The Search Engine Wars are Heating Up, but What’s Really at Stake?

Google’s dominance as the foremost search engine in the world has seemed like a permanent fixture of the internet age, but in spite of the fact that this is the case, it now has competition for the first time in decades. OpenAI’s launch of ChatGPT has made it one of the most talked about tech companies in the world, and as one of its investors, Microsoft has been attempting to use generative AI to give Bing a boost.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that this poses the first great threat to Google since the 2000s. No other search engine has been able to come close to Google, but the inclusion of an AI co-pilot into Bing threatens to upend the delicate balance that has allowed Google to maintain control over the top spot for such an extended duration.

Nokia used to seem like an unassailable force in the world of mobile phones, but after the arrival of the smartphone, hardly anyone talks about the company anymore. This might be what will happen with Google and AI because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up making Google obsolete.

Global search advertising revenue is slated to reach over $279 billion in 2023. By 2027, it will be just under $400 billion, or $389.9 billion to be precise. Whichever company ends up winning the search engine wars will be able to lay claim to this massive pile of cash. Hence, it’s easy to see why both Google and Microsoft are going full speed ahead with all things having been considered and taken into account.

This also means that the stakes are higher than might have been the case otherwise. If Google gives away even one percent of its control over to Bing, this would translate into billions in dollars of lost revenue. It will be interesting to see whether or not Microsoft’s investment into AI will bear fruit, or if Google will be able to hold its own in the future.

What's at Stake in the Fresh Battle for Search Dominance
H/T: Statista
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