Be the Googlebot

Want to know how it feels to be a Google Bot? 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. There are many things Googlebot see's and has access to that the regular Site visitor does not. For example, a Forum might want Google to index it's content, but yet has it's content blocked from the 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 walk in Google Bot's shoes, we need to change the header information that is presented to the site upon arrival. Here's how.

How to become the Google Bot:

This tutorial is for Firefox users. If you don't yet have Firefox, you can get it below:
Firefox 3

  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
  4. Adding a User Agent

    User Agent Googlebot

  5. Next to Description: type Googlebot
  6. Next to User Agent: type the following
  7. Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)

  8. Next to App Name: type Googlebot
  9. Click OK
  10. 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 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!