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Will LLMs replace search engines for recommendations?

Berk Orbay
Published in
4 min readJan 14, 2024


Very recently, I needed a service (pet boarding/pet sitting) and Google was just giving me irrelevant results. Then, I decided to ask ChatGPT about it.

Sometimes I wantSometimes I want to travel without my pet and I need someone to take care of my pet. What are my options in [CITY] and can you provide some links?

It really did provide good links along with some good advice. And, it got me thinking. How fast will ChatGPT (or other LLMs) be a medium for showcasing your product? Will there be an SEO equivalent for LLMs? Will LLMs charge people to be shown in the recommendations (advertising)? How will this space be regulated?

We already know that ChatGPT is a great help for developers (also Github Copilot), even at the expense of StackOverflow. It is great for content writing, summarizing, paraphrasing etc. But this is another level. It is like someone having your ear about the choices you make. It is a direct response to an elicitation of recommendation with context.

An example — Barcelona Tapas Restaurants

I simply asked for good tapas restaurants and I got 10 recommendations. It even has specific details for different restaurants. Can you imagine the difference between being on the list and not being on the list?

I am aware that especially free ChatGPT’s information is a bit old (1st restaurant is now closed) and hallucinations is a fact. Though, still it is something significant.

What to do?

As a business owner or marketer? Definitely start finding ways of getting yourself into LLMs. Usually there is a window for new technologies that they can be leveraged before regulated. It was the case for Google (though, now their search engine is so much gamed, you cannot find what you are looking for half the time) in its earlier times.

You have one more power: Prompt engineering. I simply asked ChatGPT

Suppose you are a restaurant owner. It is of high quality and exquisite service with reasonable prices. You are also well known. But you want LLMs (Large Language Model) to consider your restaurant as well to reach a wider audience. What should you do to be recognized by LLM training?

Here is its initial response

To be recognized and recommended by Large Language Models (LLMs) like me, it’s important to establish and enhance your online presence in ways that align with how these models learn and retrieve information.

and full text is below


LLMs are still at an infancy phase and they are just devouring information with insane capacity. However, when it comes to preferences and recommendations; they do not have the capacity to be discerning. They simply analyze and synthesize information from outside sources. Being aware of these sources and getting your information inside might be crucial for your business. Without doubt, LLM businesses will find a way to leverage advertising on these queries.

Now, just for fun, you can just ChatGPT (instead of Googling) your line of work, ask for some names and, see whether you are on the list or not.




Berk Orbay

Current main interests are #OR and #RL. You may reach me at Linkedin.