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Are search engines changing forever? Google announces ‘Magi’

It feels like yesterday when Google announced its ChatGPT competitor ‘Bard.’ In fact, we covered this launch just a few short weeks ago here. Since then the AI world continues to move at an unprecedented pace – with a potentially monumental change arriving for the world’s biggest search engine: Magi.

Google announce the Magi Project

In April 2023, Google had yet another announcement, this time to let us know about the launch of the ‘Magi’ – an AI-powered search engine that is set to potentially transform the way Google works as we know it. It’s reported that there are over 160 engineers working on the project as you read this. 

Magi is the codename that has been given to the project which comes in response to the release of AI-backed search engine features over at their closest rivals – Microsoft Bing. 

What exactly will Magi do?

As with all Google product announcements, we don’t know the full extent of the functionality until they hit the shelves so-to-speak. However, we do know that Google is developing an AI-powered search engine that will provide users with a personalised experience by predicting their requirements.

This alludes to the creation of new AI-powered search tools and new features. It seems that the tools will be built on the back of the ‘conversational’ approach to helping users find what they need. This may or may not include:

  • Search along – a chatbot integrated into the Google Chrome browser 
  • An AI image generator called GIFI
  • A language learning tool called Tivoli Tutor 

We can expect:

  • A conversational interface in a similar way to Bard. 
  • Personalised results based on what you’ve searched for previously and your preferences. The search engine will learn and predict what users want to know. 
  • In platform transactions – you may be able to purchase items and book flights on Google, with personalised product recommendations. 

These new features will initially be released in the US and only to a maximum of one million users for testing. All being well, the features will be released worldwide. 

Magi vs Bing?

It’s said that Bing search has seen a 25% growth in monthly page visits as a result of the integration of ChatGPT. This seems impressive, but Bings’ market share is around 8% of the total search market. This increase is still enough to unnerve Google, with the company issuing a ‘Code Red’ in response to the changes. 

This, coupled with the potential loss of the Samsung contract (who use Google as the main search engine in their devices) worth a reported $3 Billion pounds has caused Google to wake up and pay attention.  

What does this mean? Google is under pressure to maintain its $279.8 billion dollar a year engines chugging on, hence the need to revolutionise their search ‘product’ to keep up with – or rather – stay ahead of the competition. 

When Will Magi be released?

There is no clear timetable for when the company will release the new search technology – or even if the official release name will be Magi (this is a codename currently). 

What will this mean for your business?

As long as people are searching for your products and services – there will always be search demand regardless of how the search engine serves your content. 

Your search engine optimisation strategy may need to be changed in response to Google’s new requirements, but this has always been the case with past iterations of Google – so the underlying message is – don’t panic. In fact, this may be a good thing, leading to more leads and sales from relevant customers. However, as we’ve always alluded to, it’s no longer enough to rely solely on your search traffic. 

Businesses should capitalise on building their own audiences through social media, email traffic and paid traffic – search should be one of many channels that you’re using to drive sales and build your brand.  

Closing thoughts

This movement signals the dawn of a new era, not just for search engines, but for the way we consume information. Previously, Google would show a range of search results, with content generated from third parties and ‘expert companies.’ However, movements like ChatGPT are serving information with no references to such sources and it seems as though Google will follow suit.

This, coupled with the fact that Google will be offering personalised content based on your preferences, means that bots will potentially have even more control over the answers we see and the information we seek. This means it’s even more important for consumers to critically review the information as presented by the AI and to maintain an open mind. 


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