Google's tests that cite text links in its search generative artificial intelligence (GAI) experience could eventually make publishers very happy.
The engine has been testing the links to give those searching for answers a source of the information directly in the chatbot rather than off to the side.
The links appear in the text, similar to what Bing has done with its citations. However, in Bing’s chat experience the citation number appears next to the content and the source at the bottom of the chat.
The question in Google’s AI experience, "how much does it cost to charge an electric car?" Shalom Goodman, SEO journalist at The Wall Street Journal, spotted the links and posted an example in his X feed.
The bulleted answers have linked citation at the end of the sentence. Good news for publishers looking for referrals from Google Search, which has been one of the biggest complains not linking from answers in search to the source.
Link attribution is essential for publishers, but Jason Mandragona, director of SEO at NBCU News Group, who managed to duplicate the query, believes and tweeted that “Timestamps would be a great addition.”