Can AI Search the Internet? 4 Key Things to Know for Website Optimization

AI is built on vast amounts of data. Discover how it retrieves information and how you can use it to optimize your on-site experience.

Jameela Ghann - Writer for Fast Simon
By Jameela Ghann
a man taking a selfie in front of a tv
Edited by Dragan Stevanovic
Olivia Kashti - Writer and Fact-Checker for Fast Simon
Fact-check by Olivia Kashti

Published March 4, 2024.

a man holding a cell phone with a super sale button on it

Last year, we saw an upswing in AI tools. Suddenly, AI was everywhere—from chatbots to photo apps, text generators, and more. A major challenge for AI models like ChatGPT was accessing real-time internet data. This not only made searches difficult but also raised questions about eCommerce data reliability.

Today, AI can search the internet, often in real time, but not in the way Google does. Let's take a look at how AI tackles internet search and what that means for your website optimization.

Meet the Expert

Jameela Ghann is an eCommerce and marketing expert with over 10 years of experience. Apart from running her own successful online store, Alora Boutique, she's the marketing manager of

Can AI Search the Internet?

Yes, AI can search the internet by using algorithms to analyze large amounts of data that it has been given access to. This could include text, images, and other forms of data.

Here's how it works:

  1. Data Access: AI has access to a large amount of data, which could include information from the internet. This data is used to train the AI, helping it learn patterns and understand different types of information.

  2. Query Understanding: When given a query, AI uses natural language processing (NLP) to understand the query. NLP is a field of AI that focuses on the interaction between computers and humans through natural language.

  3. Information Retrieval: The AI uses its training to find the most relevant information to the query. This could involve searching through its training data to find relevant information.

  4. Response Generation: The AI generates a response based on the information it has found. This response is then given to the user.

AI can access and analyze data from the web, but it doesn't have access to every single piece of information available online. This includes information behind paywalls, within private networks, or on pages that require personal login credentials.

So, while AI can "search" the internet in a sense, it's not the same as how we browse the internet or how search engines index and crawl it.

» Find out more about the power of AI in eCommerce site search.

The Benefits of AI for eCommerce

Because AI can retrieve information from the internet, it can help you in your eCommerce store. This includes analyzing customer data and behavior to provide personalized product recommendations and content.

AI can also help optimize inventory management by using predictive analysis to assess demand, reducing overstock or out-of-stock situations. This minimizes lost sales due to stock issues.

It can also predict and create orders for businesses if they make their own goods. Fast Simon, for example, has a robust AI system that helps merchandise products and shows the right recommendation in site search.

fast simon product recommendations for targus

Targus used Fast Simon's predictive search, recommendations engine, and merchandising to display the right products to the relevant customers.

4 Key Things to Know for AI Website Optimization

1. AI Search Can Help You Personalize

AI's ability to search and analyze data from the internet is not just about finding information. It's also about understanding it in a way that can be used to enhance user experiences. One of the most impactful ways this understanding can be applied is through personalization.

For instance, when AI analyzes data from the internet, it's not just looking at the raw data. It's also identifying patterns and trends, understanding user behavior, and learning about individual preferences. This allows AI to create a personalized experience for each user.

This could mean showing product recommendations that align with a user's past purchases or browsing history. Or it could mean tailoring the content of a website to match a user's interests.

The efficient personalization saves time for your online store visitors, improves the overall shopping experience, increases sales, and could bring in new customers through word-of-mouth.

» Why tailor content to your audience? Here's why personalization matters.

2. AI Can Help You Audit Your SEO Efforts

AI can help you improve the general visibility of your content on the web. You can do this by using AI to analyze your website, compare it to competitors, and provide suggestions for updates and opportunities. Here's how:

  • Keyword Generation: AI's search capabilities allow it to scan and analyze vast amounts of data quickly. It can process a website's content, understand its context, and generate a list of relevant keywords to use in your eCommerce strategy.
  • Search Trend Analysis: AI can analyze current search trends on the internet. By understanding what users are searching for, AI can identify new keyword opportunities. This helps keep the website's content relevant and easily discoverable.

3. AI Can Help You Optimize Content

After the SEO audit, AI can be used to analyze a website's content and identify areas for improvement. For example, AI can be used to identify duplicate content, thin content, and content that is not optimized for the target keywords.


The AI-powered tool Yoast SEO analyzes a website's content and identifies improvement areas. The tool gives suggestions for improving the title tag, meta description, keyword density, and other factors.

Yoast SEO analysis of Alora website

» Why stop at blog content? Check out how AI can help optimize social media too.

4. AI Can Automate

You can apply AI automation across the website, and beyond. AI tools can automate:

  • Product recommendations
  • Product descriptions
  • Visual search and voice search
  • Marketing campaigns
  • Customer service
  • Fraud detection

In 2024, AI will play an even greater role in online shopping. There's already an influx of new applications such as AI-powered virtual assistants, AI-generated product descriptions, and AI-powered pricing optimization.

Plus, visual and voice search are on the rise, so it's very likely that we will see more AI solutions connected to them.

» Want to make your store even more relevant? Discover how voice search is changing SEO.

Search and You Will Find: Use AI to Improve On-Site Experience

Thanks to AI's ability to search the internet—gathering and retrieving data both from real-time-updates and training models—you can use it as a tool to optimize your website. For eCommerce, this can mean everything from improving your on-site content or SEO, and implementing AI-driven tools like intelligent search to offer your customers a better experience.