Project Magi: A Major Change To Google Search

Gary Green
Gary Green
November 10, 2023

For many years, Google has been working on the development of AI tools constructed using large language models that process vast volumes of data so they can understand natural language text and generate it at scale. Its research was, until recently, kept hidden, but when OpenAI was adopted by Microsoft to enhance its search engine Bing with its own chatbot, that all changed. Google recognised the challenge to its core search engine business and began accelerating its AI adoption that will change the way people search forever. Earlier this year, Google bought Bard, its conversational chatbot, to the market and now it is working on Project Magi which will involve AI adoption in search on a far greater scale. 

Project Magi – An Overview

The codename “Project Magi” is being used by Google to refer to a project that will introduce an AI powered search experience. At the present time, the project is only at an early stage of development, but in a few years’ time, it will be released. 

It’s expected that this project will offer several benefits when compared to Google’s current search engine. For a start, it’s probably going to have greater personalisation and will be more relevant and accurate to the needs of users. It’s also expected to have a more conversation approach, answering user questions in a way that is more natural. 

This new experience in search is planned to learn what the user wants to know based on the search that they begin with. It would also offer preselected option lists for items to buy, research information and much more. 

Reinventing search will keep ads comfortable within the search results mix. Any search query that could result in any kind of financial transaction could still have ads on its results pages. 

This is a very significant development since some experts hold the belief that Google Search will be threatened by conversational AI since it would be capable of providing one answer combination information, thus changing the way in which Google Search delivers an answer alongside links to further information. At the moment, there are no ads on the Bard interface, but ads could be incorporated in a multitude of ways, for example, by providing links to extra information alongside adverts, or through sponsored chatbot answers. 

Why Has Google Started Working On Project Magi?

There is a lot of pressure on Google to compete with OpenAI and Microsoft’s adopted of artificial intelligence. Tech giant Samsung has recently considered using Bing rather than Google as its devices’ default search engine, and with around $3 billion of annual revenue at stake through Samsung’s contract alone, it isn’t too difficult to see why Google is now accelerating the speed of AI adoption.

Is Project Magi Going To Change The Way Businesses Are Working With Google?

It’s likely the greater personalisation of search results that Project Magi will offer as well as the addition of conversational AI into the mix will present a challenge for businesses. They will need to consider creating more personal and conversational organic and paid content, with a view to publishing content that is hyper-targeted, and ads that are conversational so that they are relevant to Google’s new conversational, personalised and precise search engine result. Businesses will also need to think about introducing website content with a more conversational style as well as conversational content on their Google Business Profile and any other touch points in line with the new conversational style of searching. 

How Can Businesses Adapt To Project Magi?

Although Project Magi has not yet been introduced and is unlikely to be brought into use for several years, that doesn’t mean businesses should rest on their laurels. To stay relevant and competitive businesses should really become increasingly immersed in ChatGPT and other large language models, taking care, of course, not to fall foul of their shortcomings such as the risk of data privacy violation. 

In terms of advertising, businesses don’t need to panic too much. There will still be ads. After all as a publicly traded business, Google will need to find a way to earn money profitably, and ads represent a highly effective way to do this. However, you can expect the way ads work over the long term to change. 

At the present time, businesses are paying a price per click for their paid ads. Behind the scenes, that works out as a cost for each acquisition, which can then be modelled out from a loss and profit perspective. If it proves to be profitable, you can spend more to increase the number of clicks. On the other hand, if it fails to make a profit, you can reduce your expenditure per click. 

Eventually, Google is probably going to shift to a model of cost-per-acquisition and this will actually make it easier for marketers to create the best possible user experience. Even better, if your business website isn’t the best, it’s still possible to make money since everything is happening at Google’s end. From the perspective of SEO, you’ll always have relevant keywords to drive up website traffic, so even with future changes that could take away clicks from your website, overall, you’ll find that they’re still driving up more traffic. 

In real terms, Google Search is sending billions of user clicks to sites each day and more traffic is being sent to the web each year since the introduction of Google. It’s very likely that the new features that are planned for Project Magi will only increase Google traffic, thus counteracting some clicks that could be removed from your website. Not only that, but SEO will take a new and different form. When searching for services or products to show searchers through the new Project Magi, you’ll be able to adapt and change your SEO approach so your site can be optimised to show your services and products to the searcher. 

In short, while this new change may sound worrying, it’s good news all around.

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