Will ChatGPT take traffic away from content websites?

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence (AI) chat bot interface online. It is basically and instant message (IM) conversation with a computer run by AI. You can ask the computer all kinds of questions and it will provide you with its best answer immediately. The answers are compact, concise and well written in English. I have not tried it in other languages. And because it provides answers to questions it is likely to take traffic away from content websites that provides answers to questions.

ChatGPT. Image: DALLE-E
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My thought was that ChatGPT will hurt content websites particularly the smaller ones run by individuals by taking their visitors (their traffic) away from them.

So, I asked ChatGPT whether this was true and below are the two questions I asked the computer and its response. I thought that was quite a neat way to find out what it thinks about itself.

Do you think that ChatGPT will take traffic away from content websites?

As an AI language model, I do not have personal opinions or beliefs. However, I can provide some insights on how ChatGPT might affect content websites.

ChatGPT is designed to provide conversational responses to users’ inquiries, making it a useful tool for answering questions and providing information. While it is possible that some users may use ChatGPT as a substitute for visiting content websites, it is also possible that ChatGPT could drive traffic to these websites by providing users with links to relevant content.

Furthermore, content websites offer a more extensive and diverse range of information than ChatGPT. ChatGPT’s responses are limited to the data it has been trained on, and it may not be able to provide the same level of detail or context as a content website.

In summary, ChatGPT may affect traffic to content websites, but its impact is difficult to predict. While it could potentially divert some traffic away from content websites, it could also drive traffic to these websites by providing users with links to relevant content. Ultimately, both ChatGPT and content websites can complement each other and coexist.

Does ChatGPT take its information from websites?

No, ChatGPT does not take its information directly from websites. Instead, it is trained on a large corpus of text data, which includes a diverse range of sources such as books, articles, websites, and other written materials.

The training data is used to train the machine learning models that power ChatGPT. During training, the models learn to recognize patterns in the text data and use those patterns to generate responses to new inputs.

So while ChatGPT may have encountered information from websites during its training, it does not rely exclusively on websites for its knowledge. Instead, it draws on a broad range of written materials to generate responses to users’ inquiries.


ChatGPT also tells us that we shouldn’t believe everything they say! I’m not sure that I can believe them when they say that it will complement content websites. That hints at the idea that there will be no net loss of traffic to content website and that it should even out and there should be no change. But I have some reservations about ChatGPT and the way it is likely to develop.

For example, Bing (the search engine) has their own version of ChatGPT on their homepage. Rather than searching in the usual way for a website to provide answers and information, you can ask Bing’s AI chat bot for those answers or the content instead.

That, it seems to me, is already taking away traffic from websites. Google is preparing their version. That will harm some websites I feel sure. People will get all they can from the AI chat bot and stop there.

And another thing. ChatGPT provides a 10-line answer which you can use to write your article or to print out if you want to use it for schooling or university coursework.

I can’t see how ChatGPT cannot do some damage in terms of less traffic to the smaller websites. I think it is a bad development. People don’t realise how important the independent content websites are.

Do people want the whole of the internet managed and run by the big corporate websites only? Do they want all their information to come from corporations? I don’t think so.

The independent websites are likely to be more open and balanced provided the owner is smart and sensible.

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