The Googlebot is getting an update
Google recently announced a major change to the Googlebot – a largely invisible one that could nonetheless impact brands’ enterprise SEO strategies.
Moving forward, Google will keep the Googlebot up-to-date with the latest version of Chrome. Don’t know what that means? You’re not alone. Most search practitioners don’t even know what Chrome has to do with enterprise SEO.
What is Googlebot?
According to Google, Googlebot is “the general name for two different types of crawlers: a desktop crawler that simulates a user on desktop, and a mobile crawler that simulates a user on a mobile device.” Simply put, Googlebot is how Google crawls your website and indexes it.
Think about what you want Google to see when it crawls your website. While your SEO efforts improve your searchability on Google, optimizing for Googlebot makes your site more crawlable.
Bringing what the Googlebot sees in line with what consumers see
Prior to this announcement of the new and improved Googlebot, Google was using a much older version of Chrome – version 41 – to view, crawl and render websites.
The current consumer version is 74, so the Googlebot has been using extremely dated technology for browsing and rendering.
Using this outdated version of Chrome didn’t just affect the indexing process. Users of the Chrome developer tool also had to rely on a dated version of Chrome to see web pages the way the Googlebot sees them.
With this change, Google is finally bringing the Googlebot (and, eventually, the dev tool experience) in line with the consumer Chrome experience.
How this Googlebot change may benefit enterprise SEO
- The Chromium rendering engine traditionally has not been able to do this rendering “work”.
This major update to the Googlebot demonstrates how Google makes constant tweaks and changes to its algorithm. It’s important to stay abreast of these changes to be sure your site doesn’t lose rank.
What this may mean for enterprise search practitioners
As with most Google algorithm changes, the best thing search marketers can do in the near-term is to simply track their pages’ ranking. Many back-end Google tweaks don’t measurably affect page ranks, so it’s possible your site won’t be impacted at all by this Googlebot change.
We at iQuanti are keeping a close eye on our clients’ pages. Should we see any major movement in the coming weeks or months, we’ll be sure to post here with our learnings.
The Final Word
SEO practitioners have been requesting this Googlebot tweak for a long time. By bringing the Googlebot in line with the consumer version of Chrome, Google is showing its willingness to be a good SEO partner and ensure the web stays on a path of steady evolution.