Googlebot user agent

Googlebot:

Googlebot is a program written by Google team which crawls the web. It crawls the pages via links that you provide on your webpages. It continuously work and find out the new and updated content and let the Google know about which pages should be added to the Google Index.

Google Index is can be named as Google’s Brain. It contains all the information and knowledge here. Google uses many of the computers to send their crawlers and find the latest updated and valuable content across the web. Googlebot takes help of Sitemaps and databases to discover the links and to crawl the webpages.

What’s New About Googlebot:

Googlebot helps pages to include them into the Google index by carwling them.

According to Google Webmasters Blog post which has been posted on 2nd october 2019, the Google will be updating Googlebot’s user agent strings to reflect the new browser version and periodicallt update the version numbers to match chrome updates in Googlebot.

Let’s have a look over the post which has been shared:

Googlebot uses a Chrome-based browser to render webpages, as we announced at Google I/O earlier this year. As part of this, in December 2019 we’ll update Googlebot’s user agent strings to reflect the new browser version, and periodically update the version numbers to match Chrome updates in Googlebot.

See Google crawlers (user agents) and Make sure Google can index JavaScript for background reading about user agent strings and rendering.

Googlebot user agents today


Mobile:
Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 6.0.1; Nexus 5X Build/MMB29P) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/41.0.2272.96 Mobile Safari/537.36 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)

Desktop:
Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)

OR

Mozilla/5.0 AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko; compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html) Safari/537.36

The new evergreen Googlebot and its user agent

In December we’ll start periodically updating the above user agent strings to reflect the version of Chrome used in Googlebot. In the following user agent strings, “W.X.Y.Z” will be substituted with the Chrome version we’re using. For example, instead of W.X.Y.Z you’ll see something similar to “76.0.3809.100”. This version number will update on a regular basis.

Mobile:
Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 6.0.1; Nexus 5X Build/MMB29P) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/W.X.Y.Z Mobile Safari/537.36 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)

Desktop:
Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)

OR

Mozilla/5.0 AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko; compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html) Chrome/W.X.Y.Z Safari/537.36

How to test your site

We’ve run an evaluation, so are confident that most websites will not be affected by the change.
Sites that follow our recommendations to use feature detection and progressive enhancement instead of user agent sniffing should continue to work without any changes.

If your site looks for a specific user agent, it may be affected. You should use feature detection instead of user agent sniffing. If you cannot use feature detection and need to detect Googlebot via the user agent, then look for “Googlebot” within the user agent.

Some common issues we saw while evaluating this change include:

  • Pages that present an error message instead of normal page contents. For example, a page may assume Googlebot is a user with an ad-blocker, and accidentally prevent it from accessing page contents.
  • Pages that redirect to a roboted or noindex document.

If you’re not sure if your site is affected or not, you can try loading your webpage in your browser using the new Googlebot user agent. These instructions show how to override your user agent in Chrome.

If you have any questions, be sure to reach out to our webmaster help community, join our webmaster office hours on YouTube or follow us on Twitter.

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