Why Did Google Gemini “Leak” Chat Data To Search Result?

The public release of Google’s Gemini has caused quite a stir, as it only took 24 hours for chats to be publicly displayed in Google’s search results. However, the reason behind this wasn’t as sinister as it initially appeared. One user even tweeted about the issue, sharing screenshots of the leaked conversations.

By the next day, the number of leaked Gemini chats in the search results dropped significantly, indicating a quick response from Google. The creation of these chat pages didn’t happen automatically, as users had to manually create the pages through a link at the bottom of each chat.

The reason behind why the chat pages were crawled and indexed was initially thought to be due to the lack of a robots.txt file. However, further investigation revealed that the robots.txt file was already in place before the leaked chats appeared in the search results.

Two theories emerged as to how the private chat pages were discovered and indexed. The first was the presence of a public link somewhere, while the second, less likely theory was that they were discovered through browsing history linked from cookies. It seems that the public link theory prevailed, as it was discovered that public links are highly likely to cause chat pages to be crawled and indexed.

search from gemini

Despite these leaks, Google eventually began dropping chat pages out of search results. It’s possible that Google created an internal rule for the search crawler to exclude webpages from the /share/ folder from the search index.

The situation also shed light on how Bing and Google index content differently. While Google showed three search results, Bing only showed one result from the subdomain, revealing a random quality to what was indexed and how much of it.

Ultimately, the reason why these pages started dropping off the search results is likely due to their low quality. Google and Bing may have indexed the content regardless of the presence of the robots.txt file, but began dropping them from the search results as they were not useful or relevant.

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