GoogleBot Caught Masking Around As An iPhone

Feb 23, 2011 • 8:34 am | comments (6) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Googlebot-Mobile as iPhoneGoogle has admitted to test a new Googlebot-Mobile type specific to iPhone.

One Webmaster saw the special Googlebot-Mobile show up in his log files and posted a thread about it at Google Webmaster Help. He said:

I know Mr. John Mueller once said on twitter: Googlebot-Mobile doesn't crawl as iPhone(as far as he knows).

But I found a log like this: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS) (compatible; Googlebot-Mobile/2.1; +")

Is there anyone who has ever seen it before? Is this a real Googlebot-Mobile?

JohnMu from Google confirmed that this can very well be a real Googlebot. John said:

We're constantly working on expanding our systems and run numerous experiments over time. That looks like an experiment which we mostly did a while back. At the moment, it's not something that we're generally using when crawling, though I wouldn't be surprised to see that or other mobile user-agents in the future as further experiments.

But as we mentioned yesterday in our Google on Mobile SEO, don't treat Googlebot-Mobile special when it comes to iPhone templates. John explained:

As with other mobile user-agents, we recommend not treating these in a special way, and instead just showing the content in the way that you would normally show users with those user-agents.

So technically, if you are serving up a special iPhone template based on an iPhone useragent, this Googlebot should get the same template.

This may be signs of new things to come, where Google can detect not just old traditional mobile web pages but also smartphone specific templates. Might come in handy in the future.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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Alistair Lattimore

02/23/2011 11:41 pm

Surely that'll factor into mobile SEO in the future. Given that Google is about delivering the best outcome for a user, ranking a website that they know will work optimally on a users chosen device (iPhone, Android, ..) over a standard website would make a lot of sense.


07/01/2011 11:48 am

There's a simple solution to this, simply include an optional request parameter to return either version of the page, which will take precedence over the user agent if present.

sell my iphone

08/12/2011 03:44 am

youve got a nice page here.

Strappingx Machines

10/08/2011 10:49 am

 Great shared blog man plus written content as well.I really admire this a lot.Keep sharing and keep updating your blog as like this always.


10/19/2011 02:06 am

Hey,nice post.Its really a good news. Google can detect not just old traditional mobile web pages but also smart phone specific templates this is the sign of the new things come.


05/16/2012 10:18 am

Nice post.Really Good News that Google on Mobile SEO in future.

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