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Shelly Palmer: Google "AI Overviews" – The end of link-based search

it’s clear that AI agents designed to quickly deliver precise information will fundamentally disrupt traditional search.
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If you have made a living in the link-based, SEO-driven-content-creation/publishing-world, then life, as you know it, is about to end.

Greetings from Hot Springs, Arkansas. I'm here to do the opening keynote for the Diamond State Networks Middle Mile Summit at the Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort. I just have to say: watching the NHL playoffs at a sports book in Arkansas was awesome!

In the news: Google played catch-up yesterday as it opened I/O with a two-hour keynote you should watch at double-speed – at least until you get to a new search feature called "AI Overviews." Stop there. Rewind and watch it carefully. If you have made a living in the link-based, SEO-driven-content-creation/publishing-world, then life, as you know it, is about to end. Said more simply: "AI Overviews is the death of link-based search."

Those of you who have been around the block a few times may think I'm being overly dramatic (or just taking a cheap, easy shot at our friends in Mountain View). Guilty. I am being overly dramatic because within the context of the AI industry's broader ambitions, it’s clear that AI agents designed to quickly deliver precise information will fundamentally disrupt traditional search. These agents won't prioritize crediting creators, visiting websites, or clicking on ads; instead, they will prioritize profits for Google.

Watching the video, I could not help but think about all of the information Google has scraped and organized from the public web over the years. We were so happy to pay them to do this! In its original form, it benefited everyone, although (with few exceptions) no one benefited as much as Alphabet. With the advent of AI bots designed to do our bidding (controlled by a profit-centric tech giant), content creators and publishers are unlikely to prosper.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Google has an AI-powered mechanism to remunerate content creators and publishers, a profit-sharing plan that will make money for those who actually create the content they are aggregating, a new way to compensate… sure, I'll keep dreaming.

As always your thoughts and comments are both welcome and encouraged. Just reply to this email. -s

sp@shellypalmer.com

ABOUT SHELLY PALMER

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com