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ChatGPT Browse with Bing - What Websites Can ChatGPT Browse?

OpenAI has re-launched ChatGPT Browse with Bing. This study looks at what websites can ChatGPT browse and which ones it is unable to browse. Not just what websites are blocking Browse with Bing but exploring what websites can you actually have ChatGPT browse and provide useful information from. 

OpenAI has re-launched ChatGPT Browse with Bing. This study looks at what websites can ChatGPT browse and which ones it is unable to browse. 

Not just what websites are blocking Browse with Bing but exploring what websites can you actually have ChatGPT browse and provide useful information from. 

Summary of Findings:

  1. ChatGPT Can Not Browse 47% of the Top 100 Websites
  2. There appear to be 3 reasons ChatGPT can not browse a website:
  3. Being blocked by the sites Robots.txt (24 of the 47)
  4. Internal limitations put on it by OpenAI
  5. Technical Difficulty
  6. We found 1 instance of ChatGPT not following the Robots.txt Blocking

Method:

On Sep 28, 2023 we looked at the top 100 websites and completed 2 slightly different checks to see if ChatGPT could read the contents of the webpage.

If there was any discrepancy between the first 2 checks we completed a 3rd check. 

Results can be seen here

Key Findings

Finding 1: ChatGPT Can Not Browse 47% of the Top 100 Websites

ChatGPT Unable to Access 47% of Top 100 Websites

The most popular websites that ChatGPT CAN NOT browse include:

  1. Facebook.com
  2. Google.com
  3. Instagram.com
  4. Pinterest.com
  5. Amazon.com
  6. Linkedin.com
  7. Twitter.com

The most popular websites that ChatGPT CAN browse include:

  1. YouTube
  2. Wikipedia
  3. TikTok
  4. Reddit

Finding 2: There are 3 reasons ChatGPT can not access a website. 

Reason 1 - Website Blocking ChatGPT Browse with Bing Using Robots.txt

On Aug 7 OpenAI provided documentation on how to block GPTBot. 

Since then 26% of the top 1000 websites have blocked GPTBot among other AI bots.

Percentage of Top 1000 websites blocking GptBot,CCBot, ChatGpt User,Anthropic Ai

According to ChatGPT it is adhering to Robots.txt instructions for Browse with Bing…

Chatgpt bot unable to visit pinterest.com

Reason 2 - Browsing Restriction Placed on ChatGPT by OpenAI

OpenAI has seemingly placed browsing restrictions on a large number of sites. 

ChatGPT communicates several different reasons for the self-imposed restriction. However, caution should be used whenever asking ChatGPT about itself.

Chatgpt bot unable to visit instagram.com
Chatgpt bot unable to visit facebook.com

With an increasing list of ChatGPT lawsuits, there could be legal considerations that impact what sites OpenAI has decided to let ChatGPT browse.   

Reason 3 - Temporary Error Browsing Site

There seemed to be some sites that were inconsistently unable to be browsed by ChatGPT.  

This could very likely be the result of Browse with Bing being a new feature and kinks still needing to be worked out. 

Finding 3: ChatGPT Did Not Follow Robots.txt for 1 Website

Tumblr.com blocked GPTBot early on, Aug 9, 2023 in its Robots.txt file:

Tumblr.com blocked CCBot in its Robots.txt file

However, ChatGPT Browse with Bing was still able to browse certain (non-paywalled) pages of the site.

Chatgpt bot unable to visit tumblr.com

How to Activate ChatGPT Browse with Bing

You need to be a ChatGPT Plus subscriber and can activate it by going to…

  • Settings & Beta
  • Beta Features
  • Activate “Browse with Bing”
ChatGPT Plus Settings
Activate ChatGPT Browse with Bing

Example Prompt to Check a Site:

“visit each of these websites and record the title of the site, if you are unable to visit the website list the reason why. Go to each website and report the results in a table. Complete all scans before responding:”

Example Result:

Chatgpt unable to visit websites and present results in a table format

Jonathan Gillham

Founder / CEO of Originality.AI I have been involved in the SEO and Content Marketing world for over a decade. My career started with a portfolio of content sites, recently I sold 2 content marketing agencies and I am the Co-Founder of MotionInvest.com, the leading place to buy and sell content websites. Through these experiences I understand what web publishers need when it comes to verifying content is original. I am not For or Against AI content, I think it has a place in everyones content strategy. However, I believe you as the publisher should be the one making the decision on when to use AI content. Our Originality checking tool has been built with serious web publishers in mind!

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