Date posted

24 Apr 2023

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The AI landscape and Google search


Google's new search engine

Google has been reported to be building an all-new search engine powered by AI as well as adding new AI features to the existing search engine.

With no timeline currently in place for its release, the new search engine will be focused around providing a more personalised experience that attempts to anticipate users’ needs. It will learn from previous searches to provide suggested items to purchase or information to research alongside a more conversational format.

In parallel, the project to add AI enhancements to the existing search engine is codenamed Project Magi and may be ready as early as next month. This will add functionality enabling users to complete transactions as opposed to being largely informational, like current AI chatbots.

The challenges of integrating chatbots and search

Google has been on the back foot in terms of integrating AI chatbots and search since ChatGPT launched last year and Bing integrated it into their search engine in February 2023.

They have faced three core challenges in their own utilisation of AI chatbots:

  • Protecting its reputation whilst also maintaining its status as a pioneer. Heavily reliant on their design and the quality and quantity of training data, AI chatbots are inherently inaccurate and Google’s must, therefore, ensure depth of development prior to launching to protect their reputation as leader (and justify the time spent releasing).
  • Attributing and driving traffic to the source of information of their training data, so as not to meet further legal challenges from publishers.
  • Maintaining search ad revenue by integrating ads within the experience.

Project Magi appears to be addressing that final challenge by inserting ads and transactional options into the generative AI experience.

Preparing for Google’s new search engine

Project Magi and the all-new search engine are still in development so no immediate action is required but there are some proactive steps that can be taken to prepare:

  • Analyse your organic and paid search performance from Bing pre-and-post ChatGPT integration to see if user behaviour has changed, particularly around informational searches and content. This will provide a hint as to how performance from Google may change.
  • Set-up and validate Google shopping and Product Schema; if Google aims to enable organic transactions it will likely rely on Shopping for identifying the most relevant products.
  • Familiarise yourself with AI chatbots and Bing’s new chat interface by using it in a way that potential customers may to try and anticipate what information they would get from the tools, then adapt your content and search strategy accordingly.

We will be closely watching for updates, but please get in touch in the meantime if you need any support with your SEO strategy.