It’s Time to Ditch Google For Search – Use These Instead!

For over two decades, the word “Google” has been synonymous with online searches. It’s more than a brand; it’s a verb deeply ingrained in our digital lexicon. Can you google that?

But, as technology evolves, so do our tools. In this era of AI innovation, it’s time to reevaluate how we find information online.

Most of us have heard of revolutionary AI chatbot ChatGPT, but there are many other tools out there that are worth trying out — particularly when it comes to search.

In this article, I’ll discuss one of the most promising ones, I myself am now using it in combination with ChatGPT for most searches, and am not using Google very much anymore except for basic searches like “how late is the local library open”.

It’s a new world! I’ll talk about it below, and explain why you should consider trying some new search systems.

Embracing the AI Revolution: ChatGPT and Perplexity

ChatGPT: The Knowledge Powerhouse

Enter ChatGPT, a revolutionary AI Large Language Model (LLM) created by OpenAI. Even at its 3.5 version (available for free), ChatGPT is impressive, but its full iteration, ChatGPT-4 (the paid “Plus” offering), is a game-changer. This chat bot isn’t just about finding information; it’s about understanding and generating it, at an extremely high level.

Imagine asking a question about Renaissance art, 20th-century economics, or even your favorite recipes. ChatGPT explores into its vast knowledge base to provide insightful, ad-free answers with a clean interface and no nonsense.

It’s like having a personal researcher at your fingertips. And really, it works best if you treat it as a real person (say please and thank you — it helps!)

ChatGPT: More Than Just a Search Engine

ChatGPT isn’t merely a search engine; it’s a knowledge and task engine. It excels in areas where traditional search engines falter, offering in-depth answers and performing tasks that extend beyond mere information retrieval.

However, it has its limits, especially with breaking news or recent events outside its training data. That’s where Perplexity.AI steps in.

Perplexity.AI: Simplifying Complex Searches

While ChatGPT made headlines over 2023, Perplexity.AI has been the quiet achiever. This AI system integrates the capabilities of language models like ChatGPT and Claude 2, focusing on knowledge retrieval and presentation.

We’ve taken a close look at the basics of Perplexity, and compared it to ChatGPT here.

Perplexity.AI shines in aggregating information from diverse internet sources, offering a straightforward answer with direct source links for deeper exploration. Its clean interface, (currently) devoid of ads, enhances the user experience. The information is presented in a clear manner, with easy access and intuitive understanding.

No more 10 blue links with partial descriptions, ads, YouTube videos, etc. littering the results page. Instead, here’s what you get from Perplexity: Small boxes with the sources on the top, and a brief answer. Additionally, further questions and paths to inquiry can be found below the answer.

Here’s an example with a fairly current event:

It really is pleasant to use, and feels much more direct and useful than Google has become lately. Perhaps Google will improve its Search Generative Experience (SGE) enough that it will compete with Perplexity.

But currently, Google is looking like a bloated company unable to produce impressive new systems, unfortunately.

Scrambled Search

Here’s another comparison: I searched both Perplexity and Google for the answer to the question “what is the best way to make scrambled eggs?”

Here’s Perplexity’s answer:

And here’s Google’s result:

Google doesn’t actually tell you how to do it. It gives a top link, which if you click the link has a story at the start about how the author, her husband, and her daughter all got Pneumonia, and they watched the entire Brady Bunch series (yes, I’m serious, this is what it says).

What this has to do with scrambled eggs, I have no idea. Eventually it gets to the recipe, but really?

And below that, it has questions associated with scrambled eggs, and further down some other websites, YouTube videos, etc.

This clearly shows how broken Google is right now, and how Perplexity and other AI-assisted answer engines are so much more useful at just getting you what you need to know.

Integrate Files into Search

Unlike Google, Perplexity makes it easy for you to incorporate files into your search efforts. The little + icon in the search bar allows you to add various documents and files to the search, which Perplexity will review. This can be an incredibly powerful tool for searching PDF files, Spreadsheets, etc.

Transitioning from Google to AI Tools: A Practical Guide

The evolution from traditional search engines like Google to AI-driven tools is more than a tech trend; it’s a fundamental shift in how we interact with information.

Google’s early days were marked by simplicity and efficiency. However, the internet’s expansion, coupled with the rise of AI-generated content, has cluttered the search landscape, making it harder to find reliable information.

So many of us have been appending the word “reddit” at the end of Google searches in order to avoid much of the bad web experience and clutter that has been so common over the last year or two.

This clutter has made tools like ChatGPT and Perplexity not just alternatives but necessities for efficient online navigation.

For general inquiries, historical facts, or complex questions, turn to ChatGPT. When dealing with current events or specific queries requiring a wide net of sources, Perplexity is your go-to.

For general inquiries, historical facts, or complex questions, turn to ChatGPT. When dealing with current events or specific queries requiring a wide net of sources, Perplexity is your go-to.

What are Perplexity’s Data Privacy Policies?

These policies are always a concern when using a search engine (that said, we all know that Google knows… pretty much everything… about us. Perplexity offers a pretty simple privacy policy here. It does store data, remembers who you are, stores your email, search history, interactions, etc. for 30 days — similar to Google. However, you can opt out of these data storage features.

Additionally, Perplexity does not share your data with third parties (yet).

Conclusion: A New Era of Information Retrieval

We are at a crossroads in the digital age. The shift from Google to AI-powered tools like ChatGPT and Perplexity isn’t just a change in preference; it’s a step into a new era of information retrieval. These tools offer a more tailored, efficient, and comprehensive way to navigate the vast sea of online data.

Give them a try, and you might find yourself rarely missing the old ways of online searching.