SEO Challenge: Search traffic will drop by 25% due to AI chatbots

Zukünftig wird es noch stärker auf hochwertigen Online-Content ankommen, um in der Suche zu bestehen. © Unsplash
SEO Challenge: Search traffic will drop by 25% due to AI chatbots. © Unsplash
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A market analysis by Gartner, Inc. predicts that by 2026 the search engine volume will collapse by 25 percent due to AI chatbots and other virtual agents. More and more people are looking for content in ChatGPT and Co., thereby competing with Google and other search agents. 

AI chatbot vs. search engine

Many users turn to ChatGPT directly rather than to Google or Bing when they are looking for information or have a question. The market research institute Gartner is therefore convinced that search engine marketing will sooner or later have to give up market share to AI chatbots. “This will force companies to rethink their marketing channel strategy as GenAI becomes more integrated into all aspects of the business,” said Gartner Vice President Analyst Alan Antin. An overall decline in search traffic is therefore expected, writes

Google Gemini vs. ChatGPT Plus vs. Microsoft Copilot

“Quality and authenticity will prevail”

As of today, it remains unclear whether virtual agents will replace traditional searches. In any case, GenAI creates content cost-effectively and will also rely on watermarks and other authentication measures in the future, which in turn affects activities such as keyword strategy and the assessment of the domain authority of websites. The search engine algorithms will probably label this content accordingly and at the same time place an even greater emphasis on quality – simply to compensate for the large amounts of AI-generated content that ends up on the web. Ultimately, it is assumed that both the usefulness and quality of the content remain crucial to success in organic search results. 

What this means for companies in practice

Companies need to focus on producing unique content that is useful to customers and potential customers,” says Antin. According to Gartner, content should continue to have SEO-relevant criteria such as human expertise, experience, authority and trustworthiness.” The market researcher expects a lot from the labeling requirement for content created with AI support – in some countries, corresponding rules are already being refined, writes 3tn. deWhen it comes to SEO, Google always emphasizes that content should be generated for users and not for the search engines themselves.

Expert Insights: Marketing & Social Media Trends 2024


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