AI Chat in Google Search: Implications for Marketers and the Future of Search Marketing

Published: April 10, 2023

min read

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Google CEO Sundar Pichai affirmed that a chatbot with artificial intelligence would soon be incorporated into Google Search.

Despite having a reputation for creating sizable language models, Google has yet to integrate the technology into its search, which generates more than half of the company's revenue.

Google made $162 billion from search advertising in 2022. Many people have questioned whether chatbots and generative AI actually pose a threat to Google's core search operation. Pichai denied it by saying,

Chatbots offer a larger "opportunity space" rather than being a threat to Google's search business.

Sundar Pichai

CEO, Google

In the same interview, Sundar Pichai was asked, "Will users be able to interact with LLMs while conducting searches on Google?" and he answered it positively.

He also mentioned the company has not yet determined when conversational AI will appear in search but has only confirmed its arrival.

Tech giant Microsoft recently invested millions of dollars in AI powerhouse OpenAI, following which ChatGPT was integrated into its Bing search engine. This innovation gave Microsoft's search engine a competitive advantage over Google search, which continues to use the traditional search methodology.

Investors have been pressuring Google to make cost reductions as it continues to come under fire from its rival Microsoft following the integration of ChatGPT in Bing.

It is also noted that Google recently disclosed that it would be laying off 12,000 employees, or 6% of its workforce.

What does the confirmation of AI's incorporation into Google's search engine mean to marketers?

Undeniably, it will be interesting to see how LLMs (large language models) are integrated by Google into its search engine and the level of convenience it may add to users.

However, the deployment of AI into search engines creates a lot of questions for brands and marketers.

How will it impact user behaviour and their search habits?

How to deal with SEO after the new change?

How far will it reduce the need for users to click links and visit websites?

What criteria should brands use to optimise websites?

And so much more.

Though time will only tell the answers, we believe it is going to make organic marketing challenging but not impossible.

The key reason is that, though users may start preferring AI chatbots for instant responses, they still need to visit the websites to get in-depth explanations. As a result, the number of visitors may decline but won't vanish completely.

Besides, to surpass this challenge and maximize traffic, marketers must stick with the formula of providing unique and quality content. Besides, they may have to bring a more human touch to the way they deliver content so as to make it more impactful for audiences.

By doing this, we believe, marketers can improve the click through rate to their websites amid the upcoming trend of "zero-click searches" in Google.

To put it positively, as technology becomes more pervasive in our lives, people have access to a wider range of search options. With different people having different ways of handling Google search, the incorporation of a language model in the search engine can make the search even easier, more accurate, and more convenient for users.

It may result in the growth of search volumes. Thus, it is only the marketers’ responsibility to analyse and find out how to use it to their advantage.

Google also promised that they are careful with usage of Bard given its potential impact on the publisher ecosystem.

Overall, the evolution of the search landscape is going to happen no matter what. People are soon to get crisp answers from Google in a matter of seconds.

Whether the new AI advancements excite or create concerns, it is vital for marketers and brands to embrace the change and leverage the advancement as early as possible to stay ahead of the curve.


Bill Walker

Bill is a marketing strategist who believes in the power of storytelling. He's known for his creativity, wit, and ability to connect with audiences across all channels. When he's not crafting marketing campaigns, you can find him hiking in the mountains or reading a good book.


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