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As Google embraces generative AI, news publishers chart courses into an uncertain future [Video]

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Generative AI could revolutionize online search. But for news publishers, it could be a disaster.

News publishers have long been disproportionately dependent upon Google, the undisputed leader of online search.

Roughly 40% of web traffic across media sites originates from Google, according to a December report from The Wall Street Journal that cited data from web analytics company SimilarWeb. In return, news publishers have implicitly agreed to provide their data to the tech giant so that the company can continue to improve the efficacy and reliability of its search engine.

Google’s experiments with generative AI could cause a significant shift in this dynamic – and not in news publishers’ favor.

In May of last year, the tech giant debuted a new AI-powered tool called Search Generative Experience (SGE), an experimental feature that summarizes responses to search queries in natural language text analogous to that used by ChatGPT.

Through SGE, Google …

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