AI Use Cases in Search Engines

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 & Vibin Marish


A search engine has several key features that make it an effective tool for discovering information on the internet. Modern-day search engines provide relevancy ranking, personalized search, autocomplete, and image and video searches.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has altered how we search for information online and offers users the most precise and relevant results. This blog will explore how AI, specifically natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML), are used in search engines to deliver users more accurate and personalized search results.

Machine Learning

ML is a crucial AI technology used in search engines. ML algorithms, such as decision trees, gradient-boosted trees, random forests, support vector machines, and neural networks, use vast data to learn patterns and make predictions. In search engines, ML algorithms are utilized to personalize results for each user.

ML algorithms dissect a user’s search history, position, and preferences to provide results that apply to their interests. This makes it easier for users to find what they are looking for and saves time that would else be spent scrolling through inapplicable results. For instance, Google uses these ML algorithms in its search engine:

  • RankBrain: It is used to understand the user’s intent and provide more relevant results.
  • Neural Matching: It uses deep learning algorithms to understand the relationships between words in a query and the words on a web page.
  • Panda: This algorithm focuses on reducing low-quality content and promoting high-quality content in the search results.
  • Hummingbird: This algorithm aims to understand the context and intent behind a query and provide results that match the user’s needs.
  • Penguin: This algorithm penalizes websites that use spammy tactics, such as keyword stuffing or buying clicks, to increase rank.
  • Pigeon: It improves local search results by integrating traditional web ranking signals with local signals, such as distance and location.

Voice search allows users to search for information simply by speaking into their devices. This is made possible through ML algorithms, which can transcribe and understand the user’s voice commands.

ai in search engine

Voice search has become increasingly popular recently, especially with the wide use of smart speakers like Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomePod that use various ML algorithms to transcribe spoken words into written text. Some of the commonly used algorithms are:

  •  Hidden Markov Models (HMMs): These are probabilistic models that use a sequence of hidden states to predict the likelihood of a sequence of observations.
  • Gaussian Mixture Models (GMMs): They are used to model the probability density function of the observations in speech recognition.
  • Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs): They are used to model the relationship between the acoustic features of speech and the corresponding text.
  • Connectionist Temporal Classification (CTC): They train neural networks for speech recognition by aligning the input speech signal with the target transcription.

Natural Language Processing 

One of the most critical ways AI is used in search engines is through NLP. NLP is a subfield of AI concerned with interactions between computers and human language. NLP algorithms aid search engines in understanding the purpose behind a user’s query, leading to results that match their requirements.

NLP algorithms can identify misspellings, antonyms, and variations of words and expressions, making it easier for users to find what they want. Furthermore, NLP algorithms can comprehend the context of a query, allowing search engines to provide results based on the user’s intended meaning and not just the words used. 

Norvig’s algorithm corrects spelling errors before the query is taken for further processing. NLP techniques such as parsing, stemming, lemmatization, named-entity recognition (NER), and stop-word removal are used to process the users’ search queries.

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Large language models like GPT-3 heavily rely on NLP to understand the structure and meaning of human language by processing vast amounts of text data. NLP is crucial in generating coherent and natural-sounding language within these models. 

By employing NLP techniques for language generation, large language models can produce highly sophisticated text with vast applications in content creation, chatbots, and virtual assistants.

Image and Video Searches

AI has also revolutionized image and video searches. With the increasing amount of visual content on the internet, it has become more challenging to find what the users are looking for based on text alone. AI technologies like computer vision and ML can dissect images and videos and extract meaningful information, making it easier for users to find the content they want.

Image search engines like Google Images use AI algorithms to understand the content of an image, similar to the objects, scenes, and people depicted. This allows users to search for images based on their visual content, not just the keywords associated with them. 

Future of the Search Engine

The role of language models will be significant in the future of search engines. With Open AI introducing ChatGPT and Google releasing Bard, the search engine experience is about to be overhauled. Language models can be integrated into virtual personal assistants, context-aware searches, personalized results, augmented reality, and predictive search because of their ability to understand natural language and provide relevant information.

These advancements will make the search experience quicker, more efficient, and more personalized, providing users with relevant results based on their interests and preferences. Integrating AI and NLP will revolutionize how we search for information.


AI has transformed the search experience, making it easier for users to find what they are looking for and furnishing more accurate and applicable results. As AI technologies advance, we can anticipate the search experience to become more personalized and intuitive.

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