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The recent history of ChatGPT
OpenAI launched ChatGPT in November 2022, creating AI generated content which allows the user to have human-like conversations with a chatbot.

Since then, the industry has shared huge excitement in the capabilities and possible opportunities this technology could create, not only in digital marketing, but everyday life. Reaching 100 million users in record breaking speed, this tech has the fastest user acquisition rate we have seen in the industry.

In January, it was announced Microsoft would be investing 10 billion in OpenAI’s technology, with the aim of integrating the latest versions of ChatGPT into the Bing search engine.

The pressure on Google to respond
For many years, Google has been relatively unrivalled in their search engine dominance. However, in the last few months, they have had to make tough decisions, reducing their workforce by 12,000 people at the start of the year. A combination of worse economic conditions and stiffer competition from TikTok has also led to declined revenues on their video-streaming site, YouTube.

Following this, the news that their search engine rival Microsoft are investing in ChatGPT will have caused concern at Google. For the first time in years, they could have realistic competition. Therefore, they have acted quickly, announcing the launch of their own AI powered chatbot.

Google’s description of their new AI powered chatbot is as follows:

“Bard seeks to combine the breadth of the world’s knowledge with the power, intelligence, and creativity of our large language models. It draws on information from the web to provide fresh, high-quality responses.”

So far, the platform has been opened up to trusted testers ahead of making it more widely available to the public in the coming weeks.

The future
It’s difficult to predict the impact these new technologies will have at this early stage, with more questions being raised than answers. However, it will be fascinating to see how user behaviour changes over time.

It would be fair to say there could be a bigger impact on SEO in comparison to paid ads. With users having more complex questions answered via the chatbot, will there be a need to click through to websites? How will businesses optimise articles towards a conversation, rather than optimising towards a keyword or specific question?

Informational searches could change forever, but how will e-commerce questions differ? Will paid ads still run in the same way they do on standard search engines?

The environment is very fast paced right now, and it will be exciting to see the advancements over the coming months. However, it’s clear Microsoft are ready to challenge Google in this space, which can only be good for consumers.