Google’s web crawler Googlebot now runs on the latest version of Chromium: Why that’s a good thing

Google announced the launch of a new version of its web crawler Googlebot on Tuesday at the Google I/O developer conference. Googlebot will now be “evergreen,” which means the crawler will always be up-to-date on the latest version of Chromium, the open source browser that Google’s popular Chrome web browser is built on.

Chrome 74. Googlebot has been updated to support Chromium rendering engine version 74. In fact, we saw Google testing this just weeks ago.

More importantly, this means that Googlebot will be able to crawl most modern websites and access thousands of features that a modern browser can access including ES6 and newer JavaScript features, IntersectionObserver for lazy-loading and Web Components v1 APIs.

Googlebot can see more of your content. With this update, Google should be able to access and consume more of your content without making special workarounds. This means you don’t need to spend as much time working on solutions for Google to index your content and spend more of your time creating content. Google said, “You should check if you’re transpiling or use polyfills specifically for Googlebot and if so, evaluate if this is still necessary.” If they are not necessary, you can consider removing these.

But, Googlebot still can’t see everything. Google said, “there are still some limitations, so check our troubleshooter for JavaScript-related issues and the video series on JavaScript SEO.” Google has listed the JavaScript issues that you should be considerate of. You can watch Google’s advice on JavaScript SEO on YouTube.

Why we care. This update means we as SEOs can focus more on creating useful and helpful content for our audiences and less time on working on technical workarounds for Google’s crawler. That doesn’t mean you can forget about how Google crawls and indexes your content, however. You still need to make sure your website is built in a search engine-friendly manner and that Google is crawling and indexing your website. But you likely will have to worry about this process just a little less now that Googlebot will always be running the latest version of Chromium.