Errors ChatGPT can face while browsing your website

Estimated read time 4 min read

I was curious to explore the functionalities of the ChatGPT browsing plugin and its approach to website visits, so I conducted some research. In the process, I discovered the potential errors it may encounter, such as timeouts, as well as the available actions for webmasters to address them. Additionally, I also learned about the user-agent that ChatGPT employs when visiting websites.

Errors ChatGPT can face while browsing your website

So I asked ChatGPT, what type of errors it can receive while trying to browse websites. It replied to me that there are some circumstances:

  1. Page Loading Error: This happens when there’s an issue with the network connection, the website server is down, or the specific webpage doesn’t exist anymore.
  2. Quoting Error: This occurs when the provided passage for the quote() function doesn’t occur exactly as is in the currently open webpage. The start and end of the passage need to match the content of the webpage perfectly.
  3. Clicking Error: If a click() function is issued with an ID that does not exist on the current page, an error will occur. This typically happens if a page has changed or if the ID was incorrectly identified.
  4. Scrolling Error: If a scroll() command is issued beyond the limits of the webpage (either too far up or down), an error will occur.
  5. URL Opening Error: If the open_url() function is issued with a URL that is invalid or doesn’t lead to a loadable page, an error will occur.

Can ChatGPT timeout while browsing?

Yes, the browsing tool does have some timeout limits. If a webpage takes too long to load, the request may time out and result in an error.

What can you do as a webmaster

There are several steps you can take to make content more accessible to AI systems like ChatGPT:

  1. Ensure Website is Crawlable: Make sure that robots.txt allows access to the AI system. This file, which is placed in the root directory of a website, directs search engine crawlers and other bots about which pages or files the crawler can or can’t request from the site.
  2. Structured Data: Incorporating structured data into a website can help AI understand the content better. This can include elements like meta tags,, and other markup languages.
  3. Accessibility: Making a site accessible not only helps people with disabilities but also helps AI systems understand content. This includes using alt tags for images, transcripts for videos, and proper headings and structure for text.
  4. Avoid Blocking Content: Some websites use methods like requiring login, employing CAPTCHA, or using cookies to block or restrict access to their content. These can limit the ability of AI systems to access and understand the content.
  5. Clear and Clean Layout: A website with a clear structure and clean layout will be easier for AI to navigate and understand. This includes having clear navigation, avoiding cluttered layouts, and using clean HTML.
  6. HTTPS: Using HTTPS ensures that the connection between the AI system and the website is secure, which can help prevent issues with access.

Test if ChatGPT can access your website

You can test if ChatGPT can access your website by simply asking it to open the URL using the browsing tool. For example, you can say something like “Can you open the URL” and ChatGPT will use the open_url() function of the browsing tool to try and open the webpage. Make sure that you use ChatGPT with the browsing plugin enabled.

Based on the output it provides, you can verify if ChatGPT or any other AI is able to access your website content.

The ChatGPT OpenAI UserAgent

I asked ChatGPT which Useragent it uses, and it first replied that it cannot show me this, as the plugin is a seperate tool, which makes sense. So I asked it to visit a website which shows raw UA details back. It was a success.

This is the ChatGPT OpenAI UserAgent:

Mozilla/5.0 AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko); compatible; ChatGPT-User/1.0; +​1​.

The ChatGPT OpenAI UserAgent
The ChatGPT OpenAI UserAgent

The IP address ChatGPT uses to visit websites

The IP address ChatGPT uses to visit websites
The IP address ChatGPT uses to visit websites

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Reza Rafati

Reza Rafati, based in the Netherlands, is the founder of An industry professional providing insightful commentary on infosec, cybercrime, cyberwar, and threat intelligence, Reza dedicates his work to bolster digital defenses and promote cyber awareness.

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