- Google’s profits are built on search and display advertising, but chatbots and messaging apps have posed a challenge for the internet giant trying to tap into those marketing channels.
- Bloomberg points out artificial assistants, such as chatbots and Google’s own AI tools, make the distinction between organic and paid search results hard to distinguish.
- Meanwhile, Google AdWords paid search already provides the tech giant with $40 billion a year.
Ready to directly compete with Amazon’s Echo, Google last week unveiled its Home device that is driven by native AI and responds to voice commands. Where a search via a mobile device or a desktop will offer users a clear choice of options to click on – either ads or not – it is unclear how AI-served voice search results will translate into paid advertising.
"Where are the ‘good old’ AdWords ads if they succeed? They are nowhere. They are dead. If you thought mobile was a big transition for Google, buckle up," Carlos Kirjner, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, told Bloomberg.
Going further down that path, if marketers are connecting more directly with their audience via chatbots on messaging apps there is even less space for paid advertising. It’s likely voice mobile searches helped by AI tech will require some tactical adjustments, but marketers will be watching how the tech unfolds. But as Bloomberg notes, if Google succeeds, likely it would be through highly targeted ads, which would in turn drive more value for advertisers.
Google’s chief of search and AI, John Giannandrea, told the audience at the recent I/O event, "We’re really focused right now on building something that users like to use. Google has a long history of trying to build things that people find useful and if they find them useful and they use it at scale then we’ll figure out a way to kind of support that."