Important news for SEO / Google search

Google is devising radical search changes to beat A.I. rivals

Since Bing made it clear that it was investing in A.I. to challenge Google’s stranglehold on search it was only a matter of time before something like this happened.

From an article in the New York Times comes this:

• Google ‘panicked’ when Samsung suggested they may switch from Google to Bing as the default search engine on their phones, an estimated $3bn a year risk for Google.
• Leaked papers are suggesting that Google is catching up with AI powered search engines like Bing by updating the existing search and engine and preparing a new one.
• The new features, under the project name Magi, are being created by designers, engineers and executives working in so-called sprint rooms to tweak and test the latest versions.
• The new search engine would offer users a far more personalized experience than the company’s current service, attempting to anticipate users’ needs.

What this means:
• The future of search is at a philosophical cross roads – what do people want when they search? What is relevance now?
• AI chatbots are giving us a single answer to our queries, which raises a whole host of red flags around the training data, the biases within this, lack of alternatives, echo chambers etc.
• The more traditional Google search experience has moved away from it’s mission of being about the user experience as it is now overly complex.
• Whatever the format of the results, the ease of use that AI platforms like ChatGPT bring gives that same feeling as the first time we used Google, which is why it is popular.
• Where does your business live in this AI space? Where it part of the experience, rather than interrupting it?

I’m not an SEO expert and don’t have answers to this but the important thing to realise is that no-one else does either so it’s important to keep an open mind and not rely on SEO in the same way we did before as this is going to take some time to settle – if it ever does.

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