Microsoft announced that bingbot would be changing its user agent, and it’s now available in desktop and mobile versions.
Bing announced that they are changing the user agent string, which identifies it as Bingbot. There will now be two user agents: one for desktop and one for a mobile crawler.
You can find more information in the new user agent, including Edge’s latest version.
A user agent is a message sent by software to tell the website server which type of software device is being visited.
A user agent tells a website if it is a browser or search engine bot.
SaaS and website software applications use the user agent to identify search robots and prevent them from visiting registration or search pages.
User Agent Changes are a Transition
Microsoft will use the old Bingbot crawler user agent up to Fall 2022. This is a vague date.
The Bing Webmaster Tools URL inspection instrument has been updated to use the new bingbot user agents.
Software and apps may need to be updated. This gives them several months to update their software to identify bingbot accurately.
There is no need for a robots.txt update. The new version can be continued to be addressed in robots.txt by bingbot.
Robots.txt won’t need to be updated to reflect the new bingbot user agents string.
Software and services that perform partial matches (e.g., phpBB) will not need to be updated to accommodate the new user agent.
The code that identifies bingbot/ with a partial mapping will be used by a publisher, software, or app.
New and Old User Agents
This is an old bingbot user agent:
Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm)
The new bingbot user’s agents are improving as they distinguish between mobile and desktop versions of the Microsoft Bing Web crawler.
These new bingbot user agent agents are
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
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 (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm)