On December 16, Bing announced that it “will start the transition to a new bingbot user-agent” as it continues to roll out the evergreen BingBot. Evergreen BingBot (a version of BingBot that can crawl the web like a modern browser) is now in use but will be used to “cover all the sites” over the “coming months.” With this, Bing will start using a new user agent to convey which version of BingBot is crawling your web site.
A user agent will be used by Bing to identify the specific version of Microsoft Edge is crawling your site. Here’s the format for the desktop and mobile:
Desktop – Mozilla/5.0 AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko; compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm) Chrome/W.X.Y.Z Safari/537.36 Edg/W.X.Y.Z
Mobile – Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 6.0.1; Nexus 5X Build/MMB29P) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/W.X.Y.Z Mobile Safari/537.36 Edg/W.X.Y.Z (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm)
“W.X.Y.Z” will be substituted with the latest Microsoft Edge version Bing is using, for eg. “80.0.345.0″.
Here are the current and old user agents for BingBot:
- Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm)
- Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 7_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/537.51.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/7.0 Mobile/11A465 Safari/9537.53 (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm)
- Mozilla/5.0 (Windows Phone 8.1; ARM; Trident/7.0; Touch; rv:11.0; IEMobile/11.0; NOKIA; Lumia 530) like Gecko (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm)
Most site aren’t going to have anything to worry about. Microsoft said “For most web sites, there is nothing to worry as we will carefully test the sites to dynamically render fine before switching them to Microsoft Edge and our new user-agent.”
If you have hardcoded any user agents into your scripts, you will need to revise those scripts to ensure BingBot can continue to crawl your site.
According to Bing, you can test it by installing the new Microsoft Edge browser “to check if your site looks fine with it.” Bing said “if it does then you will not be affected by the change.” “You can also register your site on Bing Webmaster Tools to get insights about your site, to be notified if we detect issues and to investigate your site using our upcoming tools based on our new rendering engine,” Bing added.
Also this month, Google is going to be migrating to the new GoogleBot. Currently, Google is testing the new user agents, so you might be able to see them in your log files.