Google Search may No longer be Completely Free

According to a report, Google is planning a paid subscription for advanced AI-powered search features which means the Google Search may no longer be entirely free. This would be the first time a core Google product would be subject to a payment wall. You can continue to use the free, ad-supported search function.

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Internet giant Google an widely associated online search engine is planning a paid subscription by altering its business strategy. According to a report by Financial Times, “Google is investigating ways to charge for premium, AI-powered features that are integrated into its main search product.”

The report cites sources familiar with Google’s plans as saying that these cutting-edge AI-powered search capabilities may find their way into Google’s already-available subscription services, such as Google One or Gemini Advanced.

Google Search is going to be paid
Google Search is going to be paid

Notably, the report shows that while the standard version of Google Search will stay free to use, even the premium tier will carry advertisements.

It seems that Google is attempting to bring together two competing agendas, which is leading to this possible shift. It all comes down to protecting the lucrative search advertising that serves as the company’s main source of funding while incorporating state-of-the-art AI into the search experience.

The stakes are extremely high, as evidenced by the company’s shocking $175 billion in search-related ad revenue last year.

Would You Pay for AI Driven Google Searches?

In May of last year, Google launched the Search Generative Experience (SGE), an AI-powered search service. SGE provides traditional link and advertisement presentation in addition to AI-powered summaries and query responses.

Up until recently, the SGE experience was entirely optional. However, Google is now testing it as the default experience for a select group of users. The corporation has, however, taken its time integrating these SGE features into its primary search engine, most likely as a result of the generative AI models’ high computational costs. Although SGE presents advantages for prospective users, it also calls into question the basis of Google’s present business strategy. Because AI can provide thorough responses, fewer users may click on links on websites, which would mean fewer ad impressions and possibly risk Google’s main source of income.

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According to the report, Google engineers are currently working on this technology, but a final decision and a release date are still pending. Will you pay to improve your Google search experience? Tell us in the comments section below.

Sharma Shashank
Sharma Shashank
I'm Shashank Sharma - who is responsible for writing about technology, specifically Mobile Phone Review at AxpertMedia. I've a strong opinions in Business and Tech [Specially Mobile Phone, Blockchain and SaaS tools]. Moreover, when I'm not busy pursuing my interests, i love cooking up and experimenting with new recipes, flavors.

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