What is Google Project Magi? Key Features, Examples, and Impact on SEO

Discover the latest in AI-powered search from Google Project Magi. Learn about its key features and what we know so far.

Written by
Daniel Højris Bæk
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April 24, 2024

The SEO Community is once again buzzing as it's revealed that Google have 160 engineers working tirelessly on a significant transformation of its search engine under the code name "Magi".

The first mention of the project was in an article in the New York Times.

Google Magi was first mentioned in The New York Times

It's the latest move from the search behemoth in the raging AI wars, where Microsoft gained momentum after teaming up with OpenAI and integrating ChatGPT-like features as part of it's search engine Bing.

And Google is trying to follow up with Google Bard and now Magi.

Let's dissect what we know so far.

12 things we know about Google Magi

  1. Project Magi is a new feature being developed by Google for its search engine.
  2. The project aims to provide users with a more personalized search experience, anticipating users' needs.
  3. Magi is being developed by a team of designers, engineers, and executives working in sprint rooms.
  4. The search engine will be powered by artificial intelligence and will be more conversational than the current one.
  5. The new search engine is still in the early stages of development, and no clear timetable has been released for its release.
  6. The system would learn what users want to know based on their searches when they begin using it, and it would offer lists of preselected options for objects to buy, information to research, and other information.
  7. Magi would keep ads in the mix of search results.
  8. Search queries that could lead to a financial transaction would still feature ads on their results pages.
  9. Google is expected to release the tools to the public next month and add more features in the fall.
  10. The company plans to initially release the features to a maximum of one million people, which should progressively increase to 30 million by the end of the year.
  11. The features will be available exclusively in the United States for starters.
  12. Chat-like Interface

In my ears, it sounds a lot like what Google already have under the hood when they serve search results today where a lot of artificial intelligence is already implemented.

But wrapped in a newer interface, more like something similar to Bard and ChatGPT. I know I used the term before, but it feels a bit like the featured snippet on steroids.

The main difference overall is, that instead of displaying answers from websites, it's formulated by Google's own AI.

It's interesting to see if this will turn out like one of the more significant moves and transformations for the classic search results as we know them.

What is Google Magi?

Google Magi is a project that aims to transform how we search and interact with the internet. It involves the development of a new search engine powered by Google's new A.I. technology that will offer users a far more personalized experience than the company's current service.

The project includes adding new A.I.-based features to the current search engine. And it seems that the part about anticipating users’ needs is core.

Many Twitter users mistakenly display the Google Bard animation to illustrate the new Google Magi

While the new search engine is still in its early stages, it demonstrates Google's ambitions to remain at the forefront of technological advancements in the search industry.

How could it be explained to a child what it's all about

Google Magi is a cool new project that's trying to make searching the internet even better. Basically, they're making a new search engine that uses really smart computer technology to understand what you're looking for and give you better results. Lots of smart people are working on this project, and it's going to change the way we search and buy stuff online.

What has Google said about Magi?

Unfortunately, Google has not released much official information about Project Magi.

The only statement so far is the quote from Google spokeswoman Lara Levin:

“Not every brainstorm deck or product idea leads to a launch, but as we’ve said before, we’re excited about bringing new A.I.-powered features to search, and will share more details soon.”

Also so far the different Googlers on Twitters have been quit on gossip related to Magi.

Conversational and user-friendly

Overall it seems safe to say that Google is striving to make search more conversational and user-friendly.

Imagine engaging with an intelligent assistant like ChatGPT or Alexa, which can learn from past interactions and adapt responses in real-time. This new approach will provide more relevant, personalized answers, moving away from the traditional list of search results.

What could Magi mean for SEO?

It's not like Magi will kill classic SEO, but it might have significant implications for the world of SEOs and people wanting to get organic traffic from Google.

Here are some potential effects:

  1. Shift in focus: With Google's AI generating answers instead of pulling them from websites, SEO professionals might need to adapt their strategies to ensure their content is still relevant and visible. This could mean optimizing content for AI-generated responses and potentially collaborating with the AI to provide better, more accurate information.
  2. Personalization: As the search experience becomes more personalized, SEO professionals may need to tailor content to cater to specific user preferences and needs. This might require more in-depth user analysis and segmentation to create content that resonates with different target audiences.
  3. Conversational optimization: With a more conversational search interface, SEO experts might need to optimize content for voice search and natural language queries. This could mean creating content that answers questions directly and is easier for AI to understand and interpret.
  4. Increased competition: With Google facilitating transactions directly on its platform, businesses and websites may face increased competition. SEO professionals will need to find new ways to stand out and attract users to their sites, possibly by improving user experience, offering unique content or value propositions, or leveraging other marketing channels.
  5. Adaptation to new metrics: As search engines evolve, SEO professionals will need to stay updated on new metrics and ranking factors that influence search results. Staying ahead of these changes and adapting strategies accordingly will be crucial for maintaining search visibility and relevance.
  6. User engagement and retention: With the potential of AI-generated answers, websites may have to focus more on user engagement and retention. This could include creating more interactive content, improving website design and usability, and offering personalized experiences to users.

Ultimately, the success of SEO professionals in the era of Project Magi will depend on their ability to adapt to the changing search landscape and find innovative ways to create and optimize content for both users and AI-generated responses.

But again, this has always been the case for SEOs. This time it might just be one of the bigger shifts.

Google Bard vs Magi

Google Bard, in relation to Google Magi, represents Google's response to the rise of AI-driven conversational search engines like ChatGPT. As a rival to ChatGPT, Google Bard is designed to transform search results by providing AI-generated answers based on the user's queries.

While Google Magi aims to offer a more personalized and anticipatory search experience, Google Bard focuses on generating accurate, informative, and creative answers in a more conversational manner. Both projects reflect Google's ambition to revolutionize the search experience using advanced AI technologies,

Features Google Bard Project Magi
Purpose Conversational AI service Personalized search engine
Stage Early stages Under development
AI technology Large language models (LaMDA) Artificial intelligence
Conversational Yes, seeks to be creative More conversational than current search engine
Personalization Draws on web to provide fresh, high-quality responses Learns users' needs based on their searches
Availability Selected markets Internal testing at Google
Features Simplifies complex topics Offers preselected options for objects to buy, information to research, and other information
Ad integration Ads kept in the mix of search results Ads still featured on search queries that could lead to a financial transaction
Release plans Already available in select markets No official date yet. Will initially be released to a maximum of one million people, progressively increasing to 30 million by the end of the year.

Why is it named "Project Magi"?

The New York Times article doesn't explicitly answer why it's named "Project Magi." It's possible that the name "Magi" was chosen because it invokes the idea of magic, which could suggest the new search engine will be something special and transformative.

However, it's also possible that the name has some other significance or meaning within Google's internal culture. Without more information from Google itself, it's difficult to say for certain.

How does Magi use artificial intelligence?

Magi uses artificial intelligence to understand natural language queries and provide more accurate and relevant search results.

It utilizes machine learning algorithms to analyze and interpret the intent and context of a user's query and understand the content and context of web pages.

Magi also uses AI to generate answers to specific questions, similar to how voice assistants like Siri and Alexa provide answers to users. Magi may also use AI to personalize search results for individual users based on their search history and behavior.

What is Google Project Magi? Key Features, Examples, and Impact on SEO

This is an article written by:

+20 years of experience from various digital agencies. Passionate about AI (artificial intelligence) and the superpowers it can unlock. I had my first experience with SEO back in 2001, working at a Danish web agency.