How to View Page as Googlebot

As a website owner, you’ve probably asked yourself this question – “how google crawler see my site”. With so many ranking factors to take into account, it can be hard to know where to start. One essential step in the process is to view your site as Googlebot to better understand how search engines crawl and index your pages.

To view a page as Googlebot in Developer Tools, open the Developer Tools panel in your browser, navigate to the “Network” tab, then set the user agent to “Googlebot” using the user agent switcher.

In this blog post, let’s explore why viewing your site as Googlebot is so important, how to do it, and what insights you can gain from the experience.

What is Googlebot?

Googlebot is the web crawler used by Google to discover and index new pages on the internet. It works by following links from one page to another, indexing content along the way. This process allows search engines to find and display relevant results for user queries. Googlebot is constantly crawling the web, making updates to its index and ensuring that search results are as up-to-date as possible.

How to view a page as Googlebot using User-Agent Switching in Google Chrome

Viewing a page as Googlebot using user-agent switching involves changing your web browser’s user-agent string to mimic Googlebot’s user-agent. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do this:

  1. Open Google Chrome: Launch your Google Chrome web browser.
  2. Open Developer Tools:
    • Windows/Linux: Press Ctrl + Shift + I or right-click anywhere on the page and select “Inspect.”
    • macOS: Press Cmd + Option + I or right-click and choose “Inspect.”
  3. Toggle Device Toolbar and Select ‘Network conditions’:
    • In the Developer Tools panel, click the device icon at the top-right corner, click to More tools > Network conditions
Select Network conditions
  1. Select ‘Googlebot’ User-Agent:
    • In the Network conditions, go to the section “User agent” and unselect the ‘User browser default’. Then in the dropdown menu, select “Googlebot.”
Switch User Agent to Googlebot
  1. Reload the Page: After selecting “Googlebot” as the user agent, reload the page you want to view. The page will now be loaded as if Googlebot were accessing it.

Note: Keep in mind that while this method provides a basic simulation of how Googlebot views your page, it may not replicate all aspects of Googlebot’s crawling and rendering process accurately.

Why should you view your website as Googlebot?

Viewing your website as Googlebot, which is Google’s web crawling bot (sometimes called a “spider”), can provide invaluable insights into how your site is perceived by search engines.

This perspective is crucial for several reasons:

1. SEO Optimization

Understanding how Googlebot sees your website can reveal optimization opportunities. If Googlebot can’t access or properly crawl parts of your site, those areas won’t be indexed or ranked, affecting your site’s visibility in search results. By viewing your site as Googlebot, you can identify and fix these issues.

2. Content Accessibility

Googlebot’s view can highlight whether all your content is accessible for indexing. For instance, if your site relies heavily on JavaScript to display content, Googlebot might not see this content if it’s not properly rendered for the bot. Ensuring that all your content is accessible to Googlebot helps improve your site’s indexation.

3. Identifying Technical Issues

Viewing your site as Googlebot can uncover technical problems such as slow loading times, and server errors. These issues can negatively impact your site’s search engine ranking. Identifying and resolving them can enhance user experience and improve SEO performance.

4. Meta Tags and Robots.txt Evaluation

Crawling as Googlebot allows you to check if meta tags and robots.txt files are correctly implemented. These elements control how search engines crawl and index your site. Mis-configurations can accidentally block important pages from being indexed or allow indexing of pages you prefer to keep private.

6. Mobile-friendliness

With Google’s mobile-first indexing, how your site appears to Googlebot on mobile is especially important. Viewing your site as Googlebot-Mobile can ensure it’s optimized for mobile devices, improving rankings and user experience on smartphones and tablets.


Viewing your site as Googlebot is a simple but essential step in the SEO process. By gaining insights into how your site is being crawled and indexed, you can make strategic changes that enhance your site’s performance and improve your rankings. So if you haven’t already, take a few minutes to view your site as Googlebot, and see how you can optimize your content for better results.

Aubrey Yung

Aubrey Yung

Aubrey is an SEO Consultant with 5+ years of B2B and B2C marketing experience.