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In late 2022, Microsoft announced that their proprietary search engine Bing which is used as the default search engine on Microsoft computers and in their dedicated internet browser app edge, would be incorporating an AI feature in their search results starting early quarter 1 2023. Many have criticized the use of a chat AI in search engines for not rewarding publishers appropriately and in today’s article we’re going to be explaining the top five reasons why incorporating AI into search results is a very bad idea.
Is Bing actually better than Google?
Depending on your search type, Bing actually might be a better search engine for your needs. Bing is clearly ahead of Google in AI search utilizing Open AI’s Chat GPT feature but it is still to be determined if that makes Bing a better search engine.
Since Google has been involved in the search industry for a long time, they have learned a lot about how to deliver better search results. But even with that market dominance, it seems like Bing is capturing GenZ at an alarming rate.
Adoption of Bing is likely to be announced at the end of Quarter 1 2023 but videos from popular tech channels The Verge and Linus Tech Tips show that despite their market dominance, early adopters are flocking to Bing instead of Google for their daily search results.
How do search engines work?
Google, is the most popular search engine on the planet… Has enjoyed a monopoly on search engine results for the better part of the last two decades. Because of that monopoly, they’ve been able to enjoy exclusive control of how search engines show and demonstrate answers on the internet.
With this monopolistic control came their unique perspective on how a search engine should work.
At its most basic level, you can think of a search engine as an encyclopedia. An encyclopedia basically gives you definitions and answers to questions based on keywords.
For example, if you were to look up the word Cat In an encyclopedia, you would get the definition of a cat, in both scientific and layperson terms but you would also get information about their lineage to ancient cats and references to other uses for the word cat like a pussycat and cat fight.
Search engines basically work the same way as an encyclopedia where depending on keywords that you enter into a search engine, you will be provided with links to various topics articles pages, and other internet sites that have opted into being indexed by that search engine.
Now, a quick explanation of how AI works + Example Story
Despite the popular term, artificial intelligence is not actually very smart. Instead, artificial intelligence is a lot closer to a gamble for a correct answer, than a completely correct answer.
The most common example of how AI works is described below in the example story:
I built an artificial intelligence machine. Then I named him Ted. The first thing I asked Ted was “what is your name?” Ted replied “I don’t know, I’ve never been asked that before.” So I told Ted that his name is Ted. So then I asked again, “Ted what is your name?” Ted replied enthusiastically: “My name is Ted!”
As the builder of Ted AI, I was so proud of my AI’s abilities and its progress so I decided I would test it again. I asked my AI “What’s my name?” Ted enthusiastically replies “Ted!”
You see, the problem with artificial intelligence is that it works the same as any other computer… As a program built to understand and reciprocate inputs and outputs. Artificial intelligence does not learn the same way humans learn, so it is more likely to provide incorrect answers to humans as confidently as possible.
How does AI work on a search engine?
Naturally, you can’t use a search engine the same way that you use an encyclopedia… Because there are billions of links that every search engine has to search through to provide you with helpful and correct information.
So the problem that every search engine has to answer, is how to provide quick and relevant answers to specific questions and keywords.
So artificial intelligence is used to supplement and organize helpful and relevant answers to search questions
Problems with AI search Engines
There are a lot of reasons why AI is bad for search engine indexing… But the biggest one is that artificial intelligence is slower and worse at identifying wrong answers than they are at providing and confidently suggesting bad answers.
What that means, is you are more likely to find an incorrect or bad answer using AI on a search engine as opposed to never using AI on a regular search engine.
How is AI search better than Google?
AI search engines work by reading pages on the internet and offering those web pages to you in a condensed and easy-to-read format. Many people prefer the way that search engines work in a chat AI because you can build off of previous answers with additional context.
For example, if you were to search for cat housing, you might get an Amazon link to cat housing, links about the best way to treat your indoor cats, and map suggestions for cat boarding near you.
Since that’s an overly broad keyword, you as the user are going to have to type in very specific keywords over and over again until you find what you’re looking for… Like “cat adoption near me”
AI search engines work by offering a conversational tone that mimics a regular conversation you might have with a person about looking for places to adopt a cat. Search engines don’t do this very well and AI offers a way to converse with a search engine that feels organic and natural.
Why Google is bad at AI search
Although there are many advantages to being the default search browser on most devices, there are a few reasons that Bing has an advantage on AI search over Google.
1- Google cannot be very experimental
Google has actually been working on AI search for the better part of the last 2 years, with their announcement back in 2021 of LamDa where you could interact with a chat interface artificial intelligence that would talk to you in a conversational manner.
Unfortunately, since Google has the majority of the search engine market, experimenting and implementing features that can degrade the user experience on Google is something they cannot risk. With an approximately 90% market share, anytime Google does anything that results in worse search results or fewer quality searches can result in millions or billions of dollars in lost revenue.
2- Google Needs Correct Answers as Often as Possible
The problem with artificial intelligence search is a higher likelihood of incorrect answers to search questions.
As the biggest search engine, Google heavily relies on quality search results, and in the age of misinformation and social media, Google has tried really hard to present itself as a resource for finding and discovering the truth.
They haven’t been perfect at delivering this information, with many people resorting to DuckDuckGo or Bing in recent years to find alternative search results. If Google were to use artificial intelligence, the quality and truthfulness of their search answers are highly likely to go down since artificial intelligence is not nearly as qualified to make and deliver good answers.
Should you Switch to Bing?
Bing is growing in popularity as their AI search is improving on the traditional approach to searching the internet. But should you switch?
If you are a chrome fan, you can still keep most of your important settings, extensions and more using the built-in browser import feature.
How to transfer to Bing instead of Google
If you are thinking about switching to Bing away from Google, Bing does make it very easy to transfer all your extensions, passwords, and browsing history.
During the initial setup process, bing will prompt you to import your passwords and browsing data from supported browsers like Chrome, Safari, Opera, and more.
Importing is done in the background and since Edge is coded on the same technology as chrome, you are likely to be able to migrate without any errors.
We switched on both Android and Windows but how Apple will support Edge or Bing is yet to be determined.
Is AI search a Fad?
It’s hard to tell at this point since artificial intelligence is being used in every industry… Especially marketing… To improve and drastically adjust previously human-focused projects.
For now, we will need to wait and see what the future of chat GPT and artificial intelligence will have on our ability to understand and decipher truth.
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