Learn about the differences and similarities between search engines and chatbots.
One of the greatest things provided by the internet is the ease of which you can find answers to almost anything. Since it was invented in 1989, the world wide web has been able to provide information seekers, business owners, and consumers improvements the ability to share information freely and easily. Technological advances and big data has also made it so that there are now platforms that categorize and classify information, which enables users to not have to sift through all the websites. Rather, they can find what they need on a single search engine page.
With current modern advances and the adoption of Alexa, Google Home, and Siri, it’s now all about personalizing the results and chatbots are the new wave of technology designed to help people find what they are looking for. Let’s talk about the differences between traditional search engines and new chatbot technologies that are changing the way we find things.
Key Differences Between Search Engines and Chatbots
The difference between search engines and chatbots is that search engines have short-term memory when providing results, whereas chatbots can have persistent, long-term memory as well as provide task execution. Chatbots have an advantage in being able to provide personalized and more accurate results based on persistent, historical interactions, whereas search engines can provide a minimal level of personalized results based on previous searches.
Problems Search Engines and Chatbots Can Help Solve
When knowledge is scattered across the internet, in technical documentation repository, customer relationship management databases, data warehouses, and other project documents, there needs to be an easy way to surface this information without the user fighting for it.
Chatbots can help with information discoverability as innovative solutions to help address information seeking problems as well as going one step further with chatbots in task automation. There are definitely improvements to be made in both technologies to create better answers for more complex problems, but this often resides in the need for resources to train knowledge graphs to better help users interact with these disparate knowledge sources.
What Are Search Engines?
Search engines provide millions of results based on a keyword or phrase bases that the user puts in. A web crawler (also known as a search engine bot) crawls the internet to index content. This content then appears on a search engine results page (SERP) with a page that has other links to relevant content based on sophisticated algorithms that index the content.
From a user perspective, once a search query has been made, it is up to the user to choose the results from the SERP to start getting the results that they need. Search engines use this click-through rate to determine how to update the algorithm in the future so that more relevant answers are provided at the top of the results.
Search engines can understand searcher intent and sometimes higher layers of contextual meaning behind a user’s search. In addition, search engines have gotten better in terms of providing featured snippets that include various media types like video and information cards so that the search engine keeps users on the search page without having to click through to read.
Ranking online content to search engines is important because it provides opportunities for a business or content creator to reach their target audience. Having your content indexed properly requires you to ensure that the content is valuable, authoritative, and niched down to the audience you want to target.
What Are Chatbots?
Chatbots are an emerging technology that aims at mirroring conversations with humans using natural language, audio, video, and media processing. These technologies are subcomponent of artificial intelligence techniques aimed at using neural networks to enable better information provisioning with a layer of contextual understanding. Chatbots not only pass information off to users, but it can also provide task execution. Chatbots have the ability to learn a user’s habits the more they use them, providing a better experience for customers as well as businesses.
Chatbots are used in both consumer interactions as well as business interactions, providing not only a better user experience, but also productivity and efficiency to enterprise communications for business. Historically, chatbots were introduced as a technology to help streamline workflows for customer service operations. The ability to focus on a micro-task for a customer and being able to complete it without interacting with a human is a frictionless interaction that provides not only efficiency, but better customer experiences and engagement without requiring an employee.
The main advantage of a chatbot is the ability to personalize an interaction and providing more accurate results. Chatbots are a great way for organizations to gather information from their customers, improve the accuracy of the sales or service messaging, and being able to use copywriting language that converts. Having proper conversational design practices with your chatbot ensures that it is providing answers to the questions that your bot may have.
Can Search Engines and Chatbots Work Together?
Interweaving intelligent search and chatbot platforms to provide better information circulation environment can help users find what they need quickly and efficiently. Searching via a chat interface has gained traction in various industries, which provides more personalized content tailored to individual preferences and considerations.
Home automation, connected objects and wearables, smart cars, and the Internet of Things is a technological revolution utilizing both search and chat that is only beginning. While results on a SERP can lead target audiences to content, a chatbot can help further refine the needs and wants of the audience, as well as providing the outcomes that they are seeking. Search engines and chatbots can work together in tandem to provide a seamless user experience for customers.
For enterprises looking to use content marketing as a strategy to increasing customer engagement, search engines can provide the opportunity for your target audience to find you whereas chatbots can help further segment your audience to better understand the content they want along a customer’s journey.
The Future of Search and Chatbots
There has been a small shift in the current generation of users who have adopted chatbot and user messaging platforms, which in turn provide more information and insight for these technologies to become better. The most important phase of transforming users from search to chatbots will be the ability to create a quality chatbot that is viable and transcends across multiple platforms to answer questions on a wide ranging knowledge base of topics effectively and efficiently.
Summary of Comparison Between Chatbots and Search Engines
Chatbots have come a long way and starting to use natural language processing with machine learning to provide content searcher with the information they are looking for. The ability to improve customer satisfaction rates while in parallel reducing support costs and increasing revenue is an advantage of what chatbots can provide to businesses, but only if the technology advances to a point that it can do it across a lot of different domains.
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