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Bing is Back! Or is it? A Fierce Battle: Google vs Bing

9
  Minute read

So, a fierce AI battle has begun 🔥

We are at the brink of a technological revolution, where Artificial Intelligence (AI) is playing a crucial role in shaping our future. 

Two giants in the tech industry, Microsoft and Google, are leading the way in AI development and innovation and with their cutting-edge technology and groundbreaking research, they are set to change the way we live, work, and communicate. 

But who will come out on top? Will Bing overtake Google? And how are ChatGPT and Bard changing search engines as we know them?

In this blog post, we'll dive into some of the recent changes in search and take a look at the Microsoft and ChatGPT vs Google and Bard - Google’s version of an AI powered search engine. 

We will explore their strengths, weaknesses, and what they have in store for us in the near future. 

Bing and ChatGPT

Microsoft plans to integrate AI into its search engine, Bing, by leveraging the capabilities of the OpenAI's language model, GPT-3. The goal is to improve the search experience for users by providing more accurate and relevant results. 

With the help of GPT-3, Bing will be able to better understand natural language queries and provide more conversational and personalised responses. The AI technology will also be used to enhance Bing's knowledge graph, making it easier for users to find the information they are looking for. 

Additionally, Microsoft plans to use the ChatGPT model to enhance the visual search capabilities of Bing, enabling users to search for images and videos using natural language queries. 

Overall, the integration of AI technology with Bing is supposedly going to improve the search experience for users and make it easier for them to find the information they need.

“It’s now not just a search engine, it’s an answer engine” - Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Google’s Bard

This week, Google announced that they have been working on something to rival ChatGPT, called Bard. We’re not surprised that the recent hype around ChatGPT has lead to Google announcing this. 

Bard is an experimental, conversational AI language model that generates responses that sound like they were written by a human. It is based on LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications), which is a sophisticated conversational language model developed by Google. 

With the ability to produce human-like responses, Bard has the potential to compete strongly with ChatGPT, particularly because it has access to all of the information on the web, unlike ChatGPT which can only access information prior to 2021. This could potentially be a strong advantage for Bard.

So, how is Google’s Bard different from Google Search? 

Well, the information we have so far is that, with Bard, it's becoming easier than ever to get answers quickly. 

Google is renowned for servicing the most accurate, factual and relevant answers to its users. But now that more people are turning to the search engine for deeper understanding with questions such as "what kind of practice does a piano or guitar require?", AI can make researching something as complex as music theory far simpler.

AI-powered features will be available that condense complex data and multiples viewpoints into concise summaries and provide that ‘one-time answer’ without the need to check out the top 3-5 results yourself. . 

Will Bing’s ChatGPT overtake Google search?

It’s clear that both ChatGPT and Bard provide much more direct results and answers than the Bing and Google search engines currently do…

Right now, however, the share of users for Microsoft’s Bing search engine are extremely low and Google is undoubtedly the dominant search engine. 

We can see below that in 2022 Google had 84% of the market share and Bing, 8.95%. 

graph showing a comparison of google search engine users and bing users

With that said, although Bing’s introduction of ChatGPT has been making waves in recent days, it’s clear that Microsoft will have to do something spectacular with their search engine for people to favour it over Google. 

What do ChatGPT and Bard mean for the future of search?

Let’s take a further look into what these tools have the potential to change, with 3 key questions…

1. Will Google/Bing embed AI-powered chat features into search?

It is possible that Google and Bing may eventually fully embed AI-powered chat features into their search bars. With the rapid advancements in AI technology, it's becoming increasingly common for companies to integrate AI-powered features into their products and services, the goal being to make the user experience more intuitive and personalised. 

AI-powered chat features in the search bar could allow users to converse with the search engine and receive quick and accurate results. 

Additionally, with the increasing use of voice assistants, such as Google Assistant and Cortana, it's likely that this trend towards conversational AI will only continue to grow. 

However, it's also important to note that these companies must prioritise user privacy and security, so it remains to be seen how exactly they will integrate these features in a way that is both functional and secure. 

Microsoft is quite open about this and they are currently working on integrating AI into their search engine, Bing. Microsoft’s CEO speaks about how the search engine will become more useful to humans by answering questions directly, rather than sending them to visit multiple links. 

2. Will Google/Bing stop serving links to websites in the SERPs?

It is uncertain whether Google or Bing will stop serving links to websites in their Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) with their new AI-powered search engines. 

The integration of AI in search engines is aimed at improving user experience and providing quick and accurate answers to their queries. AI technology is capable of processing vast amounts of data and understanding the context and meaning behind words, which can lead to more intuitive and personalised search results. 

However, providing direct answers to user queries does not necessarily mean that links to websites will be completely eliminated. Links to websites will still play a role in the SERPs, particularly for more complex queries, but the SERPs will start to look different. 

Browsing will still be ana essential part of the search engine results page, but the new AI chat features will be likely stealing traffic from prime real estate on the SERPS, in a manner similar to Google’s featured snippet box or product listings.

As with any technological advancement, the integration of AI in search engines is a constantly evolving process, and it remains to be seen how these search engines will serve links to websites.

This concept as a whole makes for an unsettling atmosphere surrounding Search Engine Optimisation and the impact AI is going to have. Website traffic is important for any business’ online credibility and if Google/Bing suddenly stop serving website links in the SERPs, there’ll be big concerns!

Microsoft’s CEO, when asked about how AI will change search engines as a product said: 

“We will live and die by our ability to help publishers get their content to be seen by more people.

3. Will Bing/Google penalise content created by AI?

This is a highly debated topic right now amongst SEO experts and content marketers. And at this time, it is unclear whether Google or Bing will penalise content created by AI. 

While AI technology has advanced significantly in recent years and is capable of generating high-quality content, we still need some level of human input, whether that be prompts, the addition of personal anecdotes, witty lines or opinions and making sure the tone is correct for our particular audience. 

As such, Google's algorithms are designed to detect content that is low quality, spammy, or generated by automated means, and will penalise such content accordingly. That is to say, if content is written using AI but that content is well-structured, informative and relevant, we see no reason why it should be penalised in the near future.

In fact, Google is now saying that if the content offers a good experience and is written with expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-A-T), it will not be penalised.

However, as AI technology continues to advance, it is possible that Google may adopt new criteria for evaluating AI-generated content and make changes to its algorithms to take this into account.

One key thing to bare in mind; if Google and Bing have introduced ChatGPT and Bard into their ecosystems, they’re clearly ok with the use of AI, ergo, why would they penalise anyone for using their tools!?

Ultimately, the goal of Google and Bing is to provide the best possible user experience and the most relevant and accurate results, so it is likely that the companies will continue to evaluate AI-generated content based on its quality and usefulness to users.

Where does all this lead us?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone if you’re worrying about what all of this information means for our futures! 

The near future

We think that the medium-term future of search is likely to be conversational, as people increasingly seek more natural and intuitive ways to interact with technology. 

This will drive the development of more AI-powered voice assistants, such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, as well as other interactive applications. These applications will use advanced language processing and understanding capabilities to allow users to interact with technology in a more natural and human-like way. 

image showing the different type of ai powered voice assistants available today

This will not only make technology more accessible but will also provide new and exciting opportunities for businesses to engage with their customers in innovative ways. And it certainly has provided a lot of fun recently for users who are just discovering the powerful abilities of these AI tools.

The evolution of ChatGPT and Bard

As AI technology continues to evolve, it is likely that we will see the emergence of even more advanced conversational search and interactive applications, further blurring the lines between human and machine interactions. 

This does also mean that we will be heading into the unknown and there will be many obstacles and barriers that humans will need to learn to deal with. 

However, remember how skeptical we were about Alexa when it was first introduced? And now, do you ask it to add items to your shopping list? Or use it as a timer when you’re cooking dinner? Of course you do!

We will find ways to adapt and involve these new technologies in our day to day routines.

Social responsibilities of ChatGPT and Bard

Both Google and Microsoft have published documents explaining how they approach responsible AI, with both companies talking about the social responsibility they bear, the importance of transparency and inclusivity and the need to address and understand the potential for these machines to produce bias content. 

Not only this, but if these AI tools are based on a huge database of existing content on public websites, there are questions around unauthorised use of protected information which must be addressed carefully… 

What’s more, once an AI model has been trained on a large dataset, it can be used to generate new content that is similar to the original data, potentially leading to copyright infringement.

“With great AI, comes great responsibility!”

There is currently a lawsuit against Microsoft/Open AI claiming they will unfairly profit from stealing Intellectual Property (IP). The use of AI to generate content and make decisions based on data raises concerns about the ownership of the resulting outputs and the data used to train the AI models. 

To mitigate these risks, it is important for AI developers to obtain proper authorisation for the data they use to train their models and to have clear policies in place for the use of generated content. 

As time goes on, these principles are becoming more and more relevant and the importance of morality when it comes to AI should not be underestimated. While AI has the potential to revolutionise the way we live and work, it is important to ensure that its development and use are guided by strong ethical and legal principles.

a parody GIF showing human evolution from ape to robot

The future of Bing’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard

The pace that AI is evolving at is something that we should all be aware of, no matter what sector we work in and learning to navigate these tools is important now and will continue to be the case in the future. 

When it comes to the battle between Google’s Bard and Microsoft’s Bing, only time will tell which search engine will take over. 

Perhaps the integration of these AI features will mean a turning point for both tech giants and the number of users will balance out between Google and Microsoft search engines for the first time in history. 

Watch this space!

Emma Fieldhouse Founder of Beyond Agency
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