How Does the Googlebot See Your Site?

Google Webmaster Tools have launched some new features. One of the most relevant tools for SEO’s, marketers, and website developers is called Fetch as Googlebot (in the “Labs” section). This tools allows you to chose any URL on a given website and run a test to see what Google sees when it requests that URL from your server. 

googlebot1For example, if you want to test a home page or new page on your website you can use this tool to obtain the exact HTTP responses that Google receives from your server.  Simply paste the URL into the tool and click “Fetch”.  You will then receive a report showing the page code. 

So how is this different than just viewing the source code?  This tools shows you specific HTTP header info that is no contained in the source code because it comes from the server, not the page.  This allows you to find potential discrepancies in what the server is showing and how the page is coded. 

The Fetch as Googlebot tool is great for:

  • Find discepancies in how the page is coded and what the server shows to Google when it requests a page (URL)
  • Finding bugs that may exist in the site
  • Testing 301 redirects
  • Testing the site for potential “hacking”
  • Ensuring that your SEO strategy is consistant for page code and how the server is showing Google

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