Verifying Googlebot

You can verify if a web crawler accessing your server really is Googlebot (or another Google user agent). This is useful if you're concerned that spammers or other troublemakers are accessing your site while claiming to be Googlebot. Google doesn't post a public list of IP addresses for website owners to allowlist. This is because these IP address ranges can change, causing problems for any website owners who have hard-coded them, so you must run a DNS lookup as described next.

To verify that Googlebot is the crawler:

  1. Run a reverse DNS lookup on the accessing IP address from your logs, using the host command.
  2. Verify that the domain name is either googlebot.com or google.com.
  3. Run a forward DNS lookup on the domain name retrieved in step 1 using the host command on the retrieved domain name. Verify that it's the same as the original accessing IP address from your logs.

Example 1:

> host 66.249.66.1
1.66.249.66.in-addr.arpa domain name pointer crawl-66-249-66-1.googlebot.com.

> host crawl-66-249-66-1.googlebot.com
crawl-66-249-66-1.googlebot.com has address 66.249.66.1

Example 2:

> host 66.249.90.77
77.90.249.66.in-addr.arpa domain name pointer rate-limited-proxy-66-249-90-77.google.com.

> host rate-limited-proxy-66-249-90-77.google.com
rate-limited-proxy-66-249-90-77.google.com has address 66.249.90.77