PPC – Dozens of big brands have blocked GPTBot, OpenAI’s new web crawler

PPC - Dozens of big brands have blocked GPTBot, OpenAI’s new web crawler


At least 69 of the 1,000 most popular websites in the world have blocked GPTBot, the new web crawler OpenAI introduced Aug. 7, according to a new analysis.

And the percentage of sites is increasing by about 5% per week, according to AI content and plagiarism service Originality.ai.

Why we care. To block or not to block ChatGPT? That has been the big question for many SEOs. Clearly, several popular websites have already blocked GPTBot, presumably because they don’t want OpenAI scraping their data to help train its models – at least not without compensation. Additionally, ChatGPT does not cite or link to its sources.

By the numbers. The 15 most popular sites blocking ChatGPT, according to the analysis, are:

  • amazon.com
  • quora.com
  • nytimes.com
  • shutterstock.com
  • wikihow.com
  • cnn.com
  • foursquare.com
  • healthline.com
  • scribd.com
  • businessinsider.com
  • reuters.com
  • medicalnewstoday.com
  • goodhousekeeping.co
  • amazon.co.uk
  • tumblr.com

But. Even though many sites are blocking GPTBot, they are not also blocking CCbot, Common Crawl’s web crawler. Part of the training data used by OpenAI, Google and others comes from Common Crawl.

There are a few noteworthy exceptions that block both bots, such as the New York Times, which clearly does not want its content used to train AI systems. Other popular websites blocking both GPTBot and CCbot include shutterstock.com, reuters.com and goodhousekeeping.com.

  • At least 62 of the top 1,000 websites have blocked CCBot.

Limitations. 241 robots.txt files out of the 1,000 websites were not identified/inspected as part of this analysis. (That’s why I wrote “at least” in the opening sentence.)

Originality.ai’s analysis. Websites That Have Blocked OpenAI’s GPTBot – 1000 Website Study

Dig deeper. Should you block ChatGPT’s web browser plugin from accessing your website?


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