Google Labs For Webmaster Tools Launches: Fetch as Googlebot & Malware Details

Oct 13, 2009 • 8:45 am | comments (7) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

The Google Webmaster Central Blog announced the launch of a new "Labs" section in Google Webmaster Tools. Labs is for Google to launch features that might not be fully tested and have bugs, but at the same time give webmasters these features sooner to test and play with. The first two labs releases were "Fetch as Googlebot" and "Malware Details." I'll show you both below:

Fetch as Googlebot allows you to see what Googlebot, Google's spider, sees for a specific page on your domain. Here is a picture of the tool:

Google Webmaster Tools Labs: Fetch as Googlebot

You type in the page name or leave it blank for the home page and hit "Fetch." After a few seconds, you can refresh the page and see the word "success" (hopefully). Click on "Success" to see the output of what Googlebot sees. Here is a snippet of what Googlebot sees for this site's home page:

Google Webmaster Tools Labs: Fetch as Googlebot

A Google Webmaster Help thread reports a bug with this tool. To reproduce it, 1. Run a test then 2. View result then 3. Use the Site Picker to change site then 4. Fetch As Googlebot tries to display the path fetched in (1) on domain picked in (3) and gives "The details of this request are not available."

Another Google Webmaster Tools Labs: Malware Details

Google Webmaster Tools Labs: Malware Details

These are all useful features and I am sure the majority of webmasters are happy to get labs features with bugs, in exchange for getting earlier releases of Webmaster Tools features.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help, DigitalPoint Forums and WebmasterWorld.

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Marty Martin

10/13/2009 01:34 pm

Hadn't discovered those features yet, but logging in now to check 'em out. Thanks for the summary review!

Michael Martinez

10/13/2009 05:06 pm

It will be interesting to see how many people will use the fetch function to compel Google to update their listings.

James Matthews

10/13/2009 07:33 pm

Ok, these features are very nice however I would like to see some more of them.


10/14/2009 09:56 am

Thanks for the heads up and summary review. Just tested it, and is actually going to be very useful for my current project!


10/14/2009 01:15 pm

What good is Fetch as Googlebot? It's just sourceview. Show me what's getting processed. We all lnow Google can scan and send back a full page these days. Useless.


10/15/2009 09:46 am

@jim, I think the main interest is to have the page fetched from a real Googlebot agent, from a real google IP. Useless ? For your website, can be used to check that the bot is able to access your page (no DNS/routing/permission problem). Not that usefull ? For "spying" reasons: check that competitors don't use cloaking, and if they do, actually see their cloaked page... see the point now ?


10/15/2009 09:48 am

Sorry for the previous comment, didn't note that it was only for our own domains. Too bad !

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