The future of search is here, and it's turning the world of digital marketing upside down. With the introduction of Google's new generative AI search experience, the world is possibly on the brink of a new digital marketing era. This revolutionary shift in search engine dynamics will change how users receive their search results and how websites attract visitors. This technology might create an environment that resembles an apocalypse for digital marketers.
Let's delve into the possible ramifications that might arise from Google's Generative AI Search Experience:
1. A Shift in Website Search Traffic
The first significant upheaval will be in website search traffic. With the introduction of Google's new generative AI search experience, there's a prediction that most websites will experience a drop in search traffic by 30-50%. It's akin to the first position ranking on a query now being equivalent to a 10th position. The reason? The generative, AI-generated response will monopolise the top portion of the search results, also known as the 'fold'. As a result, even websites with a top-ranking SEO position will find their visibility heavily reduced.
2. A decline in Google Ad Campaigns Efficiency
Next, there's an expectation that Google ad campaigns will experience a significant decrease in clicks and overall expenditure. This is because the new experience while absorbing a lot of the screen real estate, might limit the effectiveness of traditional Google Ads. Unless Google has secretly figured out how to monetise these generative responses using its existing auction model, advertisers might see a substantial drop in their ad performance.
3. A Restructuring of Query Reporting in Google Search Console
The new generative AI search experience might also render the Google Search Console's query reporting obsolete. As the technology will generate more unique, individual queries, Google may have to conceal them for privacy, making data less meaningful for SEO and analytics purposes.
4. A Hit to Google's Ad Revenue and Stock Price
In the first quarter of 2023, Google's ad revenue amounted to $59 billion. Given the changes afoot, there's a prediction that this figure will not be maintained in the current quarter. This potential decline in ad revenue might impact Google's overall stock price, indicating a significant financial shift for the tech giant.
5. The Channel Swap: From Organic to Referral Traffic
Until Google can perfect the query reporting for its new AI results, traffic sourced from these results might show up in analytical tools as referral traffic from Google.com rather than organic search traffic. This channel swap might vex digital marketers and data teams relying heavily on accurate data for strategising.
6. A Shift in SEO Best Practices
The launch of Google's new search experience will likely transform SEO best practices. Marketers will have to adapt quickly to understand how existing content is sourced and presented in the AI-generated results. Elements such as images, title tags, header tags, and links might play different roles in influencing ranking in the generative search results.
7. Google Chasing OpenAI
Google search, as we know it, is set for an overhaul. Google is playing catch up with OpenAI, which had the first-mover advantage in the AI domain. As a result, we expect Google to leverage its wide-ranging resources, including suggesting queries in Chrome as soon as you open the browser.
It's essential to remember that while change can be unsettling, it also offers opportunities for those prepared to seize them. The introduction of Google's generative AI search experience is a revolution in search engine technology, and while it presents challenges, it also provides a chance to innovate and excel.
As digital marketers, we have weathered changes, from algorithm updates to privacy regulations. While these shifts may seem drastic, they also prompt us to continually improve our strategies, adapting and innovating to ensure we deliver the best possible results.
Google's generative AI search experience may initially seem like a marketer's apocalypse. However, by staying informed, being adaptable, and continually strategising, we can ride this wave of change into a new digital marketing era. After all, the core of our profession is to adapt to the ever-evolving digital landscape, and this change is no different.