The Progress of Perplexity AI

Written by Jonathan Baker and Michael DiMarco, SEO Manager at EGC

Within the last year, a search engine named Perplexity AI has been making its presence known. True to its name, it is powered by artificial intelligence. Is this the search engine of the future?

Google versus Perplexity AI

Google is synonymous with search. Other search engines, like Microsoft Bing for example, have coexisted, rather than competed, with Google, which is still the go to site where many users find answers to their questions. According to Statista, Google still carries 95% of search engine market share.

Google and AI

Recently, Google has been investing strongly into AI with its launch of Gemini. Users of Google Labs can opt in to test out Google’s new AI search features through their upcoming “search generative experience.”

Adapting to AI

The world is adapting, however, to applying artificial intelligence, the foundation of Perplexity AI, to many everyday tasks. Has Google met its match in search?

The evolution of AI in search

As reported by Mark Sullivan in Fast Company, the gradual implementation of AI powered chatbots, and their ability to provide direct and real-time answers to questions of users essentially changed the game for the $110 billion search ad business which has been dominated by Google. Perplexity AI is apparently poised to take this method of search to the next level. How?

The makeup of Perplexity AI

The technology behind Perplexity AI is:

  • Large language models (LLMs), which are pre-trained on vast amounts of data.
  • Third-party models, which include OpenAI’s Chat GPT-4)
  • Web crawlers (which return the most relevant results to questions)

Perplexity AI and RAG

The component that truly distinguishes Perplexity AI is its application of retrieval-augmented generation (RAG), which optimizes the output of the previously mentioned large language models. Before generating a response, RAG serves as a “double check” system which references an authoritative base of knowledge that is outside its training data sources. Once confirmed, a response is delivered to the user.

How popular is Perplexity AI?

As of this writing, Perplexity AI has been downloaded more than two million times and responds to over one million user questions per day. As a side bar, Perplexity AI is in the 21st place of “The World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2024.” Aravind Srinivas, CEO and co-founder of the search engine, has stated: “We do not have to challenge Google’s search market share in order to succeed.”

Will Perplexity AI overtake Google?

The popularity of Perplexity AI has spread like wildfire. Does this mean it is an outright threat to Google? Not necessarily. In the opinion of “Hustle smart with technology,” writing for Medium, while the capabilities of Perplexity AI are indeed unique and will transform how searches are conducted, it is too soon to predict if this new engine will be a challenge to the “colossus” that is Google.

The EGC Group continues to keep track of the latest advances in digital technology. If you have questions or concerns about the online presence of your brand, get in touch with us. From search engine optimization (SEO) to applying our own AI-powered resources, we have the expertise to help your brand appear front and center in search. Our SEO team can help your brand’s visibility on Perplexity and ChatGPT, among other search methods.

(We promise that it will not be a perplexing process!)

For more advice and guidance related to AI, listen to the latest episode of EGC’s Marketing Edge Podcast: The CEO’s Guide to Leveraging AI.