5 Big Differences Between ChatGPT Prompts and Google Search Queries

I'm always surprised to hear that some people are not impressed with ChatGPT and other generative AI tools. More often than not, the main reason people are disappointed in AI tools is that they don't understand the difference between a search engine and a generative AI tool such as ChatGPT. 

So in this short article, I want to explain 5 main differences between writing ChatGPT prompts and writing Google search queries.

1. Keywords vs Context

When using Google, you might type “weather Paris” to get a quick update on the weather in Paris. Simple keywords get the job done. In contrast, ChatGPT requires more detailed context for better responses. For example, telling ChatGPT, "I'm visiting Paris next week and need a weather forecast to plan my wardrobe and activities," results in a more tailored response, suggesting appropriate attire and possible indoor activities if rain is expected.

Remember: The more context you provide, the more tailored ChatGPT’s responses will be.

2. Information Retrieval vs Conversation

Google is your go-to for fast facts, acting as a vast index of information. On the other hand, ChatGPT is like having a conversation with a well-informed friend who can discuss a range of topics. For instance, you can ask ChatGPT about the best ways to start a blog, and it might ask you follow-up questions to better tailor its advice, such as your interests or intended audience.

Remember: Engage with ChatGPT as you would in a conversation for more engaging responses.

3. Precision vs Flexibility

Google excels in delivering precise answers to specific queries. Searching “start of the Renaissance” will quickly pinpoint the historical period. ChatGPT, while also informative, allows the conversation to evolve and explore different facets of a question, like discussing the impacts of the Renaissance on modern culture, which might lead to unexpected and enriching dialogues.

Remember: Embrace ChatGPT’s flexibility to discover more about a topic.

4. Structured vs Open-Ended

Google searches usually require specific queries—think structured input like “how to tie a tie”. With ChatGPT, you can start more open-endedly, such as “tell me about tie styles”, and then drill down into detailed guides based on the conversation flow, exploring various tie knots and their occasions.

Remember: Utilize ChatGPT’s capacity for creative and dynamic interactions.

5. Single Interaction vs Continued Dialogue

A Google search is typically a one-off: you ask, it answers. ChatGPT, however, can maintain a dialogue. This feature allows you to delve deeper into a subject, ask follow-up questions, clarify previous answers, and build upon the conversation as if you were talking to another person.

Remember: Take advantage of ChatGPT’s ability to sustain a conversation to gain deeper insights.

By leveraging these differences effectively, you can enhance how you gather information and interact with AI tools. Whether you're using Google for quick searches or engaging with ChatGPT for more exploratory conversations, understanding these tools' strengths will lead to better experiences and outcomes.