Google AI summaries help readers get answers to their queries with minimum friction and time. However, this can negatively impact writers, as it may cause them to lose website visitors and customers, resulting in decreased revenue and a negative impact on their SEO. Additionally, this could lead to a decrease in the number of active writers on Google.
Google has been making many advancements in artificial intelligence to improve search results. One of their biggest recent changes is the addition of AI-generated summaries. At first glance, these summaries look incredibly helpful for readers. However, they could have dangerous implications for content creators.
How AI Summaries Benefit Readers
AI summaries show a short overview of information right at the top of search results. Readers get the key facts without having to click on links or navigate websites. For example, if you search for a recipe, you’ll see the ingredients, instructions, and cooking time summarized.
Whereas, when you click on website, you may see overly promotional intros on some sites, followed by paragraphs of advertisements and sponsor promotions within the actual content.
This saves readers an enormous amount of time and effort. No more hunting through paragraphs of text or clicking through multiple pages to find your answer. The synthesized information is delivered instantly.
The Risks for Creators
While this is fantastic for readers, it could really hurt content creators like bloggers, news sites, and recipe developers. Here’s why:
These creators put in extensive work to research, write, and optimize their content. Often their goal is to educate or entertain readers. However, many creators also rely on their content to make money through advertisements, affiliate links, or selling products/services.
If Google answer boxes provide all the information upfront, will people still click through to the full articles? Probably not very often. This means creators lose out on potential ad revenue, traffic to their sites, and visibility of their brands.
Essentially, Google is using other people’s hard work to generate summaries. But they are cutting creators out of the monetary benefits. Over time, this could discourage creators from publishing high-quality content in the first place.
The Ripple Effect
Here’s how that ripple effect could unfold:
- Readers rely on summaries rather than clicking through to full articles.
- Creators make less money from their content and get less traffic.
- Creators are discouraged from creating content, leading to less information available to summarize.
- With less quality content, Google search becomes less useful overall.
- This results in fewer regular Google users over time.
While AI summaries provide a big short-term gain for readers, they could be very damaging in the long run. Google needs to find a way to balance convenience for users with fair compensation for content creators. If they aren’t careful, this could weaken their whole ecosystem.
The addition of AI summaries shows the immense power Google wields over internet content. They need to wield that power responsibly. Otherwise, it could set off a chain reaction that hurts many players involved — including Google itself.
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