About This Tool
Welcome to our unique search comparison tool. Here, you can compare Google’s search results with those from OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
Google, a leading search engine, uses a complex algorithm to rank web content, while ChatGPT, an advanced AI language model, generates conversational, context-aware responses based on diverse internet text.
Our tool offers a novel way to explore and rate these different approaches to finding and consuming information. Your ratings and feedback will help evolve and improve this process. Join us to redefine the world of information search. Happy searching!
(Yes, this introduction was written by ChatGPT, not this bit in brackets though, or the stuff that follows).
The tool was commissioned by me; David, the founder of ClickPop, and built by a guy called John Harrison who I found on a freelancing website. I like John.
What this tool does
This tool lets you search for products or services and simultaneously fetches the top ten websites provided by Google and ChatGPT.
It then presents these results in two anonymised sets (A and B) to the searcher. To make it a fair test, the tool randomises whether Google’s or ChatGPT’s results appear in Set A or Set B.
Having been presented with the two sets of anonymous results, the searcher can then click on any of the websites presented, and then vote on which set of websites they feel are the better results for their search. The user is then told whether it was Google or ChatGPT that provided their results.
Hopefully, everyone is so impressed with this that they then click on one of the social share buttons, spread the word and more and more people use it. Although not too many as it costs me money to ask ChatGPT questions using their API.
If you’re getting old like me, think of it like a Pepsi challenge, but this time between Google and ChatGPT.
Why create this?
There has been a lot written in the press about AI and how it’s going to change every aspect of our lives, but when ChatGPT launched something changed in the public’s consciousness, including mine. AI was no longer something that was probably going to happen in our lives. It was real, and accessible to us now.
I’ve spent nearly all of my career as a marketer, which often involves getting people to visit your website. Since about 2003, a significant chunk of this has meant figuring out how to get Google to recommend you in their vanishingly small set of results they display on page one. With AI, this might all change. I wanted to understand how, and how quickly. Plus, it just seemed like an interesting project.
How it works
When a visitor searches using the Google vs ChatGPT tool, it simultaneously searches Google and ChatGPT (using GPT 3.5, Turbo) for the results.
With Google, the tool identifies the searcher’s country based on their IP address and searches the appropriate country version of Google. For instance, if someone searches from the UK, the search will be carried out using Google UK. That way the results will be from websites that serve the UK and not always from companies that predominantly serve the US. The tool also uses the searcher’s country for the ChatGPT search but in a slightly different way.
The tool searches Google and ChatGPT in different ways. For Google, the tool amends the text entered into it to query Google in the following way: “websites that provide (WHATEVER THE QUERY IS) in (WHATEVER THE COUNTRY IS)”. The reason for this is that with most searches, Google will have to make assumptions about the intent of the search. For example, if someone searches “Air Fryers”, Google will not necessarily be sure whether the person wants to buy an air fryer, find out information about air fryers, see product reviews etc. By amending the search in the following way, the intention is that Google should be left in no doubt that the search is intended to make a purchase In addition, this alteration makes for a more fair comparison to the search query and results provided by ChatGPT, see below.
ChatGPT is an AI that uses natural language processing. This means it needs more context to the product or service being searched for than simply the product’s generic name. When the user searches using the Google vs ChatGPT tool, it prompts ChatGPT by adding some additional context to the search by dropping it into the following sentence: “Show me links to the top 10 websites that provide (WHATEVER THE QUERY IS) in (WHATEVER THE COUNTRY IS)”. Using the earlier “Air Fryer” example from someone based in Australia, the tool will query ChatGPT with the following prompt: Show me links to the top 10 websites that provide Air Fryer in Australia.
There are, however, some significant limitations of this tool:
- ChatGPT’s knowledge only goes up to September 2021 so the results it provides are not as up-to-date as Google’s.
- When recommending websites for a search ChatGPT often doesn’t link to a specific page on the website, but will instead provide the home page. For this reason, all search results using this tool are reduced down to just show the home page whether the results are from Google or ChatGPT. This helps keep it a fair comparison.
- Sometimes, ChatGPT will not be able to recommend any websites for the query. When this happens the user will just see a message saying their search was a bit obscure and to try something else.
Why does the site direct me away from ClickPop.co.uk to SearchPop.co.uk to display the results?
Observant aren’t you! The truth is I don’t know. That’s just the way John recommended we build it after having built the prototype on SearchPop.co.uk. It’s not ideal but we are operating on a tiny budget. Think of a number for how much you think this tool cost to build. Halve it. And you’re probably not even close. Like I said, I like John.