Google is coming under scrutiny after people discovered transcripts of conversations with its AI chatbot are being indexed in search results.
While it’s unclear if this is an intentional change or simply a bug, users of Google’s chatbot should exercise caution as their conversations could be indexed in Search.
Google Bard Conversations In Search Results
On X, formerly Twitter, people report links to conversations with Google’s Bard chatbot are appearing in search results, raising concerns about privacy and data security.
You can replicate what others are seeing by typing ‘site:bard.google.com/share‘ into the Google Search bar.
This has sparked a wave of concern among Bard users.
Google hasn’t commented whether the chatbot indexing is an intentional feature or an indexing error.
For now, those using Google Bard should be aware that their conversations may not remain private. Avoid discussing sensitive topics and information you wouldn’t want to be tied back to you publicly.
Related To Helpful Content Update?
It’s worth noting that the Bard transcripts started appearing in search results following a recent update to Google’s helpful content search ranking system.
However, whether the update led to Google indexing Bard’s conversations is unclear.
As we wait for Google’s response to this development, users are advised to be vigilant about the information they share with the chatbot.
Google Bard is used for various applications, from customer service to personal assistance.
While it aims to provide helpful information to users, the revelations about public indexing raise privacy concerns.
Users have always been advised not to share sensitive information with AI chatbots, though the public visibility of these conversations heightens the urgency of this advice.
Since publishing the original story, Google released a statement saying:
“Bard allows people to share chats, if they choose. We also don’t intend for these shared chats to be indexed by Google Search. We’re working on blocking them from being indexed now.”
This confirms the following:
- The indexing of Bard chats is unintentional
- The issue is limited to chats people choose to make public
Public Bard chats remained indexed in Google Search at the time of this update.
By refraining from using the share feature, you can ensure your chats don’t end up in search results.
Opting to share Bard chats creates public links, which are finding their way into Google’s search index.
However, an indexable link isn’t generated if you don’t share your chats.
With that in mind, heed the following advice from Google’s help page:
“Important: If you choose to share a chat, anyone with the link can read the chat, reshare it with others, and continue the chat with Bard on their own.”
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