Everyone has seen the new Google Preview thingy. There are loads of great write ups on it, so I won’t bore you. Suffice to say, several people have asked for my opinion of it, and as per normal the answer was “meh.”
Now, I use a large screen and I have noticed that I am using the previews and reading from them, so maybe I was wrong. Certainly one thing that will change is that people will need to start thinking about how their site looks in the new Google Preview.
The obvious question… What browser is Googlebot and what render engine is it using?
Well, until now, we have had to make do with what our own stats tell us… No longer….
Can you guess what happens next?
Or, if you actually save the image:
From the screenshot, if you squint, you can see a full useragent string, the platform, and some basic capabilities. You may wish to note the cookies option for the spammers amongst you:
Cookie Enabled: true;
Vendor: Apple Computers Inc
Platform: Linux x86_64
That was just from asking 1 question, and picking 1 result from the Google results. The obvious thing is to make a page that tracks the information about an arriving user and collect as much information as you want. Then, add a simple search phrase and point some links. On the page, make sure you have a nice clear reference number.
Wait for Google to crawl, look up the reference number in your database, and now you have all the information you ever wanted on GoogleBot Previews’ capabilities. You have been able to do similar things in the past, but never with such visual flair!
Interested in knowing more about GoogleBot, Google Previews and what capabilities the new bot has? Just curious about how we can leverage similar ideas in your business? Why not check out my consulting page!
Please note the awesome Angie didn’t edit this for me as it was vaguely time sensitive, so please forgive the grammar!