What is ChatGPT?
Let’s first introduce ChatGPT for those who still don’t have a clear understanding of this ground-breaking AI tool. It is a language model developed by OpenAI that uses advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to generate human-like text responses to questions and prompts. ChatGPT has been trained on a massive corpus of text data, allowing it to generate text that is coherent, contextually aware and often indistinguishable from text written by a human.
One of the key strengths of this tool is its ability to generate natural language responses to a wide range of questions and prompts, making it well suited for applications in areas such as customer service, conversational AI and content generation. Additionally, ChatGPT can be fine-tuned for specific use cases, such as answering questions about a specific topic or generating text in a specific style, to further improve its performance.
Is ChatGPT a Threat to Search Engines like Google?
Many people are worried that ChatGPT is a big threat to search engines and have even called it the “Google Killer”. Truth is, AI tools like ChatGPT are not really a threat to search although they do represent a significant development in the field of artificial intelligence and natural language processing.
Search engines and chatbots like ChatGPT serve different purposes and have different capabilities. A search engine like Google is designed to help people find information on the web by indexing and ranking billions of web pages based on keywords and relevance. On the other hand, a chatbot like ChatGPT is designed to generate human-like text and respond to questions and requests in natural language.
While ChatGPT can provide information and answer questions, it is not meant to replace search engines. Instead, it complements search engines by providing more personal and human-like interactions. This is why ChatGPT and other AI tools can be integrated with search engines to enhance their capabilities and improve the user experience. This is what Bing is currently doing actually. And in case you don’t know it yet, Google itself is developing its own version of ChatGPT called Bard. Bard is expected to be integrated into the search engine results provided by Google.
So, to recap, AI tools like ChatGPT are actually likely to have a positive impact on the search engine industry by upgrading the services they provide, rather than replacing them.
ChatGPT is Only an Informational Tool
I am sure you noticed that ChatGPT only provides information and answers to questions and does not offer any links to websites. In contrast, search engines like Google provide a list of relevant links and allow you to visit other sites in order to not only get more information but also perform an action such as filling a form or purchasing a product. This is a major advantage that confer search engines a “transactional” feature, unlike conversational chatbots like ChatGPT (at least for now).
Search Will Remain a Powerful Online Channel
To summarize, it is foolish to think search engines like Google and Bing will become obsolete with the advent of AI-powered services like ChatGPT. Remember when Alexa first came out around 2016? At that time, people had similar concerns and were worried that it was going to replace search. Today we are in 2023 and Google is still the most visited website in the world with more than 3.7bn search queries conducted every single day.
So rest assured, search engines are here to stay and yes keep investing in SEO and SEM, they are likely to remain among the most cost-effective ways to promote your business online.
Imad J. Karam