Small publications fear Google’s AI Overviews

AH Google IO 2024 AI Overviews

Google is one of the biggest AI companies in the world and it’s also the biggest search company in the world. That combination seems to be good, but it depends on who you are. Many small publication websites fear that Google’s AI Overviews pose a threat to their traffic.

What are AI overviews? Well, you may know this as Google SGE (search generative experience). Basically, when you search for something on Google, you will receive an AI-generated rundown of the information you looked up. So, if you look up how to stay safe while climbing a mountain, rather than getting a list of websites with relevant information, you’ll get an AI-generated explanation.

The issue with this is the fact that those websites that you used to see depend on your traffic to receive ad revenue. Well, with Google’s AI overviews, people will be able to forgo going to those sites, and just get the information from the overview. Obviously, that is not something that people want to happen.

Small publications fear a drop in traffic thanks to Google’s AI overviews

Google has been testing out AI overviews under the name SGE since last year. While it was a limited test, some sites have been seeing a palpable drop in traffic.

The Washington Post pointed to Jake Boly, a strength coach who writes shoe reviews for a small website. Well, he reported a whopping 96% drop in Google traffic last year. Either this is a result of Google’s AI experiments or humanity has suddenly evolved beyond the need for shoes. We can’t say for certain that the drop in traffic is a direct effect of Google’s actions, but the timing is convenient.

Right now, we are at a point where the journalism industry is at risk. Google is the biggest search engine in the world, and it provides money for millions of websites around the globe. However, since it rolled out AI overviews widely, those websites are going to see massive drop-offs in traffic and revenue. Also, since the company refuses to pay journalists directly, we have no idea what the company is going to do for smaller sites.

Google does provide links to websites in its AI overviews, but how many people are going to read them if the answer is given to them on a silver platter?

Not only that, but the number of links provided in the AI Overviews is minuscule compared to the number of links a person would see by doing a traditional Google search. We’re just going to have to see what Google’s intentions are and if the company is not secretly fighting a war against journalism.

The post Small publications fear Google’s AI Overviews appeared first on Android Headlines.