How Google Uses AI To Kill The Web, By Transforming How People Look For Information

Google Search broken

Google thrives by giving people the ability to populate and occupy the web.

The company created a way for users to easily navigate the web through its search engine. Instead of having people browse for their destination in a Yellow Pages-like manner, Google indexes the web, and make pretty much everything in it accessible.

All they need to do, is visit

But this time, things are changing, thanks to AI.

Before, the AI sphere was quite dull and boring, and that the technology barely made ripples outside its own industry, let alone disrupt others. But after OpenAI introduced ChatGPT, the world began to realize the potential of having a chatbot to answer questions.

It was "code red" at Google.

At the time, Google knew that a chatbot could replace its search engine completely.

Google scrambled for its own solution, and its solution is killing the web.

Read: Put Glue To Pizza And Eat Rocks, Google Scrambles For A Fix By Manually Removing Weird AI Answers

Google AI Overviews

No company is so inseparable from the World Wide Web as Google, which made searching the internet an eponymous verb.

But with AI, Google is reinventing the traditional web.

Before, people traditionally visit Google Search website and put their inquiry there, and let the search engine return results, which come as links it compiled from various sources.

With AI, Google is making search results artificially generated.

The days of lists of links are over.

As a result of this, a lot of websites, even those that abide to Google's rules, are seeing a decline on visitors.

Independent web publishers are starting to face an existential crisis.

As more and more people use products like Gemini and generative AI-powered Google, less and less people navigate the web.

With these websites seeing less and less visitors, Google is indirectly affect the way the web's content is produced and monetized, threatening the very existence of the open internet.

Many of these changes are designed, allegedly, to better the web. But they’ve left publishers feeling confused, helpless and ignored.

In all, Google's work is having a profound impact on what many internet users see when they go online.

Google AI Overviews

A spokesperson for Google said that the company only launches changes to Google Search after rigorous testing confirms that the shift will be helpful for users, and that the company gives website owners help, resources and opportunities for feedback on their Search rankings.

Google stands firm in its position that the changes will be a benefit to the web.

With AI Overviews, Google Search would provide users AI-generated answers to many of their questions.

"The result is a product that does the work for you," CEO Sundar Pichai said. "Google Search is generative AI at the scale of human curiosity."

Google argues its AI Overviews in search results will be a boon to websites.

Liz Reid, Google's head of search, wrote in a blog post that the company's AI search results actually increase traffic that Google sends to websites.

"AI Overviews get more clicks than if the page had appeared as a traditional web listing for that query," Reid wrote. "As we expand this experience, we’ll continue to focus on sending valuable traffic to publishers and creators."

Google AI Overviews

For better or worse, Google Search, thanks to its prominence and its ubiquitous presence, is able to dictate the shape of the web.

Google, which controls more than 90% of the worldwide search business, argues that the company's success stems solely from the fact that it makes superior products.

While some websites are seeing generative AI-powered Google as a threat, some others see this as a blessing.

Reddit, for example, is seeing a surge in visitors, growing by more than 100% from Google Search alone.

Other winners include other user-generated sites such as Quora and Instagram, as well as LinkedIn and Wikipedia.

Read: Google's Search Engine Redesigns With 'AI Overviews' And A 'Web' Filter Because AI Is The Future

If the web has to evolve, it will evolve to benefit those that commercialize it.

And Google is one of the biggest players of them all.

Before, it's almost impossible to remove Google Search from most people's web browsing behavior.

But this time, this is changing.

And this change, apparently, is not only caused by Google.

Other generative AI products that can browser the web and fetch information in real time, like ChatGPT, Perplexity, Copilot and others, are also threatening the web.