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Jul 05, 2023

ChatGPT vs Google: Could AI take down a monopoly?

Dayna Lang
Author Dayna Lang

Amongst controversy and excitement, ChatGPT and other AI continues to control of the market and this begs the question, can ChatGPT take on Google?

ChatGPT just might be able to take over the search market and overtake Google.

Google has had a virtual monopoly on the search engine market for decades (an advantage it’s not afraid to use). While other search platforms (like Bing and DuckDuckGo) have made a dent in Google’s lead over the years, they’ve failed to achieve anything  close to Google’s level of success. When campaigns are optimized for SEO, search ads, or online trends, it’s Google that companies cater to. But could that change with the rise of AI and ChatGPT? 

ChatGPT, an AI application that burst into the limelight at the start of 2023, is the one marketers are talking about the most. This is for good reason; ChatGPT’s technology has a wide range of capabilities that make it difficult to know where to start or stop talking about it.  One good place to start, though, from a marketers perspective, is why Google should be worried and where marketers and advertisers can get ahead of a changing market. 

When Google emerged on the digital scene, the marketers who got on board quickly took advantage of a massive head start in digital marketing and Native Advertising. With ChatGPTs current potential, it is time for marketers to start paying attention.


What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is the latest brainchild from OpenAI. According to its parent company, ChatGPT “interacts in a conversational way. The dialogue format makes it possible for ChatGPT to answer follow-up questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests.”

This chat bot is able to write scripts, answer questions, present research, create code, just to name a few capabilities. While there has understandably been discussion surrounding the copyright of material written by the AI, there is also important discussion about its ability to gather research and answer questions. This is where it has the ability to challenge the internet’s largest player in search (and perhaps one day ads). 


How could ChatGPT and AI compete with Google?

Before we explore how ChatGPT can compete with Google, we have to ask ourselves “what do people most commonly use Google for?” In terms of its search engine, people use Google to research companies, conduct research, and find answers to questions. This is where ChatGPT competes and according to a Forbes article from AI expert Dr Alex Zhavoronkov, Google needs to keep its eye out. 

ChatGPT presents a user-friendly alternative to search by gathering multiple sources at once, finding comparative lists of companies, and sourcing easy to understand answers to complex questions – all in a conversational format. This format feels friendlier than Google and fills a gap that the internet giant misses; it creates a welcoming environment with communicative and direct information. No need to sift and dig. 

What does this mean for marketers?

The emergence of new internet search technology has a potentially huge impact on marketing strategies. It may mean allocating less budget to search ads, re-researching which audiences continue using traditional search engines, and exploring future marketing opportunities with these AI programs. Importantly, a new frontier means new opportunities and changing consumer behaviors. 

While it’s impossible to perfectly predict how the evolution of online search will play out, what is known is that search behaviors will change and it’s critical that marketers pay attention. 


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