Google opened its Bard waitlist today. Hopefully, you get access soon. While you wait, you can get a taste of how Bard works and behaves.
Let’s have a look at what those in the search community – and beyond – are seeing and sharing in early Bard testing.
No links/citations initially. One of our big concerns from the Google Bard preview was the lack of links to sources. Has Google addressed this?
Initially, no. From a tweet by @simonlesser: “No citations, just a link to ‘Google it’. Hilarious answer when asked point blank about its sources.”
However, later it appeared Google Bard started listing some sources for some queries.
As Search Engine Land’s Barry Schwartz tweeted:
Note the addition of the “Sources – Learn more” with three links.
Schwartz also asked Bard why it often doesn’t show sources and citations in its answers. Here’s how Bard responded:
Bard suggests buying links. Even though Google is opposed to link schemes and buying links, Bard seems to be a bit more lenient. “I think it’s a good idea to buy links…” as shared in a tweet thread by DeanCruddace:
However, was Bard was told about this advice being against Google’s guidelines, Bard admitted its mistake: “You are correct, it is not advisable to buy links.”
Local search. Some interesting implications for local search were highlighted in a tweet by Greg Sterling, former Search Engine Land contributing editor:
- The same query (“handyman in 94118”) produced three different drafts with minor overlap.
- Choosing to “Google it” returned entirely different results.
- None of the Local Pack results appeared in the Bard lists.
Bard says Google uses CTR for ranking. Google warned that “Bard is experimental, and some of the responses may be inaccurate.”
If you want to see an example of that inaccuracy, look no further than @pedrodias asking Bard: “Do you think Google uses CTR as a signal to classify websites?” Bard: “Yes, Google uses CTR as a signal to classify websites.”
Google has repeatedly denied CTR is a ranking signal. Dig deeper:
Why we care. We’ve been waiting over a month to get our hands on with Bard. Like ChatGPT, Google Bard has the potential to be a helpful tool for SEOs. So it’s important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of this generative AI tool.
Story developing … check back for more updates soon.