GoogleBot Runs Latest Chrome - This Is Big News

May 8, 2019 - 8:48 am 14 by


Probably the biggest news for the SEO industry out of Google I/O yesterday was that Google said Googlebot is now evergreen, meaning it will stay up-to-date with the latest version of Chromium, their popular Chrome browser. This brings thousands of new features to Googlebot for crawling purposes. I did cover this last night at Search Engine Land and this news shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone - we saw Google testing this just a few weeks ago.

In any event, Google said "Today, we are happy to announce that Googlebot now runs the latest Chromium rendering engine (74 at the time of this post) when rendering pages for Search. Moving forward, Googlebot will regularly update its rendering engine to ensure support for latest web platform features."

Googlebot Supports New Features

Googlebot now supports 1,000+ new features they said, including but not limited to ES6 and newer JavaScript features, IntersectionObserver for lazy-loading and Web Components v1 APIs. But it still can't do everything, Google made a page for JavaScript issues with search that you have to be aware of.

Here is a snapshot of some of those new features:

It's Still Not Perfect

Also, Google still needs to do two waves of crawling to render the JavaScript. GoogleBot will crawl your page first, and then once again to fully render the JavaScript said Martin Splitt. He said there is still going to be a delay and Google won't be able to crawl and index it all on one pass:

Biggest News At I/O

Ilya Grigorik from Google said this news "takes the cake" from all the other announcements at Google I/O. Why? See what he said on Twitter:

Does Not Seem Live Yet

I went through my log files, I still only see Chrome 41 for GoogleBot across a ton of my different sites and log files. Others say they don't see it as well. I suspect we will see it soon.

Update: Marin Splitt from Google said it is live but the useragent was not updated yet:

GoogleBot Is Shared

GoogleBot is used across many pieces of Google, not just web search but also ads, rendering, and tons of other Google services. Gary wanted to point that out:

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Update: I posted a new story with things you may have missed related to this evergreen GoogleBot.


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