“Don’t know about you, but ChatGPT has eliminated like 98% of my Google searches. The remaining 2% is constantly asking what time the local pharmacy closes since 100% of my family are now sick with infections requiring prescription meds.”
-Matt Wurst, Web3 and Twitter enthusiast, shared via a tweet, 12/14/2022

My esteemed former colleague Matthew Wurst, hailing from the proud state of Long Island, is hardly alone in thinking ChatGPT is going to be a nail in Google’s coffin, or maybe one alternative to search that could finally eat into Google’s market share.

Google has been invincible for two decades when it comes to its core product, and many are wondering what could actually weaken Google at all – or even be a real Pepsi to Google’s Coca-Cola, an Amazon to Google’s Wal-Mart (or vice versa), an Ethereum to Google’s Bitcoin (yeah, these keep getting worse).

I’ve been writing about this for ages as well. I was an age all of 14 years younger when I wrote the column “Pinning the Tail on the Googoliath Killer” (I found it by searching my own site in Google). I described how it wasn’t going to be a search engine that emerged as a Google alternative, writing analogously, “Yahoo wasn’t bested by another portal but by a search engine.”

ChatGPT, OpenAI’s enlightening, terrifying, captivating generative AI chatbot, has all the hallmarks of a Google killer, or at least a Google denter. The number one hallmark of it is that it’s not a search engine. For a newly launched product, it’s also intuitive, and way more so than other generative AI prompts, including OpenAI’s own playground.

My thoughts about this crystallized in a conversation I had with Nudge founder Ben Young when I read and responded to his newsletter on the subject. He authors This Week in Native Ads, and it is one of my few must-reads. He welcomed me sharing from our exchange, as we both want more of these conversations and debates to play out in public.

Ben doesn’t actually doesn’t see ChatGPT as a search replacement at all. He’s way more skeptical about the impact. He wrote, “I am probably the person least impressed by ChatGPT. I don’t think it’ll replace search.” But he did say “it is a novel piece of technology which will lead to a flood of new businesses and experiences. It kind of does what I would expect it to do.” He added that Google would acquire any tech that proved to be too much of a threat. Also worth noting: Google is building its own, LaMDA.

Here’s how I responded to Ben in this exchange I’m including verbatim and unabridged:

“This is a really good piece. I disagree with some of it. Amazon has become a starting point for many shopping searches. TikTok is increasingly a place where younger consumers get info, including all kinds of recommendations. And ChatGPT and its ilk will replace a slew of things people searched for, but it will also prime the search pump further.

“For instance, someone searches ChatGPT for a weekly meal plan for a keto diet. But then they go back to Google to find reliable, brand-name sites that have the recipes they want. I think a lot of ChatGPT search will thus be additive.

“And as for Google’s position, even with Amazon eroding product searches and the like, the pool is SO big and people are SO dependent on search that no one will notice. It’s like if 10% of people start shopping at a farmers market once a month, the press might say, ‘farmers markets are booming by 10,000%,’ but that wouldn’t noticeably cut into Walmart’s market share at all.”

Ben responded:

“I think you’re right, that it will be largely additive, creating more search. And putting more value when searches do happen, as you say, they’ll be more qualified.

“I kind of touched on it a bit last year in this piece on ‘Does Google even need us?

“What I do not have a good answer to though, is, does search volume decrease for an individual participant in SEO, etc? Will that increase quality offset that volume? Or is it, quality and volume will go up, with the view that more buyers are in market, or are accelerating through the purchase cycle, because of information efficiency, whereas in the past they would drop out. It’s probably the latter?”

Here’s my final take I shared with Ben, before saving the rest of the conversation for a planned in-person exchange:

“That would be wild, right? Google can charge more because the ads it runs are even more qualified thanks to the info people are getting from a different AI-driven source?”

OpenAI may be the best present in Santa’s bag this year, dropped down a Mountain View chimney that hardly needs it.

At least it’s a gift to column writers too though.


PS: Will you be at CES? Join me at the Mediaocean Retreat Thursday and Friday. We added tons of speakers, and there will be some great networking opportunities. Friday morning, I’ll even join a session hosted by Fastener and Beeler.Tech about where all this automation is heading.

PS 2: That means First Wednesday is actually Second Wednesday in January. Update your calendars and RSVP on Meetup.

PS 3: If the community or I can be a resource at all for anything you’re looking to do as the year wraps or as the new year starts, respond to this newsletter and let me know.


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Keep checking out the #jobs channel in Serial Marketers for more. You can also see our full list of job resources here. Here are some great opportunities shared in these places or sent to me directly.

Principal Product Manager
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Communications Specialist
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Via Pam in the community
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Head of Product
Boston or Remote
“We’re looking for a Head of Product to envision the future of our platform as we evolve from a provider of e-commerce analytics to the first global commerce platform using predictive intelligence to anticipate, activate and automate our client’s next best action to drive profitable growth. Our technology monitors 70 million products daily, across 900 retailers and 50 countries, helping over 4,000 leading brands optimize search placement, product content, pricing, stock availability, reviews and more. We are positioned well in the marketplace as the only integrated insights driven commerce solution providing customers the flexibility to utilize SaaS, advisory or full-service activation. News outlets, including Good Morning America, The Wall Street Journal and Ad Age frequently cite and trust our platform as a source of data for their stories. We have an entrepreneurial culture with core values of TAP; Think Like a Customer, Achievement over Activity, and Positivity is Contagious.”

Also, check out the Serial Marketers job board

Other job resources (see a full list here):

  • Beeler.Tech: Job listings for ad operations, programmatic account management, sales operations, and more.
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  • Candidate: Featured marketing and sales jobs
  • ExecThread: Senior roles spanning a range of verticals and cities; membership is free but fully vetted (this uses my referral ID to get you in faster)
  • Hearty: Get recommended by peers and be discovered
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  • Lunch Club: Match 1:1 around predetermined goals with accomplished professionals (free)
  • NYC Ad Jobs & Networking: A popular Facebook group
  • #OpenToWork: There’s a channel in Serial Marketers where you can share what you’re looking for
  • Pocit: A platform connecting people of color with jobs in the tech industry
  • Questions to Ask for a Marketing Role: What questions should you ask when starting a new marketing role or job?
  • Serial Marketers Job Board: Post regular and featured listings and subscribe for updates.
  • Venwise: Submit your job interests here and get in front of their roster of hiring leads; select “Serial Marketers” under “How did you find us”

Do you run or enjoy other job listing sites? Let me know, and I’ll share them.


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