Critics Decry Google's Gemini AI Move

Google has announced that it will use its artificial intelligence tool Gemini to answer search queries on top of its results pages, in effect, eliminating the middleman. “Google will do the Googling for you,” the company promises, according to CNN. 

Where does that leave publishers? Not in a good place. 

“This will be catastrophic to our traffic, as marketed by Google to further satisfy user queries, leaving even less incentive to click through so that we can monetize our content,” said Danielle Coffey, the chief executive of the News/Media Alliance, CNN reports. 

That alarm is shared by Mike Donoghue, CEO and founder of Subtext. 

“The risk to publishers is very real – particularly for publishers that have not appropriately invested in facilitating direct relationships with their clients,” Donoghue writes in an analysis provided via email. “The obvious ramification is that the Gemini release subsumes publisher content and effectively leverages the knowledge they have created without them benefitting from the traffic that content would have previously produced.” 



Google denies that there will be any harm to publishers. 

“We see that the links included in AI Overviews get more clicks than if the page had appeared as a traditional web listing for that query,” it says in its announcement. “As we expand this experience, we’ll continue to focus on sending valuable traffic to publishers and creators.” 

But Donoghue adds that “the threat isn’t exclusively confined to search results pages – publishers who have built their direct audience relationships and paid subscriber products on email will also be impacted as Google controls 41.9% of the US email market and they’ve already indicated similar changes will be coming to that medium as well. We speak with media companies everyday who are preparing for a post email / post social / post SERP world so there are certainly green shoots, but change will need to happen quickly.”


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