Bard and ChatGPT will make search better

by Kim Davis

The use of large language models like those developed by ChatGPT and Google is going to impact traditional search. There’s no doubt about that — and the changes are imminent.

“We’re at the precipice of this new frontier for search which will ultimately be better. I’m not taking a pessimistic view at all; I’m very much looking forward to it.”

Brent Ramos, Director at Adswerve.

Changing the search paradigm

“I think it’s definitely going to change the paradigm of how we understand search today, because as soon as you throw in Bard, let’s say [Google’s generative AI], and it pushes down all the organic ranks, and you have the chat AI upfront, all of a sudden people are going to converge and convert in that experience, and it’s too early to know what it’s going to look like.”

In other words, and as expected, many users of Google search will look first at the answer to their query generated by Bard; they won’t necessarily scroll down to look at links, or even at footnotes that show where Bard found its information.

The implications for paid search

“What I anticipate is that there will be a new paradigm of what that will mean for paid results, so rather than have a host of links to click through in an index format, we’ll see new formats come up.  I think the definition of conversions will change, and the experience of the paid ecosystem will change, but it’s not going to go away.”

A living, breathing conversation

That does mean, however, that there will need to be opportunities within the AI content for people to convert, and Ramos doesn’t pretend he yet knows what that will look like. “Maybe it’s no longer pay-per-click; it’s pay-per-interaction,” he said. “Rather than getting this repository of links to sift through as humans, we’ll actually get this really rich, semantic conversation presented to us. The index or repository we’re accustomed to today will shift into a living and breathing conversation.”

“SERP is one thing, but search also powers things like local listings, maps, ecommerce buy-buttons and all these other things that are interconnected with it and that are crucially embedded in the ecosystem.” “All these things that are tangential to search are also wrapped up in that connectivity, so I think that’s the bigger picture people should be trying to understand.”

Importance of interconnectivity

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