ChatGPT will change the internet, but it won't destroy Google... maybe, but I'm not sure

For some time now, many publications have sounded the alarm about the destruction of Google at the hands of ChatGPT, the language model created by OpenAI.

Although nothing new, the scene started to catch fire in December 2022 and became the hottest story on the web in February 2023, after Microsoft announced that Bing and Edge search process will be powered by ChatGPT.

After Microsoft's announcement, tech blogs and mainstream media began publishing articles claiming that ChatGPT was a Google search killer. But then they fell silent after Google announced that Bard, its AI language model powered by its Language Model for Dialogue Applications (or LaMDA for short), was getting the finishing touches and would soon be integrated into the Google search engine.

And then nobody cared and nobody talked about it anymore. With the exception of some tech bloggers who see ChatGPT as the big blog killer. Especially those who depend on digital advertising to maintain their blogs.

To better illustrate this, let's go over the details of how these AI programs, like ChatGPT and Bard, will work. And then some details on how they can have a big effect on websites and blogs, big and small.

But first, let's review how traditional Google, Bing, and Duck Duck Go searches work.

Before Google changed the game, searching the Internet was frustrating. Then Google was born and search got easier and better. And that is the full story. Nowadays, when you type a query or question into a search engine, you get a page with a list of links rated according to the probability that they will answer your search query.

Here is a breakdown of how a search engine like Google work:

  • Crawling: Search engines use automated programs called crawlers or spiders to scan the Internet and gather information about web pages.
  • Indexing: Once a web page is crawled, the search engine analyzes its content and creates an index, which is essentially a database of all the web pages the search engine has found.
  • Ranking: When a user enters a search query, the search engine uses complex algorithms to analyze the index and determine which web pages are most relevant to the query.
  • Retrieval: The search engine then retrieves the most relevant web pages and displays them in a ranked list, usually with the most relevant results appearing at the top of the list.
  • Personalization: Search engines can also personalize search results based on factors such as a user's search history, location, and other preferences.

To make all those features possible, Google needs to hire lots of people who know how to code, and engineers to maintain a very large and expensive infrastructure.

All of this requires:

  • Data Centers: Search engines like Google require massive data centers with thousands of servers to store and process the vast amounts of data collected from the Internet.
  • Network equipment: In addition to servers, search engines require network equipment, such as routers and switches, to manage the flow of data between servers.
  • Power and Cooling Infrastructure: Data centers consume a lot of power and generate a significant amount of heat, so search engines require a robust power and cooling infrastructure to keep their servers running. work without problems.
  • Backup systems: Search engines must have reliable backup systems in place to ensure that data is not lost in the event of a system failure or other disaster.
  • Security measures: Search engines must also have strong security measures in place to protect data stored in their data centers from unauthorized access and other threats.
  • Maintenance Staff: Running a search engine requires a team of qualified technicians and engineers to manage and maintain the servers and other equipment.
  • Monitoring and Management Tools: Search engines require sophisticated monitoring and management tools to keep track of the performance of their servers and ensure they are running at peak efficiency.
  • Disaster Recovery Plans: Search engines should also have detailed disaster recovery plans in place to ensure they can quickly recover from any outages or interruptions and continue to provide uninterrupted service to their users.

And that's just to maintain their search engine, which is nothing more than weightless computer code. On top of that, many other aspects of Google's business must also be maintained for all of this to be possible. And all of that costs money. Lots and lots of money. More money than most people can imagine.

And where does Google get all that money? Online advertising.

Online advertising refers to the use of digital media and the Internet to send promotional messages to a targeted audience. Online ads can take many forms, including display ads, search engine ads, social media ads, native ads, and video ads, among others. Here's how those online ads work:

  • Display ads: Display ads are banner or image ads that are placed on websites, usually in the form of a rectangular box or banner. They can be static or animated and can be targeted based on factors such as demographics, interests, and behavior.
  • Search Engine Ads: Search Engine Ads are paid advertisements that appear at the top or bottom of search engine results pages (SERPs) when someone searches for a keyword or phrase. specific. These ads are usually text-based and are targeted based on keywords and user intent.
  • Social Media Ads: Social Media Ads are promoted posts or advertisements that appear on a user's social media across platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. These ads can be targeted based on demographics, interests, and behavior.
  • Native ads: Native ads are ads that are designed to look and feel like the content around them. They may appear in the form of sponsored content, recommended articles, or promoted listings on websites or social media platforms.
  • Video ads: Video ads are ads that appear in online videos, usually before or during the video content. They may or may not be skipped and can be targeted based on demographics, interests, and behavior.

And that's why integrating AI programs like ChatGPT with search engines can be a problem for companies like Google, which makes most of its revenue from online advertising.

In the current model; the user makes a search request and Google opens a results page with links leading to websites with a possible answer. This is supplemented by text and image ads that entice the user to click on them because they may lead to the product or answer. When users visit a website, that site or blog may display ads provided by Google of which the website publisher and Google obtain a portion.

In the current vision of ChatGPT, your search can start and end with the AI program. ChatGPT is designed to provide a full answer to questions and also elaborate when necessary without the need for the user to visit a website. Assuming Google and Bing can create a profitable monetization scheme to go along with the AI programs, that still means users will be less exposed to ads because they won't visit those websites and blogs.

And now you can better visualize how artificial intelligence programs like ChatGPT will change the way the Internet works.

The internet is many things; email, social media, e-commerce, streaming. But mostly it is a collection of websites made by millions of people containing billions of entries on different topics.

Many of those websites and blogs rely on advertising clicks and visits to sustain what they do. And ChatGPT is a threat to that model.

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