On the flip side – marketers would need to fight even more vigorously to appear relevant to the search machine.
As a result, the experience for bloggers, SEO experts, and marketers on one side and customers on the other would change drastically. Only time will tell in which direction this whole AI race is leading, but there is one certainty – the game will change, and you have to be ready to adapt!