Fetch as Google

The Fetch as Google tool lets you see a page as Google sees it. This is particularly useful if you're troubleshooting a page's poor performance in search results. For example, if you use rich media files to display content, the page returned by the tool may not contain this content if Google can't crawl it effectively. You can choose to fetch a page as Google's regular web crawler sees it or, if you publish mobile content, as our mobile crawlers do.

Information returned by the tool includes:

  • The HTTP response returned by your server
  • The date and time of your crawl request
  • HTML code
  • The first 100KB of visible (indexable) text on a page. If there is no content, it may indicate that your page is generated entirely from JavaScript or rich media files, not text-based content. You should review this text to make sure that it doesn't include unexpected content, which could indicate that your site has been hacked. (Note: Googlebot may crawl more than the first 100KB of text.)
If your site has been hacked, the Fetch as Google tool can help you identify problematic pages. Let's imagine that Bob, the administrator of www.example.com, is searching for his site in Google. He's surprised to find that his site is appearing in search results for popular spam terms such as "Viagra", especially when he can see that those terms don't exist in the source code of his site pages. Fortunately his site is verified in Webmaster Tools, so he uses the Fetch as Google tool to understand exactly what it is that Google is seeing on his site. The tool displays the details and the content of the fetched page—in which he can clearly see the word "Viagra" and other spammy terms.

This can happen when a malicious hacker penetrates the security of a site and inserts undesirable content, disguising it so that it doesn't appear to normal users, but only to Googlebot. Because the source code of the site appears normal to everybody except Googlebot, the problem is difficult to diagnose without the Fetch as Google tool.

We recommend using Fetch as Google to check the crawlability of your site, along with other tools such as:

  • HTML suggestions: See recommendations for improving your title tags, meta descriptions, and other HTML elements that can affect your site's performance in search
  • Crawl errors: See which pages Google had trouble crawling.

In order to use Fetch as Google, you'll need to have added and verified your site in Webmaster Tools. Then, follow these instructions:

  1. On the Webmaster Tools Home page, click the site you want.
  2. On the Dashboard, under Crawl, click Fetch as Google.
  3. In the text box, type the path to the page you want to check.
  4. In the dropdown list, select the type of fetch you want. To see what our web crawler Googlebot sees, select Web. To see what our mobile crawler for smartphones sees, select Mobile Smartphone. To see what our mobile crawler for feature phones sees, select Mobile cHTML (this is used mainly for Japanese web sites) or Mobile XHTML/WML.
  5. Click Fetch.

You can use this tool to fetch up to 500 URLs a week per Webmaster Tools account.

If Googlebot can successfully fetch your page, you can submit that page to the Google index. Just click Submit to Google index. You can submit either the URL itself (limit of 500 URLs per week per Webmaster Tools account), or the URL and all pages linked from it (limit of 10 per month per Webmaster Tools account).

Note: Fetch as Google is designed to help webmasters troubleshoot potential issues with the crawling of their site. While the tool reflects what Google sees, there may be some differences. For example, Fetch as Google does not follow redirects.