Google is making major changes to its search engine technology to keep up with the rapidly changing landscape of artificial intelligence-powered search engines.
The company’s recent reaction to an impending loss of a multi-billion dollar contract with Samsung (Reuters) to Microsoft’s Bing shows just how serious Google is about keeping its edge when it comes to search engine technology. Recently, they launched Project Magi and are developing a new search experience that rivals Bing Search which is powered by OpenAI chatbot technology.
Here’s what you need to know about this recent development and how it will affect your online presence:
A New Google Search Engine in the Works
Google Search is going to be transformed as they develop their own AI based search engine. It’s expected Google will utilize conversational AI technology to create a more personalized user experience.
However, this is not the first time Google is delving into AI. In fact, they are at the forefront of its growth, having developed LaMDA, a large language model employed for various use cases, such as:
• Virtual Assistants
• AI Chatbots
• Language Translation
Furthermore, Google released AI products in the past that “responsibly” improved their search experiences, such as Google Lens and Multisearch. They’ve also invested in other AI projects like self-driving cars using large language models and technologies.
The search engine giant was using these models to improve the quality of its search results but has held off on fully embracing AI since they’ve been prone to generating false and biased statements. However, with the rise of the OpenAI chatbot backed by Microsoft, Google is now stepping up its search efforts to stay ahead of the competition. It has created an AI based search task force to build AI products and introduce more personalized search results.
The new Google search engine would display AI based search results that include the following:
• Preselected options for purchase
• Research information
• Other information that Google deems relevant to what you’re searching
This is a jump forward to the light personalized user experience we have right now, such as results based on your location and previous search query. Google achieves this with machine learning and AI algorithms by understanding your preferences better.
Don’t get too excited, though. This new Google search engine is still in its very early stages, with no clear timelines for its rollout.
Upgrading The Current Search With Project Magi
What’s imminent is the upgrades the current Search will have. Under the codename Project Magi, over 160 Google engineers, designers and executives are working to add more AI features for more personalized search results in their current search engine.
Keeping Ads in the Mix
The biggest problem with OpenAI chatbot and even their own Google chatbot, Bard, is the possibility of ads losing their relevance. Project Magi aims to add features that answer questions while still displaying ads on the search engine results page (SERP).
For example, search queries that involve any financial transaction, like buying a new bag or booking a restaurant, could still feature Search Ads in them.
This is crucial for Google since a considerable portion of their revenue comes from their ad business.
Putting Google’s AI Tools to the Test
As we said, Google’s current Search will have an AI makeover with conversational AI technology coming to the foray. Like the new Bing Search, you’ll likely interact with a Google chatbot to access these features. Here are some AI products and Google Search features that the company is testing right now with their employees:
• Integration of Google Earth’s mapping technology.
• Searching for music via a Google chatbot.
• GIFI: an AI tool that generates images through prompts, like the Image Creator Tool.
• Searchalong: you can conversationally ask Search about anything while surfing the web, and it will scan the Internet for relevant results.
• Tivoli Tutor: teaches users a new language through open-ended AI conversations.
All these products aim to do one thing: to increase personalized user experience, making the current Search more interactive, conversational and intuitive to use.
Google is expected to release these tools in May 2023, rolling them out to 1 million users and then gradually expanding to 30 million users exclusively in the United States.
What This Means for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The future of SEO hangs in the balance. It’s not known whether Project Magi will create new challenges for SEO professionals or just bring in a new path for search experience optimization.
What we do know is that Google is taking strides towards personalized search results, showcasing content that’s more relevant to the user and their preferences.
“AI-powered search engines mean a shift in how search engines understand user intent and query results. It will be more challenging to optimize as search algorithms become more personalized,” said Nanette Taripe, Thrive’s Demand Generation Technical SEO Specialist.
You should write content with this in mind and fit the context of what someone would likely type into the search engine when searching for it.
This means that you have to abandon any plans of producing low-quality generic content and focus on creating high-quality, tailored content that answers questions and problems your users typically raise when having human conversations.
Better Search Experience Optimization
But it’s not just about creating better content. It’s also about understanding and anticipating user search intent and providing the best possible experience. Hence, our increased emphasis on search experience optimization rather than just simple SEO.
With this in mind, you have to think beyond keyword optimization and focus on optimizing for user behavior.
For instance, prioritize your website’s loading speed, make sure it’s mobile-friendly, and test the entire user journey. You can also optimize for snippet-worthy content like FAQs and add them to your website or blog to get your content featured on the search engine results page.
While Project Magi and the new search engine are still generally enigmas for us, one thing is certain: people will love or hate you based on your search experience.
Uncertain Future But Dependable Google Guidelines and Best Practices
Another thing is sure for us SEO experts: We have Google’s guidelines to rank on SERPs and create helpful content for our readers. That’s why even if the future of SEO is murky, that shouldn’t stop us from adapting, learning and following best practices.
Your SEO campaign strategy should never leave out the basics like creating quality content, optimizing for voice search, and improving loading speed.
“Sticking to current guidelines and best practices, such as creating high-quality content, optimizing for mobile devices, and building backlinks from reputable sources, can help establish a strong foundation for SEO,” Taripe said.
As we say, it’s old but gold. And same goes for Google’s best practices. They may not be as flashy or exciting as what the new search engine brings to the table, but they’re trustworthy and reliable nonetheless.
Keeping Conversational AI Technology in Mind
Of course, all this is easier said than done. But understanding conversational AI technology and how it shapes the future of SEO helps us stay on top of our game.
So, the best way to prepare is to keep tabs on conversational AI, its uses and the new search engine. Doing this gives us insight into how we can best optimize our business and franchise SEO campaign strategy, so when Project Magi is released, we’ll be ready to provide the best-in-class search experience that everyone has come to expect from Google.
Furthermore, “focusing on user intent, behavior, core web vitals and creating engaging and interactive content can be an effective strategy” when it comes to AI, said Taripe. “Optimizing for voice and visual search or emerging formats can also improve visibility in the future.”
Create Future-Proof Content With Thrive Internet Marketing Agency
All these Google Search features can be overwhelming, and even SEO experts may need help to keep up with the ever-changing digital landscape. That’s why you need a reliable partner like Thrive.
We create content tailored to your business needs and future-proofed against all the big changes taking place in Search. Our global team of SEO pros helps you get ahead of the game so that when Project Magi rolls out, you won’t be left behind in the dust.
Talk to us today, and let us show you how to prepare and stay on top of SEO!