Digital Marketing

BrightEdge releases First-Ever Research on Perplexity


BrightEdge, the global leader in AI-driven organic search, content and digital marketing automation, announced new, unprecedented data and research on Perplexity, the new AI-first search engine. The BrightEdge Generative Parser™ is the only solution able to track and distill patterns in AI-driven search experiences, and has previously focused its research on gaining a deep understanding of the Google Search Generative Experience (SGE). Today, the same groundbreaking technology offers early insights on how Perplexity compares to SGE, and how AI-first search engines can differentiate themselves.

The generative AI boom has opened the door for a new type of search engine to challenge Google and Microsoft. Perplexity, which launched in 2022 and has raised $102.3M to date, is growing rapidly and gaining a foothold with consumers looking for a conversational alternative to traditional search engines. BrightEdge’s analysis shows that referrals from Perplexity to brand sites are growing at nearly 40% month over month since January. This is the first evidence that Perplexity is not used solely for generative content purposes, but also as a search engine that refers users to sites through citations.

For marketers, who rely on organic search strategies to reach customers, new AI-first search engines like Perplexity and ChatGPT signal a tectonic shift in how brands market and sell their products. However, the newness of these AI-driven platforms means they frequently undergo dynamic changes, making them difficult to track and adapt to.

The BrightEdge Generative Parser™, which was able to uncover early insights about Google SGE, is now accurately measuring and tracking patterns in Perplexity in order to better understand the evolving platform. Today, the company is sharing search result findings and their broader impact by comparing Perplexity’s reference domains, listing ranks and referrals to traditional Google and Google SGE.

Domain differences between Google SGE and Perplexity shed light on which content sources search engines value.
Search engines pull their results from various sources. Those sources highlight which resources hold more weight, how they distill information to consumers, and potential partnership opportunities.

  • Reddit is a top domain across most of Perplexity’s citations by industry for seven of the top nine industries, with Healthcare and Finance as exceptions.
  • For Healthcare, Restaurants, Travel and Education, Perplexity and Google have a similar focus on high authority websites such as the Mayo Clinic, a top-ranked hospital; Yelp and Tripadvisor, trusted restaurant and travel sites; and online course provider Coursera.
  • In E-Commerce, both engines heavily source Wikipedia and Amazon, but the overlap stops there. Google uses Quora and Consumer Reporters for third-party product information, while Perplexity references Reddit. Overall, Perplexity is most likely to reference product sites, whereas Google SGE will also include informational resources such as lifestyle and news sites.
  • In Finance, Perplexity’s citations skew heavily toward Yahoo, MarketWatch and CNN.

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