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Googlebot for Smartphone

Accompanying the trend of increasing smartphone sales, a number of websites have recently started providing content specifically designed to be accessed on smartphones. Googlebot-Mobile has now initiated a crawling smartphone user-agent, in addition to its previous feature phone user-agent. The idea behind this is primarily to increase smartphone content and eventually deliver a better search experience for the user. This new crawler will have the ability to distinguish the content specifically optimized for smartphones as well as smartphone-specific redirects.

These signals are also used to skip redirection for smartphone-optimized pages. When it is discovered that a URL appearing in search results, redirects smartphone users to another URL, serving smartphone-optimized content, the target link shown in the search results is changed and now points directly to the final destination URL. This removes the extra latency that the redirect introduces, leading to a savings of 0.5-1 second on average, when visiting a landing page for such search results.

Since all Googlebot-Mobile user-agents identify themselves as a specific kind of mobile, it is possible to treat each Googlebot-Mobile request as one would a human user with the same phone user-agent. If the site has treated Googlebot-Mobile, especially based on the fact that it only crawls with feature phone user-agents, it is strongly recommend to review this policy and deliver the appropriate content, based on the Googlebot-Mobile’s user-agent, so that both the feature phone and smartphone content will be indexed properly.

Mobile communication devices are clearly the wave of the future and Google is doing its best to optimize the mobile device user’s experience.