Be the GoogleBot User Agent

Want to know how it feels to be the GoogleBot User Agent? Want to see those Websites how Google see's them? Well, in this article, I am going to explain how you can take a walk through the internet in GoogleBot's shoes. Here we will be using a User Agent Switcher to appear to the website as if you were Google viewing it.

Why use a Google User Agent Switcher?

There are many things the Google Bot sees and has access to that the regular site visitor does not.

For example, a forum might want Google to index all of its content, but yet has some content blocked from a regular visitor (non-members). In this case, the forum's content is viewable by Google, but not to the average Joe who might be visiting. So if we could just take a walk in those Googlebot Shoes, we might just find our VIP pass, right?

In order to get a Googlebot view, we simply need to change the header information that is presented to the site upon arrival. Here's how.

How to view page as GoogleBot (Firefox)

To view a website or page as GoogleBot for Firefox users;

  1. Download and install the User Agent Switcher addon for Firefox (restart Firefox if necessary)
  2. Navigate to Tools -> User Agent Switcher -> Options -> Options
  3. From the User Agent Switcher Options Window that appears, select User Agents, then Click Add
    Adding a User Agent
    User Agent Googlebot
  4. Next to Description: type Googlebot
  5. Next to User Agent: type the following

    Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +

  6. Next to App Name: type Googlebot
  7. Click OK
  8. That's all there is to it, now whenever you want to view a page as the Googlebot, simply navigate to Tools -> User Agent Switcher -> Googlebot to activate the new Googlebot header.

Notes: To Googlebot view some sites you may need to block cookies. To do this, navigate to Tools -> Options -> Privacy and then Click Exceptions and proceed to add the site URL to Block!

GoogleBot View a Page in Chrome

If you prefer to use the Chrome Web Browser you can download the User Agent Switcher addon for the Chrome to get a good googlebot view.