Chrome Canary Setup To Emulate Googlebot for Technical SEO

When working on SEO and diving into the technical aspect like rendering of pages that are powered by Javascript, and you want to see the page in the same way Googlebot sees it, here’s a little tip that I like to use.

Google Canary.

This post is not about how to perform a technical SEO audit but what tool to use.

So, before going into the setup, let’s see what is Google Canary and why that is important to use it instead of your everyday browser.

What is Google Canary and what’s it used for?

Google Canary is a version Google Chrome, designed for developers. It allow you to try out new features before they are officially released to the general public. Although Google Canary give you access to the latest and most cutting-edge features it is also quite unstable. Not recommeded for day-to-day browsing.

Why use it instead of you default browser?

Because you need a browser that is set up with options that are on/off by default, like disabled Javascript or Network throttling.

This will not only save you time but also prevent unwanted setting.

How to download Chrome Canary

You can download and install it in the same way as any browser. Here’s the download link =>

How to set it up

My personal set up is:

  • Cache: Disable cache. We don’t want to served cached pages.
  • Network throttling: Slow or Fast 3G. I want to emulate pagespeed conditions as if I were a user, on mobile, without ideal network conditions.
  • User agent: Googlebot. How is Googlebot seeing our page and whether we serve the same or different content based on User agent.
  • Disable JavaScript: Check if links work, most important content on pages renders correctly and so on.

What I’ve noticed is that on browser restart, the User agent goes back to default.

One way to deal with that is using a Chrome extension.

I use User-Agent Switcher

Same way for JavaScript, you can use Toggle JavaScript

About the author

Klaudio Fejzaj is the Co-Founder of PameDigital where he provides SEO Consultancy and Web Design & Development services with strategic leadership for the agency’s clients. Klaudio Fejzaj performs regular SEO experiments and A/B tests to better understand how search engine algorithms, such as Google, Microsoft Bing, work. Klaudio started his career back in 2015 in ecommerce and has since then worked with an array of clients and projects from B2C to B2B verticals.

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