How Does Generative AI in Search Work 

How does Generative AI in Search Work

Generative AI in search has transformed the digital landscape and become an integral part of how users interact with search engines. 

Fabrice Canel, Bing’s Principal Product Manager, recently shared valuable insights with Jason Barnard, CEO and founder of Kalicube. Read on for the critical information SEOs need to know about the differences between AI search and traditional search engines.

What is Bing Chat?

Bing Chat challenges the traditional search paradigm, where users are restricted to entering short, concise queries of just a few words. Bing Chat allows users to input extensive sentences, paragraphs, or even entire contextual scenarios into the search bar. The expanded functionality empowers users to express their queries in a more comprehensive and nuanced manner.

What is The Cascade of Queries in Bing Chat?

Bing Chat uses an extensive cascade of queries while formulating its response. Users submit a query, and Bing Chat processes multiple queries in its system to understand and address the complexity of the user’s request.

The typical user’s interaction with search engines had been confined to quick, straightforward queries or navigational searches. Users searching for YouTube simply type “YouTube” and click the first link, resulting in navigational queries. 

Bing Chat encourages users to explore a broader range of information by posing more open-ended questions. 

The query,  “What is the best coffee machine?” is a question that doesn’t have a single definitive answer but several possibilities based on individual preferences and circumstances.

Imagine a complex dinner party query like the query below. 

“I need to throw up a dinner party for six people who are vegetarian. Can you suggest a three-course menu with a chocolate dessert? These are things that we are able to answer now, so, Bing it’s all about satisfying the end user.”

Fabrice Canel, Principal Product Manager at Bing

Bing Chat doesn’t rely on a single set of results but compiles information from various sources and web pages to create a comprehensive answer. Users don’t realize the depth of queries generated by Bing Chat as it works to provide the most accurate and detailed response.

What is the Value of AI Search “Qualified Clicks”?

Links originating from AI search interactions are more valuable than standard links from regular search engines, according to Fabrice. Unlike traditional search engines, AI search engines like Bing Chat provide users with contextual links and citations to relevant websites. Users who click on the contextual links and citations leading to relevant websites are “qualified clicks.”

“Sometimes it’s all about exploring the web, but sometimes it’s all about understanding the web and providing this experience where at the end, we can learn the clicks to the website, having extremely qualified clicks. This is something we’ve seen where clearly when people are clicking. This is extremely paid clicks and this translate benefit for the end user, for the website, certainly more than search engines.”

Fabrice Canel , Bing’s Principal Product Manager

“Qualified clicks” stem from the deep understanding AI search engines have of user queries. The interaction between users and AI search provides a rich context, resulting in better traffic quality, often referred to as “perfect clicks.”

Perfect clicks, as discussed by Fabrice Canel and Jason Barnard, refer to those clicks that not only satisfy a user’s immediate query but also encourage the user to stay engaged and explore further. The user isn’t clicking on a search result but exploring the customer journey and intent.

Consider a scenario where a user searches for information about a store’s opening hours. The user clicks on a result, finds the information they seek, and returns to the search results page. The user modifies their query, perhaps looking for something like “store tomato soup.” The shift from store hours to a specific product indicates a change in what the user seeks.

Fabrice Canel emphasizes that perfect clicks are those that not only satisfy the initial query but adapt to the evolving needs of the user. Perfect clicks provide a seamless and engaging experience that encourages users to explore further rather than bouncing away from the page after a single click.

Understanding User Intent

User intent plays an essential role in delivering satisfying search experiences.

What is the Role of Keyword-Matching in Bing Chat?

Fabrice highlighted that AI search is not primarily focused on keyword matching. The emphasis is on comprehending the full context of user queries and delivering the best possible content based on that context.

Keywords remain crucial, not because they match exact terms on web pages but because they help search engines understand the context or content of a page. Making content easily accessible and creating content that reflects the topic is a priority for SEOs.

The Significance of Verbs in User Queries and Bing Chat’s Contextual Understanding

Verbs in user queries allow Bing Chat to understand search context and intent. 

Bing Chat is not just about matching keywords but understanding the context and intent behind the user’s query. The verbs searchers use when chatting with Bing Chat allow Bing Chat to provide the best possible response.  Bing Chat excels in comprehending the overall context of the query and the user’s intent, even in the absence of verbs.

Bing Chat is able to continue a conversation, accumulating context throughout the session. The user requests a list of vegetarian restaurants and then adds they need a venue for a large group. Bing Chat retains this context, ensuring the user doesn’t have to repeat the initial query. Bing Chat is able to decipher the user’s needs and preferences.

What SEO Strategies Apply to AI Search?

Fabrice provided valuable advice for SEO professionals to optimize their content for AI search. Two key recommendations are listed below.

  1. Use IndexNow for Faster Indexing: Building an index for AI search is a time-consuming process, often taking months to years to be up-to-date. SEOs are advised to implement IndexNow, which allows content to be indexed in seconds, ensuring that their pages are part of the latest AI search algorithms.
  1. Make Content Easily Accessible: Structure content based on a basic template, avoiding complex website designs with excessive Ajax calls. Simple pages help AI search engines better understand the content. Incorporating structured data is essential to provide context and ensure the content is well-understood by search engines.

Continuous Improvement in AI Search

Fabrice emphasized that AI search engines like Bing are constantly evolving, focusing on ongoing experimentation and continuous improvement. Unlike traditional search engines, which rely on significant algorithm updates, AI search engines frequently run experiments to enhance relevance. These continuous improvements are driven by the goal of delivering the best user experience.

Watch the full episode of How does Generative AI in Search Work and What is Coming in 2024 – Kalicube Friday the 13th with Fabrice Canel here >>  where Mr. BingBot reveals how Bing creates Chat results, how they use AI in their ranking algorithms and what SEOs must focus on for 2024. 

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