ChatGPT search feature rumors heating up

All signs point to ChatGPT launching a search feature soon. When? That remains the big question.

Rumor has it. OpenAI is developing a ChatGPT feature that searches the web and cites sources in its results, Bloomberg reported (subscription required):

“The feature would allow users to ask ChatGPT a question and receive answers that use details from the web with citations to sources such as Wikipedia entries and blog posts … One version of the product also uses images alongside written responses to questions, when they’re relevant. If a user asked ChatGPT how to change a doorknob, for instance, the results might include a diagram to illustrate the task…”

And. “OpenAI has been aggressively trying to poach Google employees for a team that is working hard to ship the product soon,” according to the Verge.

Why we care. Search has quickly evolving in a new direction since the emergence of generative AI – with OpenAI seemingly perceived to be ahead of Google in many ways (not yet including Search), even though ChatGPT’s user base is still much smaller than Google. However, there is clearly growing frustration with all aspects of Google – from the quality of Search results to its abundance of advertising. Not to mention Google’s alleged monopolistic practices that have hurt advertisers, users and competitors.

X things we know about ChatGPT search. ChatGPT doesn’t want to copy Google’s model or layout (he hates ads). OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said as much earlier this year:

“I don’t think the world needs another copy of Google,” Altman said.

ChatGPT’s version of Search wouldn’t be traditional, or classic, general web search. Altman’s vision is integrating ChatGPT with Search:

“…We are interested in how to do that well. That would be an example of a cool thing. I don’t think anyone has cracked the code on yet. I would love to go do that. I think that would be cool,” Altman said.

Dig deeper. Is ChatGPT the Google Search killer we’ve been expecting?

Other ChatGPT search developments. We first heard rumors about OpenAI’s search product in February. Other stories Search Engine Land has covered:

ChatGPT recently made links more prominent for ChatGPT Plus subscribers.

OpenAI launched its web crawler, GPTBot, in August.

More evidence. appeared in the log files for some servers, as reported In Report: OpenAI To Launch Search Engine on Search Engine Roundtable by Barry Schwartz. There were rumors that ChatGPT’s search product would launch as early as tomorrow (May 9), but that seems unlikely at this point.