The Evolution Of Search Marketing in the AI Era

By Yael Heffetz, Search Director, CvE


In this era of smart campaigns, ChatGPT and other AI tools, one would ask: What is the role of a digital marketer?  

With new AI tools providing keyword research, SEO analysis, ad copy creation, creative ads creation and more, is the role of a digital marketer going to become redundant soon? 

The answer is simple and quite straightforward; by all means NO
On the contrary, with all those amazing new shiny AI tools, the role of the digital marketer is required now more than ever.

A Gained Sense of Freedom 

While all the tedious work of CPC alignment, hours and hours spent on copy creation, and endless analysis of tremendous amounts of data, is out of the way (as AI does it faster and better), the digital marketer of these days has just been liberated and is now finally able to fulfil his/her real role.

In That case, What is the Digital Marketer’s role, as God Intended It to Be? 

It is all about listening to the market, identifying new trends as they emerge, responding to those new trends and being super creative in the way they are approached, coming up with revolutionary ideas and…of course, generating growth
Those tasks make the very essence of this role. 

But evolving – and evolving fast is key. The digital marketer that would evolve fast enough and harness the amazing power of AI, will be able to let AI do the heavy lifting, freeing time for creativity, research, account and strategy development, experimentation of new tools, new activities…time to actually do the job and do it right. 

Digital Marketer

To give you a notion of how important human creativity is, I’ve asked ChatGPT the followings: 

“Please write an article about the evolution of search marketing, smart campaigns and what a search marketer does” 

This is the answer I got: 

“The world of digital marketing has undergone a significant transformation over the years, driven by the evolution of search marketing. Search marketing, also known as search engine marketing (SEM), refers to the practice of promoting websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) through optimization and paid advertising. In this article, we will explore the evolution of search marketing, smart campaigns, and the role of a search marketer. 

Early Days of Search Marketing 

In the early days of search marketing, advertisers would bid on specific keywords or phrases related to their products or services. This would enable their ads to appear at the top of search engine results pages when someone searched for those keywords. These ads were text-based and included a simple headline, description, and a link to the advertiser’s website. 

Google AdWords, launched in 2000, was the first major player in the search marketing industry. AdWords allowed advertisers to bid on keywords and display ads on Google’s search results pages and its partner sites. The platform was simple to use, and advertisers could track the performance of their ads through metrics such as click-through rates and conversion rates. 

Evolution of Search Marketing

As search engines became more sophisticated, search marketing evolved to become more complex. Google, in particular, has been at the forefront of driving changes in search marketing. The introduction of Google’s PageRank algorithm in the early 2000s revolutionised how search engines ranked pages. PageRank was based on the number and quality of links pointing to a page, rather than just the presence of keywords. This led to a shift towards link building and off-page optimization. 

In 2004, Google introduced AdWords Quality Score, which evaluated the relevance and quality of an advertiser’s ads and landing pages. This made it more challenging for advertisers to game the system by bidding on irrelevant keywords or directing users to low-quality pages.

In recent years, the rise of mobile devices has had a significant impact on search marketing. Mobile search now accounts for over half of all searches, and Google has responded by introducing features such as local search results and mobile-friendly labels. Advertisers have had to adapt their campaigns to ensure they are optimised for mobile devices. 

Smart Campaigns 

One of the most significant recent developments in search marketing is the rise of smart campaigns. Smart campaigns use machine learning to automate campaign creation and management, making it easier for small businesses and advertisers with limited resources to run effective search campaigns. 

Smart campaigns use data from Google Analytics and other sources to optimize ads for different devices, locations, and audiences. Advertisers can set specific goals, such as website visits or phone calls, and smart campaigns will adjust bids and targeting to achieve those goals. Smart campaigns also provide detailed reports on campaign performance, making it easier for advertisers to track their return on investment. 

What Does a Search Marketer Do? 

The role of a search marketer is to create and manage search campaigns that drive traffic and conversions for a website. Search marketers need to have a deep understanding of search engine algorithms, user behaviour, and marketing strategies.

Here are some of the key responsibilities of a search marketer: 

  1. Keyword research: Search marketers need to identify the keywords and phrases that are relevant to their product or service and have high search volume. They need to understand the intent behind different search queries and select keywords that are likely to lead to conversions. 
  1. Campaign creation: Search marketers need to create compelling ad copy that entices users to click on their ads. They also need to create landing pages that are optimized for conversions and provide a good user experience. 
  1. Campaign management: Search marketers need to monitor their campaigns’ performance and make adjustments to ensure they are meeting their goals. This includes adjusting bids, targeting, and ad copy. 
  1. Data analysis: Search marketers need to analyze data from their campaigns to 

Unlike the endorsement I’ve asked ChatGPT to write on my behalf recently, which came out amazingly well, consisting of all the right adverbs and adjectives, allowing me to describe perfectly, the individual I endorsed, in the above piece, ChatGPT has missed the most important part of the digital marketing world. 


ChatGPT’s answer is indeed 100% true. But, it lacks the human touch and the understanding of the activities behind the scenes. As yes, ‘Smart campaigns use machine learning to automate campaign creation and management, making it easier for small businesses and advertisers with limited resources to run effective search campaigns.’ But how can one really use this power? What levers can be pulled to make sure the campaign is working toward your client’s goals? What can one learn from all those reports mentioned? How can those be harnessed to generate growth? ChatGPT did not mention that. And why? Because ChatGPT as great as it may be, is merely a cluster of super clever and complex code that knows how to gather existing information. It lacks creativity. It literally cannot think outside the box as it is limited to only information that can be found within the box.


Yes, of course, a search trader/marketer would need to conduct keyword research, create campaigns, manage them, and analyze data, but this is not even starting to scrape the surface of what this job is all about. Those are merely the means of achieving the actual goals and roles of the digital marketer: 

  • Always be on top (of everything) 
  • Identify trends 
  • Discover new tools 
  • Keep your creativity flowing 
  • Respond – don’t react 

And all of the above should come together to one supreme goal, the holy grail of marketing in general and digital marketing in particular - always generate awareness and growth! 

This can only be achieved with open-minded and creative HUMANS No AI or machine will be able to replace that. 

I hope you enjoyed this article. We intimately understand the pain points of the modern marketer and have designed CvE to help solve your most complex challenges. Contact us to discover how we can help you upgrade your marketing sophistication.

News & Blog