Future of Kenyan bloggers, publishers and content creators after AI

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What is the future of Kenyan bloggers? This is a dominant question among publishers who are worried that AI will replace them. Well, this year we witnessed Google roll out the March 2024 algorithm then the AI overview. Among the products launched by AI is the AI overview which summarizes information and displays it above any other search result on Google’s front page. For bloggers with bigger eyes, it’s easy to interpret what the AI overview means and make necessary content adjustments. It spells doom on publishers.

Before the AI overview, there was the much talked about algorithm which shockingly killed over 90% of Kenyan blogs. It promoted sites with high domain authority while relegating independent publishers and new blogs. Interestingly, forum sites like Quora, Medium and Reddit found their way to the top of SERP. Right now, Reddit content is outranking any other site with similar content in Kenya.

I have talked to a number of bloggers, most of them are worried about their future. A close friend runs a blog which was getting600,000-3 million views per month with over 80% of traffic coming from Google. He lost 90% of traffic to less than 200,000 views per month after the algorithm was rolled out. His revenue from AdSense dropped from Ksh 500,000 to Ksh 30,000 per month…and you tell me this person cannot be depressed!!!!

If you’re clever enough, you’d have noticed that a number of bloggers aren’t posting content consistently as they used to—due to the shock they got a couple of months ago when their content stopped ranking as a result of the AI overview and the algorithm.

Google came up with an excuse that it’s reducing spam sites from their online search engine, over 45% of the sites in the online ecosystem were affected. As a result, bloggers like Cyprian Nyakundi lost their sites. Nyakundi had to start a new blog after his old bog was deindexed—it completely disappeared from Google such that when you search for it,you won’t find it anywhere.Nyakundi was creating content with AI.

The online space is now for news sites, blogs with high domain authority, forums and ecommerce blogs. The small and independent publishers don’t have any stake in regard to organic traffic. It’s even worse that when they post articles on their blogs, they aren’t indexed on Google.

At the moment, Google’s eyes are on AI,they don’t care about the plight of bloggers. With all this, what does the future look like in the eyes of bloggers?!!

Now, if you own a site and you were impacted negatively the algorithm, listen to me carefully. This is not the time to create information content, it will be useless because Google has already summarized it and presented in a better way. Those bloggers who were listing academic courses, who were ranking items, who were writing about jobs, business and other things that AI can do easily should now be more creative. If there’s something you can easily find online and write about, don’t waste your time writing about it.I am particularly concerned about bloggers without original content, the ones who visited other sites, got information and posted it on their sites—they didn’t want to do any research. Right now, the internet wants publishers who can come up with information which does not exist online.

Since Google favours forums ,e-commerce sites and news sites, that is the direction you should follow. News sites always have something new to report about, forums like Quora raise questions where members come up with divergent opinion and ideas. Those forums are like Facebook posts where followers share ideas and opinions. Google have a soft spot on the forums.

What I am seeing is that in future, the only bloggers who will survive are those with unique ideas or those running forums and news sites. We currently have over 2000 bloggers in Kenya. By 2027 the number will reduce significantly to less than 100.We will remain with news sites run by big media houses and a few bloggers who have been in the industry for more than 5 years.

It’s even pointless to create a blog in Kenya at the moment because you won’t rank anywhere. To think that you will compete with sites like Tuko News, Standard Media and Citizen TV is a pipe dream.

The worst part about the current blogging environment is that the cost of web hosting is extremely high yet income is low. Ideally, no blogger will persevere in an environment where they work very hard and only pay for web hosting.

The income for independent bloggers will shrink to worrying levels. It won’t be enough to sustain anyone. Unless bloggers find a way to sell items on their blog. Their dreams of surviving in this industry are now shuttered. Blogging is dead!