According to the New York Times, Google has 160 engineers working on Project Magi.
Project Magi is a stepping stone into a new search engine they are planning on releasing. The new search engine will replace Google as we know it.
There aren’t tons of details on their new search engine, but there are details about Project Magi.
Here’s what we know…
Chat like interface
Google wants to make search more like a conversation.
Imagine asking a person questions and getting answers. Kind of like ChatGPT.
Or think of how you interact with Alexa, but a smarter version than that. And one that can learn not just from how you conversed in the past, but can learn on the fly as you are asking questions.
It’s the next logical step in search. We all want answers and we want relevant answers that are adapted to us.
The old-school method of seeing 10 results per page when you are just looking for an answer is what they are trying to provide.
Now this won’t work for all search queries but think of this as the next stepping stone to previous changes like Google’s knowledge graph.
The big change though isn’t that, it’s actually how Google will help facilitate transactions.
Transactions will be able to happen on Google
Whether it is a pair of shoes or booking a flight, Google is going to start handling transactions on Google.
In other words, why do you have to go to another website to buy a pair of shoes?
Why can’t Google just show you the pair of shoes you want based on what they know about you and then let you buy with a click of a button?
From your shoe size to the color you prefer to even understanding if you need wide shoes or narrow ones. Or how different brands have different sizing.
Plus they do have Google Pay, which would integrate nicely with this feature.
So, what does this mean for marketers?
Well, there are still going to be ads. Google is a business, and they are publicly traded… which means they have no choice but to earn money and it needs to be in a profitable way.
But the way ads will work in the long run will change.
Think of it this way, you currently pay a cost per click for ads. On your end you backend that out to a cost per acquisition and then you model it out from a profit and loss perspective.
If it is profitable, you spend more (or try to at least) so you can get more clicks. If it isn’t profitable you reduce how much you are willing to spend per click.
Google will end up shifting to a cost-per-acquisition model (eventually), which is my thesis. This makes it easy on the marketer’s end and it can create a better user experience.
Plus if your website isn’t great you can still make money as it is all happening on Google’s end.
From an SEO perspective, there are always keywords that will drive traffic to your site.
At one point when you wanted to find out what the weather was you would have to go to a site like Weather.com. But now Google just shows you the weather.
Even with changes that may take clicks away from your site, overall they have still been driving more traffic. According to Danny Sullivan:
In reality, Google Search sends billions of clicks to websites every day, and we’ve sent more traffic to the open web every year since Google was first created.
I would expect these new features to increase traffic on Google, which will help counteract some of the clicks that would be taken away from your site.
Plus there will be a new form of SEO. When Google is searching for products or services to show people through Project Magi, how can you optimize your site so that they show your products and services.
It doesn’t matter as much if someone clicks on over to your site, what really matters is who is getting the sale. If you are, it’s still a win.