Websites Can Now Block Off Google Bard and ChatGPT’s Search Index

Websites now have the option to stay out of reach of Google Bard or any upcoming AI models developed by Google.

Google unveiled this update last week, introducing a new tool named Google-Extended. It empowers websites to be indexed by web crawlers (the bots that create entries for search engines) while maintaining control over their data to prevent its use in training future AI models.

For website administrators, implementing this opt-out is straightforward, and achievable through the robots.txt file, which governs web crawler access to websites. In a statement, Danielle Romain, the company’s VP of Trust, highlighted that Google has heeded feedback from web publishers who desire greater choice and control over how their content is utilized for emerging generative AI applications.

Romain further explained, “By using Google Extended to control access to content on a site, a website administrator can choose whether to help these AI models become more accurate and capable over time.”

OpenAI, the developer behind ChatGPT, recently introduced its own web crawler but also provided guidelines on how to prevent it from accessing certain websites. Notably, publications such as Medium, the New York Times, CNN, and Reuters have taken steps to block OpenAI’s crawler.

Google’s Bard emerged as a swift competitor to ChatGPT, albeit facing challenges such as data leaks and inaccurate results. Nevertheless, the AI model has shown improvements since its launch, most recently introducing several extensions and enhanced ways to leverage Bard effectively.

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