What Does Your User Agent Say About You?


A user agent is a computer program representing a person, for example, a browser in a Web context.

Besides a browser, a user agent could be a bot scraping webpages, a download manager, or another app accessing the Web. Along with each request they make to the server, browsers include a self-identifying User-Agent HTTP header called a user agent (UA) string. This string often identifies the browser, its version number, and its host operating system.

Spam bots, download managers, and some browsers often send a fake UA string to announce themselves as a different client. This is known as user agent spoofing.

The user agent string can be accessed with JavaScript on the client side using the navigator.userAgent property.

A typical user agent string looks like this: "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Ubuntu; Linux x86_64; rv:35.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/35.0".


User Agent String

Browser Data

Bing Bot User Agent

Ellen Grant
• Saturday, 21 May, 2022
• 9 min read

As announced in October, Bing is adopting the new Microsoft Edge as the engine to run JavaScript and render web pages. We have already switched to Microsoft Edge for thousands of websites “under the hood”.

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This evolution was transparent for most of the sites, and we carefully tested to check whether each website is rendering fine on switching to Microsoft Edge. Over the coming months, we will scale this migration to cover all the sites.

Bing .com/bingbot.htm) Mozilla/5.0 (Windows Phone 8.1; ARM; Trident/7.0; Touch; RV:11.0; Immobile/11.0; NOKIA; Lucia 530) like Gecko (compatible; bingo/2.0; +http://www. We are committing to regularly update our web page rendering engine to the most recent stable version of Microsoft Edge thus making the above user agent strings to be evergreen.

The new user agents will be continually updated and as a consequence, the user agent strings will also change to reflect the latest rendering engine used. The most fundamental aspect of SEO is if the search engine can index a web page.

The new Bingo streamlines this aspect of SEO because it is based on Google’s Chrome browser. These new user agents are for the Evergreen Bingo crawlers that Bing announced in October 2019.

However, as Bing rolls out the new user agents, bot blocking plugins will eventually need to be updated with the newest Binguseragent information. The new user agents are based on Microsoft’s Edge browser that uses a Chrome rendering engine.

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“We are committing to regularly update our web page rendering engine to the most recent stable version of Microsoft Edge thus making the above user agent strings to be evergreen. Bing recommended installing Microsoft’s newest Edge browser in order to test how well your site will render for the new Bingo.

Evergreen Bingo, the version of Bingo that is able to crawl the web like a modern browser, is currently in use but will be used to “cover all the sites” over the “coming months.” With that, Bing will begin using a new user agent to convey which version of Bingo is crawling your website. Bing will use an user agent that identifies the specific version of Microsoft Edge is crawling your site.

“W.×.Y.Z” will be substituted with the latest Microsoft Edge version Bing is using, for e.g. Bing .com/bingbot.htm) Mozilla/5.0 (Windows Phone 8.1; ARM; Trident/7.0; Touch; RV:11.0; Immobile/11.0; NOKIA; Lucia 530) like Gecko (compatible; bingo/2.0; +http://www.

Google is currently testing the new user agents, so you may be able to see them in your log files. But it can impact your site if you had any user agent detection methods for Bingo and/or Guillemot.

Most sites probably do not need to worry about this but you have done any advanced bot detection, you may need to take steps to update those scripts. Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for Six events.

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He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. But for site owners and developers, it is necessary to know the user agent names for the following reasons.

By analyzing these log entries, you can find out how many automated crawlers are scanning your site. For example, Google uses Google bot user agent to crawl websites for showing them in desktop search results.

User Agents List for Google, Bing, Baidu and Yandex Search Engines Here is list of user agents for the popular search engines. For example, if you don’t want Yandex search engine to crawl your site then add the following entries in your Robots.txt file.

For example, you can instruct the server to block known bad bots by adding the below entries. Search engines robots are programs that visit your site and follow the links on it to learn about your pages.

The best way to edit it is to log in to your web host via a free FTP client like FileZilla, then edit the file with a text editor like Notepad (Windows) or TextEd it (Mac). If you don’t know how to login to your server via FTP, contact your web hosting company to ask for instructions.


In effect, this will tell all robots and web crawlers that they are not allowed to access or crawl your site. Important: Disallowing all robots on a live website can lead to your site being removed from search engines and can result in a loss of traffic and revenue.

You exclude the files and folders that you don’t want to be accessed, everything else is considered to be allowed. You simply put a separate line for each file or folder that you want to disallow.

The reason for this setting is that Google Search Console used to report an error if it wasn’t able to crawl the admin-ajax.php file. This sitemap should contain a list of all the pages on your site, so it makes it easier for the web crawlers to find them all.

If you want to block your entire site or specific pages from being shown in search engines like Google, then robots.txt is not the best way to do it. Search engines can still index files that are blocked by robots, they just won’t show some useful metadata.

On WordPress, if you go to Settings Reading and check “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” then a no index tag will be added to all your pages. In some cases, you may want to block your entire site from being accessed, both by bots and people.

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Keep in mind that robots can ignore your robots.txt file, especially abusive bots like those run by hackers looking for security vulnerabilities. Also, if you are trying to hide a folder from your website, then just putting it in the robots.txt file may not be a smart approach.

If you want to make sure that your robots.txt file is working, you can use Google Search Console to test it. Using it can be useful to block certain areas of your website, or to prevent certain bots from crawling your site.

If you are going to edit your robots.txt file, then be careful because a small mistake can have disastrous consequences. For example, if you misplace a single forward slash then it can block all robots and literally remove all of your search traffic until it gets fixed.

While users get the benefit of modern technology (if they’re willing to update their browsers), web crawlers struggle with it. Google bot doesn’t interact with your website like a normal user would, and this may prevent it from discovering some of your content, particularly if it’s dependent on JavaScript.

One solution is to present crawlers with a pre-rendered version of the HTML file instead of the JavaScript code. To learn more about search-friendly JavaScript delivery, you can watch this Google I/O ‘18 presentation. Let’s start with some basics.

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Nonetheless, crawlers (called spiders sometimes) are computer programs (bots) that crawl the web. Often they map content that they find to use later for search purposes (indexing), or help developers diagnose issues with their websites.

If you find SEO problems on your website, checking server logs for Google bot requests may be one of the steps you’d need to take in order to diagnose the issues. Wonder how to perform server log analysis? As stated in the beginning, the ever-growing usage of JavaScript on the web is certainly beneficial to users, but rendering JS is a challenge for search engines.

For example, you can fake Google bot hits using the Google Chrome Inspect tool. We Sees also often visit pages, or even crawl whole sites, introducing ourselves as Google bot for diagnostics purposes. However, if you’re looking for a way to detect all requests from a specific bot, and you don’t mind including requests from sources that lie about their identity, the Sergeant detection method is the easiest and fastest to implement.

If you are able to identify requests that originate from the crawler’s IP range, you are set. Some crawlers provide IP lists or ranges for you to use, but most of them, including Google bot, don’t.

This cost is not negligible, and a lot of requests can hurt your performance significantly! If those bothersome scrapers will get non-rendered JavaScript, there is a great chance that some of them will be unable to steal your content.

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As stated above, some popular search engine crawlers provide static IP lists or ranges. For bots that don’t provide official IP lists, you’ll have to perform a DNS lookup in order to check their origin.

DNS lookup is a method of connecting a domain to an IP address. As an example I’ll show you how to detect Google bot, but the procedure for other crawlers is identical.

In the case of bot verification you’ll start with a request IP address, and will try to determine its origin domain. The first step in the process is called reverse DNS lookup, in which you’re going to ask the server to introduce itself with the domain name.

Evaluate the nslookup command with the request IP and read the domain name. For example a domain named definitely doesn’t belong to a valid Google bot (I’ve just made it up).

Service NameDomain nameBaidu×.crawl.Baidu.comBaidu×.crawl.Baidu.JP Bing *.search.MSN.comGooglebot×.google.comGooglebot×.googlebot.comYahoo××.yandex.ruYandex×.yandex.netYandex×.yandex.coma small bonus: in the case of Bing, you can verify the IP directly on this page but you cannot automate the verification process, as it’s human-only. At this point you’re probably asking yourself why Google hasn’t published their IP list like Facebook did.

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Such a list will surely survive in some server configurations, making them vulnerable to deception in the future. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t use the lookup method for every request! That will kill your Time to First Byte (TTF), and ultimately slow down your website.

The basic idea is when you get a request from Google bots’ user agent, you check your whitelist first. While doing so, keep in mind that you really want to avoid increasing your server response time, which DNS lookup will certainly do.

Implement some method of caching the lookup results, but don’t hold them for too long, because IP addresses of search engine bots may change. Give us 15 minutes of your time and find out why big brands trust Only with their major technical SEO issues.

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