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cre8pc

A Google Bot And A Google Mobile Bot?

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Every post receives attention within seconds after it appears here. I caught this today and wondered what the difference is?

 

(Click to make the image larger.)

 

gm.png

Edited by cre8pc

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The mobile bot is their spider for the "Mobile First" index due to roll out next month.

 

G.

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So there's "googlebot" and "google mobile"? It's so hard to keep up! At first I understood there to be two indexes and 2 bots but when they clarified only one index for both desktop and mobile, I made the assumption one bot would handle both. Hence :dazed: As an aside...so Yahoo and Bing still come. B:)

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From what I've read - much of which seems to be as much speculation as hard facts - there are two indexes - the mobile and desktop. Right now, if you google something, the index will change based upon certain factors, but the desktop version has priority. After January 2017, the mobile version will not only have priority, but will show for desktop searches, too. The only time it falls back to the desktop version is if there is no mobile version to show - in which case, you're gone from mobile searches completely (which I think is already happening to some extent) and you will show up in desktop searches "relatively" normally.

 

I say "relatively" because there are certain aspects of mobile friendly site that they are also saying will have some weight as far as ranking factors. So, while your desktop only site will be represented, it still might be missing certain things that might give it a boost in the rankings. (Or, more accurately, it will be missing things that other sites have which will allow them to rank higher).

 

The "Google Mobile" name might be new(ish). But it's existence has been around for a while. If you're just seeing it now, it could be a recent software update here which learned how to spot and differentiate the mobile version from the desktop version.

 

Google's Desktop Bot: Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)

 

And The Mobile Bot: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 8_3 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/600.1.4 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/8.0 Mobile/12F70 Safari/600.1.4 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html

 

The forum software here needs a translation table to know that the above user agents represent the "user friendly" name you see here on the forums. (Google, Google Mobile, Bing, etc). So if that didn't get updated until recently, that's why you're just noticing it now.

 

Interestingly, the official list of bots doesn't list the mobile one: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/1061943?hl=en

 

They do talk about it in this blog post: https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2014/01/a-new-googlebot-user-agent-for-crawling.html<-- and you'll notice that the one I listed above changed from an earlier and different identifier back in August of 2015, though it's been out there since 2014.

 

G.

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:bighug:

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From what I've read - much of which seems to be as much speculation as hard facts - there are two indexes - the mobile and desktop. Right now, if you google something, the index will change based upon certain factors, but the desktop version has priority. After January 2017, the mobile version will not only have priority, but will show for desktop searches, too. The only time it falls back to the desktop version is if there is no mobile version to show - in which case, you're gone from mobile searches completely (which I think is already happening to some extent) and you will show up in desktop searches "relatively" normally.

 

I say "relatively" because there are certain aspects of mobile friendly site that they are also saying will have some weight as far as ranking factors. So, while your desktop only site will be represented, it still might be missing certain things that might give it a boost in the rankings. (Or, more accurately, it will be missing things that other sites have which will allow them to rank higher).

 

The "Google Mobile" name might be new(ish). But it's existence has been around for a while. If you're just seeing it now, it could be a recent software update here which learned how to spot and differentiate the mobile version from the desktop version.

 

Google's Desktop Bot: Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)

 

And The Mobile Bot: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 8_3 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/600.1.4 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/8.0 Mobile/12F70 Safari/600.1.4 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html

 

The forum software here needs a translation table to know that the above user agents represent the "user friendly" name you see here on the forums. (Google, Google Mobile, Bing, etc). So if that didn't get updated until recently, that's why you're just noticing it now.

 

Interestingly, the official list of bots doesn't list the mobile one: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/1061943?hl=en

 

They do talk about it in this blog post: https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2014/01/a-new-googlebot-user-agent-for-crawling.html<-- and you'll notice that the one I listed above changed from an earlier and different identifier back in August of 2015, though it's been out there since 2014.

 

G.

 

Thanks for the review, Grumpus. Hm. Looking at a friend's site that needs help. Mobile loading time is fast. Rather nice. The business and its site service an extensive rural population and serve a variety of consumers but the largest income basis is selling to farmers. The VAST majority of traffic is desktop/laptop. Not mobile not tablets. I'll go back to see if its laptops or not. The question being are they getting query's from their homes/offices or out in the field. But the vast majority of traffic is NOT mobile.

 

Hmmm. More to learn as google isn't showing us their cards yet....but this is a website that is running counter to trends towards mobile...and we want more visibility. Will have to pay attention.

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I know somebody who is doing mobile audits (just saying...) :manicure:

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Earl - if you've got a decent responsive layout on the site, the difference between mobile and desktop versions of your site are very close to zero. Typically the only thing that changes, really, is the primary navigation - from your normal dropdown bar type menu to ether a select box or an accordion menu that you can open and close as needed.

 

If the site isn't responsive - invest in it. Now. (Actually, probably 3 months ago was the read deadline). Even if there are some problems in the mobile side of things, it's better than not being responsive at all right now. This is the first time in Google's history (that I can think of, anyway) where there is something that can actually bounce you out of the index. Sure, you're traffic now isn't mobile, but it will be. Some industries are taking longer - and yours sounds like one of them. Fact is, it's GOING to happen. Mobile is basically anything with a screen smaller than 960 pixels. Many of the tablets nowadays have as much computing power as laptops and desktops, but they run at a little lower resolution (typically because they are touch screens).

 

Keep in mind, too - there are lots of factors that are a part of modern design and functionality where if you don't have a mobile site, you probably don't have those things either. Open Graph tags are one thing, but more importantly, and most likely overlooked are Microformats. With all that's going on with RankBrain and how the Hummingbird algo works, you can really leverage those to help with context, build authority, and sneak past your competitors when they aren't looking. I do most of my development on Wordpress and the themes I use are modern and have these built in. I don't think any of my clients are even aware that I've done this for them since it never comes up in conversation. It's something that can cost a lot of money (over $1000) to add into a site, but if it's done in a template as you do the redesign, it doesn't add much at all.

 

There's a reason to keep a site up to date. Being "Mobile Ready" is important now, but being able to be seen and used on a mobile device is really only a small portion of that. That's the buzzword that all the marketers are using to sell their services because everyone knows the term and Google has everyone scared. Many of these marketers really ARE only marketing a product that makes their site mobile ready, but doesn't consider the other factors. They should - it's the right thing to do - but many don't.

 

Another thing to keep in mind here is that people like to say things in regards to SEO as "Will I get a penalty?" or "Will it hurt my rankings?" SEO doesn't really work that way, despite what so many will try to tell you. There are VERY FEW penalties - ,when they happen, they suck, but you really have to have done something bad to get one. There is almost nothing you can do that will "hurt" your ranking either.

A web page starts at 0 and everything that happens during the search, sorting, ranking and results page are things that ADD to the zero. Nothing "hurts" you, it's only factors that make you more relevant to that search (or not). When I hear someone say, "I went down in Google - what did I do wrong?!?!?!" - I try to explain that they probably didn't really go down - rather, other people went up. This brings the same result as moving down, but it lets us understand that question better. You didn't do anything wrong, you just didn't do as much right as the people who are now above you.

 

In this case, though, it's one of the very few times in Google history (as I mentioned earlier) where something you don't do will actually make you go down. And even that's not exactly right, it's more like it's something you didn't do that will make you gone. All gone.

 

The visitors on your site may be behind the curve and not switching over to mobile as fast as other sectors, but they are still moving that way - everyone is. And I'm not convinced that mobile is going to stay the "thing" to be optimizing for beyond the next handful of years. Mobile sucks - low real estate space, and a high demand for lots of things to be in that little bit of space. So, for me, I can't see this being where we stay for long. Whatever does come next (be it VR, or Google glass type things, projection, or something else) it doesn't really matter. I can say it won't go BACK to desktop, though. Design always evolves forward. Sure there are elements that are backwards (and heck, a lot of the things for mobile design are hearkening back to 1995 web design when everyone had a 640x480 or smaller screen) but the progress is always forward. it's a lot easier and cheaper to keep moving forward and keeping things up to date than it is to wait until your site is 2 generations of design too old. Now we're talking big bucks because so much has changed, virtually everything on your site needs to be redone. Moving from desktop to mobile is typically a pretty easy process with only template changes and most everything else will fit right in (except for tables). Moving from mobile to next generation will be similar - certain things will need to be changed, but most everything else will just snap into place if everything else was done right. BUT... going from Desktop to the Next Gen and skipping mobile will certainly be a huge, daunting, and expensive task.

 

So... the basic summary is... keep up as best you can with as much budget as you can. And make sure you're doing it right. Stay away from code bloat things that try to make things easier (the biggest culprit I see regularly is Visual Composer for Wordpress - it makes a site redesign or upgrade almost impossible). Keep up as best you can and understand (as we always teach here at Cre8asite) that everything affects everything. The current state of web design isn't just being mobile friendly, it's Microformats, information structure, context, and all sorts of fun things that were ignored a generation ago.

 

In the past, falling a generation behind only risked costing you money and time when the next generation hit. Now, though... you risk being gone from the index your customers are looking at, even if they aren't looking at that index today, they will be tomorrow. HINT: Even though they may visit from the office computer, they may first look you up on mobile during a dinner conversation or across the bar at happy hour, or at the daycare center waiting to pick up the kids, or any other place.

 

G.

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