As I go down the rabbit hole of exploring the new Microsoft Bing AI with ChatGPT, I keep finding more and more interesting answers. One such example is when I ask Bing Chat a question and it sources itself as one of the answers. Yes, Bing Chat can list bing.com as a citation for an answer in its search results.
So in a sense, the AI is becoming the journalists on some level.
This needs to stop and stop now with Bing Chat.
Examples. I posted an example on Twitter showing how I asked a question and then one of the citations were bing.com, so I clicked it and it took me to Bing search that referenced articles it mentioned already in the other citations. This search experience is circular and sends searchers back to the search results in a way that might confuse the searcher.
Here is a screencast I made of this in action:
Now, I repeated it for a different query, where bing.com was also listed as a citation:
But here, Bing also included in the answer box the Bing search news box, which is helpful but why link someone to more search results Bing?
Glenn Gabe also spotted examples of this yesterday, he said, “Bing leading to more Bing search results when it could be leading to authoritative health/medical sites is not great.”
Against Google’s guidelines. Google has always said that you should not have search engines index and ultimately rank your internal search results pages. There was a line in the Google webmaster guidelines (recently revamped to search essentials) that read, “Use the robots.txt file on your web server to manage your crawling budget by preventing crawling of infinite spaces such as search result pages.”
I do not know if Bing’s webmaster guidelines also recommend you do not let Bing index your internal search result pages; I couldn’t find that mentioned yet. But in any case, it seems like Bing Chat should not source Bing search for its answers, especially when those Bing search results just link to other publishers that it can list in the situations within the Bing Chat answers.
Why we care. Yes, Bing AI Chat is in its infancy, and I know it will change over time. It is important for Bing to hear our feedback and adapt Bing Chat for the better; not just for the betterment of the searcher (which is rightfully their number one concern), but also for the whole ecosystem.