Publishers worry about website traffic as a result of Google’s use of artificial intelligence to summarize search results. Publishers dread Google’s AI search features In a major update to its top search engine in the world for 25 years, the internet behemoth revealed on Tuesday that it will begin providing artificial intelligence (AI)-generated responses to […]

Publishers worry about website traffic as a result of Google’s use of artificial intelligence to summarize search results.

Publishers dread Google’s AI search features

In a major update to its top search engine in the world for 25 years, the internet behemoth revealed on Tuesday that it will begin providing artificial intelligence (AI)-generated responses to online searches in the US.

This will allow users to receive straight answers to their questions at the top of the results pages. The business said, “Google will do the Googling for you.” As stated differently, there will soon be a time when consumers can locate the information they need without having to click on the links that appear in search results.

A billion or more people may find fewer links and online pages important as a result of the change that is soon to extend to other nations.

Although it may seem practical at first, news publishers, many of which are currently facing sharp drops in traffic, would probably see much more of an audience reduction as a result of the updated search interface, which might deprive them of readers and income. 

Given that Google has already trawled the internet and used artificial intelligence to gather pertinent data, why waste time clicking on links?

Experts think that at the moment, we have no idea how much effect it will have or what publishers could do about it. But they seem sure that it will definitely have a negative impact on publishers and brands. 

Artificial intelligence summaries produced by Google’s Gemini technology provide brief descriptions of content it finds online, along with a limited number of links to the original online sources.

Time to look for alternatives

Search engine traffic is expected to decline by 25% by 2026, according to research firm Gartner, as a result of a general increase in the use of AI.

Paul Roetzer, CEO of the Marketing AI Institute, told AFP that

“It’s just going to be a grand experiment happening in real time that will move people’s businesses one way or the other, depending on how it plays out.”

Source: AFP.

Basically, Google is asking publishers and advertisers to have faith in a change that it hasn’t disclosed much information about.

In the meantime, experts advise marketers and publishers to stick to their current course of action and expand their online presence beyond Google searches.

Opportunities are there to connect with people on other platforms, said Roetzer, as netizens have already been fragmented as people spend time on social platforms like Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and other venues.

Google executives said that people will click on a broader variety of websites as the new layout will encourage them to do so and not the other way around. It seemed that they already had an idea that creators and publishers would react negatively.

Google’s head of search, Liz Reid, noted in a blog post that,

“We see that the links included in AI overviews get more clicks than if the page had appeared as a traditional web listing for that query.”

She added further,

“As we expand this experience, we’ll continue to focus on sending valuable traffic to publishers and creators.”

Given the tech giants’ history with publishers, it doesn’t seem likely that Reid’s remarks will offer publishers much comfort. As of now, many are not buying into what Google has to say. 

However, media companies with new and original content may be able to profit from licensing their content for use in AI models through agreements with Google.