View Pages As Googlebot Via Webmaster Tools

By October 12, 2009No Comments

Two new tools went live on Google Webmaster Tools today under a new section called ‘Labs’. The new tools are called Malware details and Fetch as Googlebot.

The first feature, Malware Details, simplifies the tough task of finding out if pages on a site are distributing malware. Webmasters previously had to depend on manual testing, use the Google Safe Browsing API or rely on malware notifications in the Google SERPs to find out if pages on their site had been compromised. Now, this task should be a lot simpler, as Google will provide snippets of code that exist on some of the pages, which they feel could be malicious.

Malware details will not only be helpful to webmasters who wish to eliminate malware from their sites quickly but might also help a number of webmasters, whose sites fell in ranking due to the presence of malicious code on their site, now understand why this happened.

The other feature, Fetch as Googlebot, was previously launched in Google Labs. Webmasters are often curious to know what exactly Googlebot sees when their page is accessed. The text only cache on Google SERPs and the keywords and HTML suggestions tools in Webmaster Central help site owners to understand, to some extent, what information Googlebot sees on the page and what details are extracted during the crawl and indexing phases.

Now, with the Fetch as Googlebot tool, webmasters will be able to get real-time feedback on what the Google search robot sees when it crawls and indexes a page. This information will be especially useful when users update their sites with new technology or find that their pages have been hacked. It might also help some understand why they have not been ranked on specific keywords.