Google Smartphone Crawler Will Drop iPhone User-Agent For Android

Mar 16, 2016 • 7:36 am | comments (0) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

Google announced yesterday that they are updating their smartphone user-agent to a new user-agent on April 18th. The new user-agent drops the iPhone bit from the string and replaces it with Android.

Google said, "our renderer evolves over time and the user-agent string indicates that that it is becoming more similar to Chrome than Safari."

Here is what to expect the new user-agent to look like for smartphone:

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)

Here is what we currently have:

Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 8_3 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/600.1.4 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/8.0 Mobile/12F70 Safari/600.1.4 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)

Google said this shouldn't impact 99% of the sites on the web but if you want to ensure you are safe, head over to the Google Search Console and use the Fetch as Google tool to test. There is a new feature to test as "mobile: smartphone - upcoming" to ensure you are not blocking it.

I am sad to see the iPhone user-agent go away.

Forum discussion at Google+ and Twitter.

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