Since Microsoft made a hefty investment in OpenAI, the company which owns ChatGPT in 2019, and again in 2022, they have reportedly been working on integrating ChatGPT into Bing, the Microsoft search engine.
If they did integrate the technology, and this now looks likely, what could this mean for the SEO community and website administrators? Or for Bing’s competitor, Google? Let’s find out.
What Is ChatGPT?
If you haven’t heard of ChatGPT by now, where have you been?
Jokes aside, nobody has stopped talking about it in recent weeks – predicting content marketers will soon be out of jobs and students will be cheating their way through school. But if you haven’t heard of it, ChatGPT is an AI chatbot that can answer users’ queries conversationally, make suggestions, and respond with long-form content. Launched in November 2022, it’s caused a stir because it seems quite superior to other AI platforms.
Is Microsoft Coming For Google?
As mentioned, Microsoft has made two significant financial investments in OpenAI, the company that owns ChatGPT and has been working with them to integrate the technology into their search engine, Bing.
This is possibly to put Microsoft back in the game when it comes to search engines…of course, people do use Bing to search, but Google has dominated the search engine market for a while. Google holds around 85% of the global market share and Bing around 9%.
Could their investment in ChatGPT put them back in the search engine market and able to compete with Google? And how would they do that?
Google has been developing their own AI bot for a while, this famously came to attention last summer when a former employee claimed the bot had ‘become sentient’, it is assumed that conversational AI will eventually be incorporated into Google search to improve user experience but the company have confirmed this won’t be happening any time soon.
The reason Google has been so cautious about doing this is that AI chat, however much it has advanced, still has the potential to throw up unexpected results and even offensive or dangerous content.
Could Microsoft pip them to the post by snapping up the ChatGPT technology? Improving user experience would certainly bring more people back to Bing and it’s a clear advantage over Google.
Aside from the concerns around the results conversation AI can produce, ChatGPT itself is concerning to those in digital marketing. Whilst it isn’t going to steal copywriting jobs any time soon, the platform could potentially ‘steal’ web traffic. When a user asks a question using ChatGPT, the information is provided within the platform, potentially reducing the need to ever visit a website.
The popularity of ChatGPT may calm down soon as the app is currently free to use but it will be monetised in the future. The free ‘research period’ is a clear attempt to boost popularity before introducing pricing plans.
This is where Microsoft could really feel the benefits of integrating the technology into their search engine. Bing would become the only place to access the technology for free and become a significant draw to users.
Watch out Google!