Google SGE Drops Links In AI-Generated Answers…

Google SGE Drops Links In AI-Generated Answers…

Earlier this month, we reported that Google was testing three-different citation and link formats in the Search Generative Experience AI-generated answer. It seems that as of yesterday, Google has pulled back that test and removed the links from those answers.

Britney Muller noticed they went away yesterday afternoon and posted about it on Twitter. “Have GSE content/citation links been removed,” Muller asked. They do seem to have been removed.

I cannot see links in the AI-generated SGE answers either on mobile or desktop in any of the cases I posted on my original story. I tried countless examples and I came up with nothing. Either all of us were removed from this test or Google stopped testing links in SGE results.

Here are two examples from my original story.

Without links (what I see today):

click for full size

With links (what I saw during the test):

click for full size

Without links (what I see today):

click for full size

With links (what I saw during the test):

click for full size

Again, the same on mobile as well. Lily Ray also confirmed she no longer sees the links. Kenichi Suzuki also noticed this.

Have GSE content/citation links been removed?

Maybe an okay thing until better baked out. Noticed soo many that were wrong/out of context (on-page text didn’t support the GSE content). cc @JohnMu @lilyraynyc @rustybrick

— Britney Muller 🇺🇦 (@BritneyMuller) August 17, 2023

Yeah, I think I got moved into a different test group today.

— Lily Ray 😏 (@lilyraynyc) August 17, 2023

@rustybrick @lilyraynyc @glenngabe The outbound links have disappeared from my SGE. Have you noticed this happening with your search results as well?https://t.co/lmhJmThlEm pic.twitter.com/CVO9P6Enz2

— Kenichi Suzuki💫鈴木謙一 (@suzukik) August 17, 2023

I guess SGE decided to test turning off links today.

If (and only if!) you agree that this is a bad move, please join me in submitting feedback to Google. Sigh.

h/t @bloggersarvesh who first noticed this pic.twitter.com/n8KW3rH6PM

— Lily Ray 😏 (@lilyraynyc) August 17, 2023

I wonder if Google will bring these links back or they decided not to show them anymore and no longer continue to the test?

Update: Google’s Search Liaison replied on Twitter saying, “We’ve always had corroborating links. That hasn’t changed. The carousel that we launched with is still there; you can use the menu icon to open for links to appear inline. That said, the experimenting we’ve done with different formats is not over so changes will continue.”

We’ve always had corroborating links. That hasn’t changed. The carousel that we launched with is still there; you can use the menu icon to open for links to appear inline. That said, the experimenting we’ve done with different formats is not over so changes will continue.

— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) August 18, 2023

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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