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Google Bard Cites Brands Far More Often Than ChatGPT in Search Results: Report

Image via RoastChatGPT doesn’t name specific brands in search results nearly as often as rival conversational generative AI Google Bard, according to a report by British performance marketing agency Roast. The test of OpenAI’s chatbot and Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) found that queries about traveling in the UK prompted mention of specific brands in 43.2% of Bard’s responses, compared to just 14.4% of ChatGPT’s answers.

Generative Search

Roast measured how ChatGPT and Bard responded to the 500 most frequent questions about travel in the UK. Bard’s answers incorporated brand names far more often than ChatGPT, as seen in the graphs above. Though Bard cited brands much more than ChatGPT, more than half the answers didn’t mention a company. That’s notable in a commerce-heavy vertical like travel. One would expect the same questions on a traditional search engine to produce Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) packed with business links. Considering the crucial role of Search Engine Optimization in marketing and business strategy, this could augur drops in website traffic and purchases as generative AI chatbot adoption continues to accelerate. Roast also noted that Bard’s responses tended to be more detailed, with tables, bulleted lists and even pros and cons listed out.

“We know from Google’s announcements that conversational AI answers will be appearing in the SERPs soon, and now armed with the data from this industry-first research, brand owners will need to undertake an SGE audit and implement a robust strategy to ensure their brand has visibility in the SGE results,” Roast managing director John Barham explained.

On the other hand, while Bard and ChatGPT couldn’t answer every question. Roast found they both vastly outperformed the most popular voice assistants. That’s only going to help attract more users to use generative AI chatbots as search engines, but its still going to require some adaptation by marketers to come up with best practices, as Voicebot founder and Bret Kinsella pointed out in our Synthedia newsletter.

“Showing up on the first page of search results for your brand and key industry terms is often a competitive advantage. Absence can be a competitive liability. However, the advent of generative AI search that leverages large language models (LLM) for delivering synthesized answers is ushering in a new set of rules for marketing success,” Kinsella wrote. “ChatGPT and Bard answered 98% and 99% of the 500 questions in the study, respectively. In past voice search studies conducted by the agency, only 50% – 75% were answered. This suggests that generative AI search may be more productive simply because it will answer significantly more questions. That performance should help drive consumer adoption.

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