Search
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu

Google crawlers

See which robots Google uses to crawl the web

"Crawler" is a generic term for any program (such as a robot or spider) used to automatically discover and scan websites by following links from one webpage to another. Google's main crawler is called Googlebot. This table lists information about the common Google crawlers you may see in your referrer logs, and how they should be specified in robots.txt, the robots meta tags, and the X-Robots-Tag HTTP directives.

In the following table, the user agent token is used in the User-agent: line in robots.txt to match that specific crawler. Some crawlers respond to more than one token, as shown in the table; you need to use only one matching token for a crawler.

Crawler User agent tokens (used in robots.txt) Full user agent string (as seen in website log files)
APIs-Google
  • APIs-Google
APIs-Google (+https://developers.google.com/webmasters/APIs-Google.html)
AdSense
  • Mediapartners-Google
Mediapartners-Google

AdsBot Mobile Web Android

(Checks Android web page ad quality)

  • AdsBot-Google-Mobile
Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 5.0; SM-G920A) AppleWebKit (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome Mobile Safari (compatible; AdsBot-Google-Mobile; +http://www.google.com/mobile/adsbot.html)

AdsBot Mobile Web

(Checks iPhone web page ad quality)

  • AdsBot-Google-Mobile
Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 9_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/601.1.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/9.0 Mobile/13B143 Safari/601.1 (compatible; AdsBot-Google-Mobile; +http://www.google.com/mobile/adsbot.html)

AdsBot

(Checks desktop web page ad quality)

  • AdsBot-Google
AdsBot-Google (+http://www.google.com/adsbot.html)
Googlebot Images
  • Googlebot-Image
  • Googlebot
Googlebot-Image/1.0
Googlebot News
  • Googlebot-News
  • Googlebot
Googlebot-News
Googlebot Video
  • Googlebot-Video
  • Googlebot
Googlebot-Video/1.0

Googlebot

(Desktop)

  • Googlebot

Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)

or (rarely used):

Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.google.com/bot.html)

Googlebot

(Smartphone)

  • Googlebot

Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 6.0.1; Nexus 5X Build/MMB29P) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/41.0.2272.96 Mobile Safari/537.36 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)

Mobile AdSense
  • Mediapartners-Google
(Various mobile device types) (compatible; Mediapartners-Google/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)

Mobile Apps Android

(Checks Android app page ad quality. Obeys AdsBot-Google robots rules.)

  • AdsBot-Google-Mobile-Apps
AdsBot-Google-Mobile-Apps

User agents in robots.txt

Where several user-agents are recognized in the robots.txt file, Google will follow the most specific. If you want all of Google to be able to crawl your pages, you don't need a robots.txt file at all. If you want to block or allow all of Google's crawlers from accessing some of your content, you can do this by specifying Googlebot as the user-agent. For example, if you want all your pages to appear in Google search, and if you want AdSense ads to appear on your pages, you don't need a robots.txt file. Similarly, if you want to block some pages from Google altogether, blocking the user-agent Googlebot will also block all Google's other user-agents.

But if you want more fine-grained control, you can get more specific. For example, you might want all your pages to appear in Google Search, but you don't want images in your personal directory to be crawled. In this case, use robots.txt to disallow the user-agent Googlebot-image from crawling the files in your /personal directory (while allowing Googlebot to crawl all files), like this:

User-agent: Googlebot
Disallow:

User-agent: Googlebot-Image
Disallow: /personal
To take another example, say that you want ads on all your pages, but you don't want those pages to appear in Google Search. Here, you'd block Googlebot, but allow Mediapartners-Google, like this:
User-agent: Googlebot
Disallow: /

User-agent: Mediapartners-Google
Disallow:

User agents in robots meta tag

Some pages use multiple robots meta tags to specify directives for different crawlers, like this:

<meta name="robots" content="nofollow"><meta name="googlebot" content="noindex">

In this case, Google will use the sum of the negative directives, and Googlebot will follow both the noindex and nofollow directives. More detailed information about controlling how Google crawls and indexes your site.

Was this article helpful?
How can we improve it?
false