Why Gemini Will Not Replace Google Search


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There’s no question that artificial intelligence has become a huge part of our lives. Especially in the past year or so, it has been a transformative tool in the digital marketing world for assisting in tasks like content creation, image generation, data analysis and even coding.

In many industries, it is a valuable asset that can accelerate work rates, produce ideas and assist in projects. However, some feel it’s a threat to their jobs and hard-earned skills.

Gemini, formerly known as Bard, is Google’s artificial intelligence chatbot. It’s been built to be multimodal and can work across text, code, audio, image and video; being named the most capable and general model yet.

The development of AI in recent years and the introduction of software such as Gemini has left people questioning the future of traditional search engines like Google.

Google Has Been Utilising AI For Years

To some, AI may seem like a recent phenomena but platforms like Google have in fact been using artificial intelligence for years.

Google’s processes of crawling, indexing and ranking websites all utilise AI. Even scanning for fake reviews and detecting duplicate content uses a form of artificial intelligence. This is carried out through their own systems; SpamBrain and RankBrain.

The growing concern amongst marketers and SEO specialists isn’t necessarily around AI itself, but more around how far the development of it will go.

Search isn’t dead, but traditional search as we know it is no longer and has evolved into AI-powered search.

Traditional Search Has Evolved

Traditional search where we input a query and are presented with a list of websites to explore is a thing of the past. Technology has evolved and so has the way people search. Users want the best answer to their query in the quickest time, and AI chatbots can offer this.

However, Google cares about their user experience. AI may have advantages over traditional search such as the speed it can pull information or how it can condense snippets from multiple sources. But, it can lack real depth and a human point of view.

Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, has specifically stated that the web is still an important resource that they’d like to keep around. It is much more likely to become a hybrid approach where traditional search and AI work together harmoniously. (The Verge, Decoder Podcast, May 2024)

A Hybrid Approach – Introducing Google’s Search Generative Experience

Speaking of a hybrid approach, this is something that has already been in testing at Google for a while now. Things like featured snippets are an element of AI-powered search where the best answers to a user’s question are pulled and condensed into a simple answer from the breadth of information available across the web.

A step up from this is a newer feature, that is still being developed and currently only rolling out in a number of countries, called AI Overviews.

AI Overviews is a search generative experience that “lets Google do the Googling for you”. This feature gives users a short preview answering their query and offering the best source when it thinks it would be helpful, whilst still remaining in the more traditional search engine. It has been said, however, that it won’t necessarily give an AI Overview for every search – only if Google thinks it will be beneficial.

There is an obvious concern that this could significantly impact website traffic. However, Pichai explained that when you offer people context and a snippet of high value content – they’re actually more likely to engage.

Keyword targeting will likely change too with more of a focus on the content itself and whether it is relevant, high quality and trustworthy. User intent as well as user experience needs to be considered and it could lead to a more voice led search experience.

Of course, with any big shifts like this one and the introduction of alternative search platforms like Gemini, there will often be short-term disruptions, including need for changes to content and SEO strategies. But, Pichai reassures that users still value human content and that all these platforms can work hand in hand to offer the best experience.

Impact On Advertising

Another reason why it’s highly likely that AI chatbots like Gemini will not replace Google Search is that Google relies heavily on advertising revenue. Most chatbots don’t currently have their own advertising features built into them and will more commonly be used as a tool to help develop and build ads. However, AI features are and will continue to become a part of the Google Ads platform – helping to improve and make suggestions on ad imagery, copy and even sitelinks.

Generative search will also impact the advertising landscape. Ads will need to be more visual and descriptive with a more conversational ad copy that takes up more space and encourages interaction.


So, what does the future of search look like? Technology is constantly evolving and innovating so only time will tell. But for now, and we have the reassurance from Google’s CEO too, the aim is for all these tools to work together to offer the best user experience.

AI presents so many possibilities and opportunities but it isn’t likely to completely take over a more traditional type of search and the need for websites just yet.

Marketers will continue using chatbots and AI as a helpful tool to develop content for websites and ads. Users may choose chatbots at certain points in their research but the web will continue to offer value and reliability too. Developments like generative search level up the traditional search experience and provide a hybrid experience, likely to keep drawing people into Google as their favoured search engine.

These developments can be daunting, but they’re also exciting and we can’t wait to see what happens next in the AI space.

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