Artificial Intelligence technology is making waves throughout the digital world, especially with the introduction of AI-powered chatbots. Microsoft’s Bing chatbot, for instance, has significantly transformed the information retrieval process for users in the online sphere. Unlike traditional search engines that redirect users to websites for detailed information, Bing chat directly answers users’ questions, potentially negating the need to visit external websites.
In a recent conference, Microsoft’s Jordi Ribas shed light on the Bing chatbot and its impact on traffic to publisher websites, the future of search, and Google’s dominant position in the search industry.
It was great speaking with @jeremyakahn about Bing Chat, generative AI, and the future of search yesterday at @brainstormtech. As I said on stage, we're proud to be bringing competition to the search industry—and we're just getting started. Watch the replay below. #FortuneTech
— Jordi Ribas (@JordiRib1) July 12, 2023
Contrary to this belief, Ribas, the Corporate Vice President of Microsoft responsible for search and AI, sheds light on a different reality. In terms of the overall traffic directed toward publishers, the introduction of the new Bing has led to an increase. Ribas emphasized this during his remarks at the esteemed Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference in Deer Valley, Utah.
According to the Vice President, Bing’s chatbot has facilitated greater user engagement rather than deterring users from visiting external websites. The increased connectivity between users and the search engine has resulted in a surge of traffic flowing toward various online platforms. This revelation challenges the initial assumption regarding the potential negative impact of generic AI chatbots on website traffic.
Ribas shared that ever since Bing incorporated OpenAI’s GPT technology into its search engine, the overall traffic to Bing’s suggested websites has increased. It was previously suspected that the chatbot might divert traffic away from publisher websites. However, the inclusion of links in the chatbot has proved to be a driver of increased traffic instead.
He also further detailed the transformative impact of GPT-4 technology on internet search within Bing Chat. Specifically, he highlighted how this advancement has revolutionized the process. For instance, when seeking information on budget activities for a vacation in Barcelona through conventional web searching, the results often prove irrelevant. However, querying the same question to Bing Chat enables users to benefit from advanced reasoning capabilities that effectively analyze extensive web data to deliver precisely tailored and well-structured responses.
During the discussion, the Vice President revealed that the CEO of Microsoft remarked, “We are making them dance,” referring to the prompt initiatives taken by Google and other companies to introduce their own AI chatbot in response to Bing Chat. The VP acknowledged the predominant influence of Google in the realm of internet search, however, highlighted Microsoft’s unprecedented growth over the past six months.