Is ChatGPT replacing Google?

Only a small group of scientists had anticipated it, but 2023 has become the year where artificial intelligence (AI) hit the public. With the release of ChatGPT the search engine business was disrupted to it’s roots. It feels incredibly simple and natural to type to ChatGPT. ChatGPT answers in plain english sentances. People ask ChatGPT instead of googling. Google just released their competitor Bard, and rumours has it that Apple is working on their next chat bot.

Apple have had Siri for a long time, and chat bots is nothing new. We have had chat bots for a long time. But this is different. That bots before 2023 were primitive, and mostly meant to offload support departments with standard phrases. The new models feels more like having a conversation with a friend or colleague.

I ask myself ChatGPT take the search engine market? I don’t believe so. Google is not only the best web search in the world. It is also the result of clever marketing. Marketers will tailor their web sites to reach their message to their target audience on Google. They use Google Web Master Tools or third party software to find what key words people are searching for, and measure the reults. With this knowledge they go back iterate on their web sites. This is where web search shines. Measuring the results from a Google Ad word campaign or google’s organic search is incredibly easy. So far ChatGPT, Bard and the others, has not come up with a business model where one measure. At the end of the day a google search ends up in a click on a link. Modern chat bots, in the other hand, are not that easy. The answer form a chat bot is a mash up of millions of web pages across the internet. The web site that the chat bot favours is rarely just one. Without good measuring of web results it is incredibly hard to get marketers and writers onboard.

That is why I believe people owning a web site, writers and merketers will still focus on Google Web search for most of their work. Google will still have the same market share among web search engines. Some portion of the users which used to do web searches will now ask a chat bot instead.

But somehting big is happening to the web search business, and it has been going on for a long time.

Only time will show how impactful chat bots will be on the search engine market, but my guess is that Google is still going to be the dominant, almost monopoly, platform for web site owners to draw traffic to their web sites the next decade.