Google’s Googlebot December 2019 Update – Are You Ready For It?

What Is a GoogleBot?

If you don’t work for an SEO agency, a GoogleBot can sound kind of strange. GoogleBots are web crawlers used by Google to collect documents and information from the internet to create an index. This index is then searchable by the Google search engine. That’s how you’re able to find results for your queries online. There are different kinds of GoogleBots for different types of devices. For example, there is a GoogleBot for desktops and there is one for mobile devices as well.  Here is some more information you need to know before learning about the Googlebot December 2019 update.

How Do GoogleBots Work?

GoogleBots crawl webpages for information and add them to Google’s Index if they deem that information valuable. Many computers achieve this by crawling an unimaginable number of pages  on the internet. As it’s looking at each page, GoogleBot detects links and adds them to the list of pages it needs to crawl.

Are You Ready for Google’s Googlebot December 2019 Update?

Google is getting ready to change the way it crawls the web beginning in December. The search engine giant plans to update its user agent to match the version of Google Chrome that GoogleBot is currently using. Prior to this update, when the Evergreen GoogleBot launched in May, it was still able to work with any user who hard-coded detection methods for GoogleBot.

Google’s Launching a Googlebot December 2019 Update  – What Does This Mean?

This means that all SEO managers and specialists should prepare for this Googlebot December 2019 update by reviewing the previous code that looks at their current user agent of GoogleBot. It is important to have your coding updated to support the new user agent pattern, even though Google plans to do an evaluation.

Google recommends using feature detection instead of user agent sniffing when you’re checking to see if your codes are still working properly. Though they also suggest that if you can’t use feature detection, just search the words “GoogleBot” in the user agent. Google confirmed that many sites will not be affected by this change, but it’s still always a good idea to double-check.

Our digital marketing agency encourages you to test your site by using the new Googlebot user agent to load the page in the browser. In order to do so, you have to override the user agent in Chrome that you currently have. Though most sites likely will not be affected, it’s always a good idea to check that everything is functioning properly on your site. If you have any questions regarding the latest updates and other news in the world of SEO, reach out to our team!