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How to Switch Your User-Agent to Googlebot

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Ann Smarty
Ann Smarty VIP CONTRIBUTOR
How to Switch Your User-Agent to Googlebot

Sometimes the issue with your site is right there but you can’t find it. You check code, backlinks and website architecture but can’t find the answer. What most webmasters fail to do is to try visiting the page with the user-agent being Googlebot.

By switching your user-agent to Googlebot, you will essentially see your site in the same eyes as Google, so if there is a Google specific flaw, some cloaking going on, or possibly even a Googlebot targeted hack, switching to user-agent Googlebot will help identify these issues.

1. User-agent switcher – a FireFox extension also available for Flock and Seamonkey that sends the server different information about which user-agent is requesting a file. It should be enhanced with the list of user-agent list.

User-agent switcher


2. Header detector that both allows you to change the user-agent and shows you the header response for the set user-agent:

Header detector

Use the above tools to:

  • find issues with your own site;
  • catch other people’s black-hat tactics, i.e. cloaking.

Just a couple of cases illustrating how these tools can help to solve the problem:

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Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty

Brand amd Community Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas

Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as ... [Read full bio]

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