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The Anti-competitive Practices of Google Bard

Posted in: Matthew's Tech Posting

Google Bard answers to questions inputted to search box

A few day ago, Google announced their alternative to ChatGPT; Bard. Instead of Google returning links to pages (at the top), it will display an AI generated answer. Occupied by Link cards as a “Learn more” section.

The problem is that if Google answers the question asked. The average user will not click the “Learn more” links. That means far-less traffic for websites that rely on the Google monopoly for traffic (Google has nearly 90% of the search market).

The direct loss in traffic from Bard is not the worst part for webmasters. The worst part is that Google will take its information from the websites that it will no longer be delivering traffic to (directly from Google’s blog post) “It draws on information from the web to provide fresh, high-quality responses.”.

There is zero sign that Google will ask for permission to use your content for their AI instant answers or compensate content creators for their work that Google is now using.

Basically, it used to be a webmaster would allow Google to crawl their website for search traffic. Now Google will crawl websites and effectively steal that content for themselves.

Why would anyone allow Google to crawl their websites anymore?

The Anti-Competitive Google

Man sucking out of planet earth with hat reading 'Google Monopoly'

According to Statista, as of December 2022, Google has an 84.08% market-share (On desktops). That means websites and businesses (including Non-American) have no choice but to shut-up and accept anything Google decides.

That means if the American giant decides it will take your content into a AI training and then using that to generate an answer without sending you traffic. You have to accept that.

There are no negotiations with big-tech. The only way to fight against this is to push anti-trust rules worldwide. It only takes a few western countries cracking down to destroy Google Bard. The best place for this push is Europe, as its often European Content taken to enrich American interests.

Europe will need to act or risk America stealing its creative industries. Stealing is the correct word for how AI models are being trained.

I have already made a push within the UK (that has been sent to the government) about Google Bard being anti-competitive.

Harm to the Consumer

Many online are celebrating these AI chatbots (Odd as they steal from the small creators to give to large corporations). The problem is that website rely on people visiting them. For non-commercial websites like mine, emailed feedback encourages me to create new blog posts.

However, for commercial websites (including original research), things are much worse. For these entities, traffic means revenue that is required to pay staff. Taking away traffic would require them to fire some or all of their staff.

In either case, the outcome is the same. Websites will shutdown and it won’t be SEO spam sites (their articles require little effort) that Reddit thinks will close. The website’s closing will be ones who put the most effort into each piece of content.

Eventually, quality content will “dry up”. The AIs will just consume each others content until quality completely collapses.

Big-tech will destroy the internet to control it.

Published: 9th of February 2023

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