AI-Powered Search Engine: Will Google Introduce a Paid Subscription Option?

Google AI Support Assistant

Google Search has been free since its launch in the early 2000s. However, the tech giant might be exploring different means of monetization. This includes a paid option. A recent online report indicates that the tech giant is considering a significant change to its flagship product, Google Search. While the free model has been a staple, there are now indications that a paid model might be introduced.

Google mainly relies on advertising for monetization. The company has paid products, for example, the Google One subscription. However, their main product, Google Search has been free ever since launch.

With the recent competition in artificial intelligence, every company is trying to bring more products to the market. Google is not alone, we have already seen their efforts with Bard, and now Gemini.

Well, that’s not all as the tech giant plans to bring an AI-Powered Search Engine. As per the report coming from Financial Times, the tech giant is exploring options to include AI-powered search features with its premium subscription plans. Google already offers various plans, such as the Gemini AI assistant in Gmail and Docs. However, these subscriptions currently do not enhance the search experience.

Why is Google Considering a Paid AI-Powered Search Engine?

 AI-Powered Search Engine

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The tech giant has been testing the AI-enhanced search results since May of last year. However, they did not bring the AI features to the main search engine. The main reason behind this is that these AI queries demand more computing power which ultimately is costly compared to general queries. Hence, it may not be profitable if Google brings its “Search Generative Experience” for free. Instead, a paid-only subscription would make more sense for Google.

For now, Google is just exploring and no decision has s been made yet. The good news is that Google will not make its standard search engine a paid service. However, to use an AI-powered search Engine, you might have to become a paid subscriber.

Potential Benefits and Drawbacks

There have been concerns about Google implementing AI features on search engines. Firstly, if Google starts showing data extracted from websites directly to users, it will greatly impact online publishers. Secondly, it is also risky for advertisers. For example, if a user searches for some queries regarding a product, and they get AI-generated answers, they might be unlikely to go to an advertiser’s website. This can impact Google’s Ad business model. Here is a summary of some benefits and drawbacks of this model:

  • Google’s paid search engine can be useful for the general consumer with the power of AI.
  • It can be helpful for users to skip through websites, and get their desired information faster.
  • It can be seen as a drawback for online publishers, as their data might be used by the AI model to summarize for the user.
  • Advertisers can also be impacted negatively by this new model.
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In my opinion, Google will not take big risks with the AI-powered search engine. There will be some AI enhancements overall which can provide users a better searching experience. But it will surely not be done in a way that changes the core working style of Google Search.

Seeing how Google implements the AI-based search engine will be interesting. Moreover, it is also a question if Google will bring two search engines with free and paid options.

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