Mozilla-Googlebot Helps with Debugging

Tracking Googlebot-Mozilla is a great way to discover bugs in a Web site. Try it for yourself, filter your logs by her user agent name:

Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +

Although Googlebot-Mozilla can add pages to the index, I see her mostly digging in ‘fishy’ areas. For example, she explores URLs where I redirect spiders to a page without query string to avoid indexing of duplicate content. She is very interested in pages with a robots NOINDEX,FOLLOW tag, when she knows another page carrying the same content, available from a similar URL but stating INDEX,FOLLOW. She goes after unusual query strings like ‘var=val&&&&’ resulting from a script bug fixed months ago, but still represented by probably thousands of useless URLs in Google’s index. She fetches a page using two different query strings, checking for duplicate content and alerting me to a superflous input variable used in links on a forgotten page. She fetches dead links to read my very informative error page … and her best friend is the AdSense bot since they seem to share IPs as well as the interest in page updates before Googlebot is aware of them.

Tags: ()

Share/bookmark this: del.icio.usGooglema.gnoliaMixxNetscaperedditSphinnSquidooStumbleUponYahoo MyWeb
Subscribe to      Entries Entries      Comments Comments      All Comments All Comments

Be the first to add a Comment to "Mozilla-Googlebot Helps with Debugging"

Leave a reply

[If you don't do the math, or the answer is wrong, you'd better have saved your comment before hitting submit. Here is why.]

Be nice and feel free to link out when a link adds value to your comment. More in my comment policy.