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Google is replacing their search results with AI answers. There’s a very simple explanation for this: it’s better/cheaper to provide potentially wrong answers to keep you clicking within Google than it is to send you away for the right answers.

Discussion  8 comments

Carolin May

Ok, what do we use instead?

Stefan J

These days I use duckduckgo.com which is good enough for my "what's a recipe for...?", "is there an image of this thing I half remember so that people don't think I'm crazy?" , and "do basic calculations because I'm too lazy to open the calculator app" needs

Pete Ashton

I switched to DDG a few years ago in an effort to diversify my internet so it wasn't all going through Google thinking I would use DDG for most of my boring queries, the granular stuff, and then use the !g flag to send anything more complex to Google. I realised recently I barely ever use Google for search any more. It's not that DDG is good - it's as swamped with SEO'd garbage as anywhere - but Google is just an irrelevant afterthought for me when it comes to searching for web pages.

MeBee

I use Kagi for search. It's a paid service, but there are zero ads or tracking — only good search results presented in a clean, well-organized interface.

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Stefan J

At what point in the movie do they go back to the whiteboard where someone wrote "Don't be evil" and cross out the "don't"?

Broccoli of Doom

Oh, they did that years ago.

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Pete Ashton

I have this theory bubbling away in my overheated brain that The Web doesn't really work for what we might call "normal people", and I don't mean that in a derogatory way. You need to be invested in it to make it work for you, which is why Instagram has captured so much stuff that should be on a website. Putting it crudely, the web is like a deli counter when most people just want a takeout or a microwaved dinner.

If you're a tech corporation that wants to expand to people who really can't be bothered with web pages (and whose experience of web pages you've arguably been responsible for ruining though SEO) this sort of thing makes perfect sense.

On the plus side, no Google traffic might be the saviour of the web. If there's no SE to O for you can get back to writing for actual humans again.

Tom Robertson

I’m kind of embarrassed to admit it, but I do find myself asking ChatGPT more and more for answers to general inquiries. I wouldn’t trust its answers in a life or death situation, but asking things like “who is hosting snl this weekend” and just getting an answer is so much better than getting a deluge of seo produced links from a google search for that answer, all articles which are filled with ten paragraphs of intro before giving you the answer. I should also say I pay currently for GPT Plus which is required for these kinds of real time searches.

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