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Search marketing losing to AI chatbots

Traditional search engine volume will drop 25% by 2026 with search marketing losing market share to AI chatbots and other virtual agents. Companies will be forced to rethink their marketing channels strategy, according to a forecast by market research firm Gartner. 

“Organic and paid search are vital channels for tech marketers seeking to reach awareness and demand generation goals,” says the company’s vice president Alan Antin. 

“Generative AI solutions are becoming substitute answer engines, replacing user queries that previously may have been executed in traditional search engines. This will force companies to rethink their marketing channels strategy as GenAI becomes more embedded across all aspects of the enterprise.” 

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The company says that with GenAI driving down the cost of producing content, there is an impact around activities including keyword strategy and website domain authority scoring. “Search engine algorithms will further value the quality of content to offset the sheer amount of AI-generated content, as content utility and quality still reigns supreme for success in organic search results.” –

“There will also be a greater emphasis placed on watermarking and other means to authenticate high-value content. Government regulations across the globe are already holding companies accountable as they begin to require the identification of marketing content assets that AI creates. This will likely play a role in how search engines will display such digital content.”

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