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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.

Crawler User agent token Full user agent string (as seen in website log files)
Googlebot (Desktop) Googlebot Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +
(rarely used): Googlebot/2.1 (+
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; +

Googlebot News Googlebot-News
Googlebot Images Googlebot-Image
Googlebot Video Googlebot-Video
Google Mobile AdSense Mediapartners-Google


(Various mobile device types) (compatible; Mediapartners-Google/2.1; +
Google AdSense Mediapartners-Google
Google AdsBot landing page quality check AdsBot-Google AdsBot-Google (+

Google app crawler

(Used to fetch resources for mobile apps, obeys AdsBot-Google robots rules.)

AdsBot-Google-Mobile-Apps AdsBot-Google-Mobile-Apps
APIs-Google APIs-Google APIs-Google (+


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

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

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.

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