- Google is planning to overhaul its search feature by integrating more conversations and videos, amid slow user growth and the migration of many users to other products.
- The integration of videos raises new trust issues, and Google will need to redefine what “trusted content” is.
Google New aims
According to an internal memo cited by WSJ, Google aims to make its search more “visual, snackable, personal, and human” targeting serving young people worldwide.
Google’s search page is one of the world’s most widely used web pages, fielding billions of queries every day. A redesign of this magnitude would bring AI to the masses in a way that has never been seen before, and send significant ripples through the tech industry and larger culture.
Google Project Codenamed “Magi”
As part of the change, Google plans to integrate more conversations and strongly support content creators, as it did in the web page era. At the upcoming I/O developer conference, Google is expected to introduce a new feature that allows users to engage in continuous conversations with AI while searching, with the project codenamed “Magi.”
Google will focus on presenting search results in ways that are incomparable to traditional websites.
As users pose search queries, Google may prompt them with follow-up questions or allow them to scroll through visual information such as TikTok videos. Although Google has already integrated some online forum posts and short videos into search results, these materials will become more important in the future.
Google executives emphasize that their number of search users has plateaued in recent years, and many people have started searching for information through other apps. They said in the memo: “We want to help you even when there isn’t a right answer.” Google executives have emphasized that dialogue-based AI search functionality should not offend web page owners. Displaying the source URL of answer information is one way to alleviate this concern.
Using AI and short videos, Google plans to make search more “personalized”
Recently, before the launch of I/O, Google invited a large group of employees to test Magi. For many years, Google has handled more than 90% of search work on computers and mobile phones, but now more AI-based tools are challenging it. For them, the problem is not whether they have enough talent and teams to do this. They are more concerned about how this will affect their image and shareholders.
The CEO of Perplexity, a search start-up, said he worked at Google and OpenAI. Its conversational search engine, launched last year, now has 2.8 million daily active users. At the same time, Google executives are also focusing on TikTok, which is quickly gaining popularity among young people.
Integrating short videos into search results is one way to tap into this trend, but it has its own challenges. Short videos are known to be easily manipulated and may contain false and misleading information because users tend to believe what other people say. The challenge for Google is to redefine what “trusted” content means, especially when there are no correct answers to some questions.