Google: Search Generative Experience May Link To Paywalled Content But Here Is How To Block SGE

Oct 19, 2023 - 7:21 am 0 by

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Google has updated its paywalled content search developer documentation to explain that Google Search Generative Experience may link to content behind a paywall. Google wrote, "SGE overviews may include links to paywalled content as a way for people to discover those pages."

Google also described in the updated Robots meta tags document how to use the Robots meta tag, data-nosnippet, and X-Robots-Tag specifications page for the nosnippet and max-snippet rules for SGE.

The first part of this information comes from a new section added to that document named Generative AI in Search considerations. It says, "SGE (Search Generative Experience) overviews are generated with the help of AI. They are supported by info from across the web and Google's Knowledge Graph, a collection of info about people, places, and things. Content blocked using snippet controls will not be shown in overviews."

So Google is saying if you block content as you normally would for normal Google Search, Google won't show those in the SGE snapshot overviews.

Google goes on to write, "SGE is designed to help people discover helpful information on the web that supports the information in the overview and provides a jumping off point for people to explore further. As in Search more broadly, SGE overviews may include links to paywalled content as a way for people to discover those pages."

Here Google is saying that if you do allow that content to be accessed, even through paywalled structured data, Google may show it in the AI snapshots and may even link to that paywalled content.

Google added, "SGE while browsing, a separate feature than SGE in Search, will not show key points for paywalled articles, if paywall structured data is on the page." That part we covered before over here.

So there you have it, SGE overviews or snapshots can show paywalled content and use paywalled content for those answers.

Then to block SGE, in the updated Robots meta tags document you can use the nosnippet. Google wrote, "Do not show a text snippet or video preview in the search results for this page. A static image thumbnail (if available) may still be visible, when it results in a better user experience. This applies to all forms of search results (at Google: web search, Google Images, Discover). Google SGE overviews also will not show content blocked using nosnippet."

Or in the max-snippet: [number], Google wrote, "Google SGE overviews also will not show content beyond the specified limit. However, this limit does not apply in cases where a publisher has separately granted permission for use of content. For instance, if the publisher supplies content in the form of in-page structured data or has a license agreement with Google, this setting does not interrupt those more specific permitted uses. This rule is ignored if no parseable [number] is specified."

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