10 Ways to Know It’s Fake AI Search

10 Ways to Know It’s Fake AI Search

A lot of search companies claim to offer AI-powered site search, but very few actually do. Some tack on third party services, others have a room full of people in far away places writing rules as fast as they can.  

How can you, the innocent buyer, know if it’s real AI or not? That’s where our guide to discerning fake AI search comes in. We’re here to separate the fakers from the makers. 

Let’s begin!

You know it’s fake AI search when…

1. You’re still adding synonyms

Remember when you needed to add synonyms to your search index? Oh, wait, you’re still doing it? Yeah, you don’t need to do that anymore with real AI-based site search. If you need synonyms, that’s because this is still keyword search behind the scenes, not AI. Oh and note that for every synonym you add, there are dozens you won’t know about in the long tail that would automatically just work if you had real AI search! 

2. They claim their product uses “AI ranking”

Did you know it took AirBnB a team of people over 2 years to get AI based ranking into production? That took a team of very smart engineers and billions of training data samples.  Ranking is complex and highly use case specific. AI ranking is even more difficult and needs smart engineers to make it work at all, so anyone claiming they have AI ranking out of the box is being dishonest. 

3. Common typos fail

Vector-based search handles common typos out of the box, so if your search engine is still confused that “vaccum” means “vacuum”,  it’s likely fake AI.

4. You’re still optimizing for keywords

Are you still stuffing your site and product pages with keywords? Then you’re probably not using AI search. AI search vectors understand the meanings of words so you don’t have to perform keyword stuffing or other unnatural search engine acts to get your site search to work. 

5. Longtail searches are poor

Most e-commerce companies optimize search results manually for the very common queries (head queries) on their site. Optimizing for the bottom 80% (long tail) is too time intensive, right? Well… it wouldn’t be at all time intensive if you had real AI that can improve site search performance for all 100% of your content.

6. Descriptive and question-based searches don’t work

Your search box hates it when visitors search for “affordable dress shoes” or “splitting headache remedies.” Searches like these confuse simple keyword-based search engines. Real AI based engines automatically understand these queries to return the right values.

7. You’re still writing lots of relevance rules

The best way to ensure your customers get good search results is to write hundreds of custom rules, right? If you still think that, you’re probably not using a real AI search engine.

8. They call it “explainable AI”

This is a warning flag because AI models are inherently extremely complex and often include millions or even billions of data points during inference. They aren’t explainable! The vendor should still be able to explain what models are in use; if the answer isn’t clear, it’s probably not real AI. 

9. It’s not getting better without your help

More data over time should generate better results. If you’re getting a lot of search queries and website activity (clicks, signups, sales, etc.) and results are still not improving, it’s probably fake AI.

10. There are no data requirements

If they purport that their AI needs no training or doesn’t need much data, walk away. As mentioned above, machine learning is built on the back of data. Without data, your AI can't really learn how to handle different kinds of queries or results.

Ready for real AI search?

Search.io is the world’s first instant AI site search engine. It’s in production now. It’s the only search engine built with Neuralsearch® and reinforcement learning for exceptional results based on your data. No more rules, synonyms, keywords, hacks, or unnatural acts. Search.io just works. Contact us for a live demo or free trial to see it for yourself!

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