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Google is afraid of being left behind and thinks the solution is to put AI in

Google is afraid of being left behind and thinks the solution is to put AI in everything – regardless of whether users want or need it.

That’s according to a LinkedIn post by Scott Jenson, a former Google employee of more than 15 years who left his role as a part-time senior UX designer last month.

Why we care. Google is rapidly losing the trust of users, SEOs, advertisers, brands and content creators in its relentless AI push – even though AI is clearly not yet able to deliver on its potential. While we should always be skeptical about comments from former employees, multiple people leaving Google lately have told a similar story – confirming what many of us have suspected from the outside. Google has lost its way and is chasing profit at the expense of product (Search).

Stone cold panic. Jenson believes AI has value, but not the motivation driving it at Google. He wrote on LinkedIn:

  • “The ‘AI Projects’ I was working on were poorly motivated and driven by this mindless panic that as long as it had ‘AI’ in it, it would be great. This myopia is NOT something driven by a user need. It is a stone cold panic that they are getting left behind.”
  • “The vision is that there will be a Tony Stark like Jarvis assistant in your phone that locks you into their ecosystem so hard that you’ll never leave. That vision is pure catnip. The fear is that they can’t afford to let someone else get there first.”

Like Google Plus. Jenson compared it to Google’s social media panic over the rise of Facebook, resulting in the launch of Google Plus in 2011:

  • “This exact thing happened 13 years ago with Google+ (I was there for that fiasco as well). That was a similar hysterical reaction but to Facebook.”

Dig deeper. Google AI Overviews: More searches, less satisfaction

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About the author

Danny GoodwinDanny Goodwin

Danny Goodwin has been Managing Editor of Search Engine Land & Search Marketing Expo – SMX since 2022. He joined Search Engine Land in 2022 as Senior Editor. In addition to reporting on the latest search marketing news, he manages Search Engine Land’s SME (Subject Matter Expert) program. He also helps program U.S. SMX events.

Goodwin has been editing and writing about the latest developments and trends in search and digital marketing since 2007. He previously was Executive Editor of Search Engine Journal (from 2017 to 2022), managing editor of Momentology (from 2014-2016) and editor of Search Engine Watch (from 2007 to 2014). He has spoken at many major search conferences and virtual events, and has been sourced for his expertise by a wide range of publications and podcasts.

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