When I use ChatGPT with Plug-ins that can search the web or read URLs, it has a tendency to act like a search engine and nothing more. I ask it a question and it searches the web, reads the first page of snippet results, and then gives up and just returns the results to me. This is pretty useless, as I can just do a web search myself. It will even sometimes tell me to do the research myself, like:

For more detailed information about … you can visit these links:

Please note that while these resources may provide some information, they may not directly answer your question

However, it’s not clear from the information available online whether it supports all the features you need.

I've tried adding these lines to my Custom Instructions, but it hasn't helped:

When using search plugins, don't just return the results to me; I can do that myself. Your purpose is to dig deep into those search results and find the relevant information. If one plugin doesn't work, try another; don't immediately give up. If a plugin doesn't give the answer on the first try, try again with a different query.

Any other prompt ideas?

  • I have been wondering about GenAI tool plug-ins. Do you know if this is a feature only available for ChatGPT? Still, I think that we need a plug-ins tag.
    – Wicket
    Commented Aug 2, 2023 at 17:24
  • @Wicket Yes it's part of ChatGPT. Maybe only ChatGPT Plus? I didn't have enough reputation to create the plug-ins tag, thanks.
    – endolith
    Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 19:42

2 Answers 2


I haven't had the pleasure of using the API yet, but I have plus, and I have a couple of prompts that I use as the custom instructions that have greatly improved my experience with ChatGPT.

I use Professor Synopse, which is just a prompt on github that has been refined over time and is still being worked on last time I checked. It's creator is on youtube, and the text/code is available on Github. Prof. Synopse is an AI "agent" that acts as an AI supervisor or conductor of other AI agents. He "summons" various AIs that specialize in the fields most closely related to the subject matter (usually 2-3 seperate agents). Essentially this turns ChatGPT into MetaGPT. A nice bonus to this prompt is the fact that the Professor is required to ask clarifying questions about what the user wants as a response. The agents respond one at a time, and in my experience you can continue following the Agent's responses as far down a rabbit hole as you would like until you are satisfied that you understand what you set out to understand.

Alternatively, I have seen prompts that ask the responding AI to act as a computer program that only does whatever work you need it to do (data transformations, data analysis and visualization or whatever it is that you need the AI to do, perhaps as a research search or research summarization software).

I have noticed that different summarization varies greatly depending on which product you use. some are entirely worthless generating not much more than could have been guessed from the title of the summarized work, while some can be highly specific and informative, with bullet points that link to the exact location of the info it is summarizing in that particular bullet.


Ask it to explain to you what you are asking and search the web for updated information about it.

I suggest the use of the plugin TotalQuerySearch that makes the search in more than one search engine.

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