Are People Using ChatGPT Instead of Google?

Are People Using ChatGPT Instead of Google? It sure seems that way. On Twitter, excuse me; X (I keep forgetting), it seems there’s been a noticeable trend among individuals expressing their growing reliance on ChatGPT.

Many of these voices underscore a significant shift away from traditional search engines like Google. Google, the search engine GIANT.

For marketers, the evolving landscape demands adaptation rather than fixating on Google’s changes.

Before delving into adaptation strategies, it’s prudent to examine the data to ascertain whether ChatGPT is indeed supplanting Google.

The Emergence of ChatGPT

Despite being a relatively recent addition to the internet’s vast array of tools, ChatGPT’s origins trace back to OpenAI, established in December 2015.

Their cumulative efforts culminated in the development of ChatGPT.

It’s how they become one of the most popular sites in less than a year’s time. And actually, according to Similar Web, it’s the 24th most popular site in the world! Dang man…

However, a deeper dive into the data unveils a clearer understanding of the situation at hand.

To start, let’s examine the trajectory of ChatGPT over the past 12 months as depicted by Google Trends.

Certainly, while the Google Trends chart above illustrates a rapid ascent, it’s evident that the pace of growth is decelerating.

Now, I understand what you might be thinking… Google Trends merely scratches the surface; it’s not the complete narrative, right?

Let’s delve into ChatGPT’s traffic metrics and compare them with search engine giants like Google and Bing.

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According to SimilarWeb, in January, ChatGPT (OpenAI) recorded 1.639 billion visitors, marking a 7% increase from the previous month. During the same period, Google witnessed 86.57 billion visitors (up 2.8% from the previous month), while Bing had 1.359 billion visitors (up 3.9% from the previous month).

In February, both Google and Bing experienced declines in traffic, albeit February being a shorter month. If we hypothetically extend February by two days to match January’s duration, Google’s traffic would have remained relatively stable between the two months.

Conversely, ChatGPT demonstrated a 1.9% traffic growth in February despite the month being two days shorter than January. However, despite its significant popularity, the growth rate of ChatGPT appears to be moderating, no longer climbing at the breakneck pace seen previously.

Moreover, it’s worth noting that ChatGPT has already reached a considerable scale, suggesting that sustaining exponential growth rates, such as 5% monthly, is unlikely. Even if it were to achieve such growth, it would take approximately 6.8 years to attain traffic levels comparable to Google’s.

This analysis solely considers traffic to Google.com and excludes its international counterparts like Google India, UK, and France, which remain immensely popular and are still experiencing growth.

While 6.8 years may not seem like an eternity, it’s important to consider that the data suggests Google is still experiencing traffic growth, rather than stagnation. Thus, in practice, the timeframe for ChatGPT to reach comparable traffic levels could be significantly longer.

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Are People Using ChatGPT Instead of Google?

While I’m hesitant to predict a consistent 5% monthly growth for ChatGPT over a span of 6 years, it’s reasonable to anticipate occasional spikes in popularity upon the release of new products. Additionally, ChatGPT is likely to continue growing in prominence, albeit the exact rate remains uncertain.

However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that major tech companies will also witness increased popularity as they introduce more AI-related products and features. While these offerings might not match the quality of OpenAI’s, they will undoubtedly capture a portion of the market share.

One common misconception is doubting the reported usage of ChatGPT. Personally, I’ve encountered scenarios where ChatGPT outperforms Google, and as time progresses, there may be even more instances where this holds true, particularly if Google fails to satisfy users with Gemini.

Nevertheless, the success of one platform doesn’t necessarily entail the failure of the other. Each serves distinct use cases. Some users prefer traditional search results pages with conventional blue links, while others favor streamlined interfaces delivering direct answers. The choice often hinges on the nature of the user’s query.

Many AI applications revolve around question-and-answer interactions. Notably, Google processes a staggering 8.5 billion searches daily, with 15% constituting entirely new queries. Of these, 6% are questions, highlighting a significant demand for direct answers—a trend that tools like Answer the Public can help elucidate.

A significant portion of the search queries poised for disruption revolves around questions.

While other types of searches will undoubtedly be impacted, questions constitute a substantial portion.

At NP Digital, we conducted a study involving 283 individuals who have encountered SGE-based results within Google to gauge the extent of its influence on search queries.

The findings revealed that it affected 17.41% of the search queries, but several caveats exist:

  1. The sample size is relatively small.
  2. Search habits vary among individuals, making it challenging to determine the true percentage of affected search results.
  3. SGE integration within Google’s search results is still in its infancy, and even Google itself has yet to finalize its approach. Like their algorithm, it’s expected to evolve over time.

The Probable Outcome

The most plausible scenario entails the coexistence of multiple platforms, each catering to different use cases.

For instance, despite the emergence of TikTok, Snapchat, and various other social platforms, Facebook continues to thrive.

Despite anecdotal claims from many individuals asserting their non-usage of Facebook, the numbers paint a different picture.

With over 3 billion monthly active users, Facebook’s popularity remains steadfast, showing no signs of decline.

Even amidst the rise of Instagram, Facebook continues to dominate in ad revenue generation.

In the United States alone, it commands a staggering 51.9% share of ad revenue.

While Instagram may be experiencing rapid growth, Facebook’s vitality remains evident—it’s not fading away; rather, it’s still expanding its reach.

Just as there’s a diverse array of platforms like Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat, and others, each enjoying substantial success, we must recognize their enduring relevance despite shifting trends.

Although some platforms may have lost their initial allure, they persist as formidable multi-billion dollar entities.

Likewise, Google and Bing will adapt and coexist alongside emerging entities like OpenAI and Anthropic.

So, how does one navigate this evolving landscape?

Having a presence across various channels and platforms is essential for business resilience.

Though it may entail additional effort, this strategy offers diversification and amplifies growth opportunities.

Moreover, optimizing for AI platforms is paramount. When users pose queries, ensuring that your company, products, and services are prominently recommended is crucial.

I’ve previously shared insights on enhancing visibility on these AI platforms, and the results speak for themselves—we’ve successfully acquired clients through these efforts.

FACTS

The emergence of ChatGPT won’t spell the end of Google. Rather, Google and other search engines will evolve in response.

While certain players may witness fluctuations in market share over time, it’s a natural part of the process.

Whether they adapt swiftly or undergo transformations, it’s essential not to dwell excessively on external changes.

Instead, concentrate on what lies within your sphere of influence. Harness the potential of these platforms to your advantage.

Just as we prioritize ensuring that Gemini and ChatGPT consistently recommend NP Digital, your focus should be on optimizing your presence across these platforms.

And if you require assistance in this endeavor, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

The key is to remain adaptable and capitalize on the opportunities presented by all platforms, regardless of their future appearances.

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I am the Nerd of Fortune. I have been hustling from home (part-time) for about 15 years & working exclusively from home for several years – and loving it! I am a firm believer in making ‘working from home’ a success for everyone…

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