MediaBot – New Google Agent Confirmed

    April 20, 2006

Website owners and administrators might have noticed a new search spider agent appearing in their site logs. It appears that Google has another bot operating out there.

Known as MediaBot, this spider only travels across sites involved displaying Google AdWords (through the AdSense program).

The SEO community is discussing the implications of MediaBot with the common assumption being MediaBot brings increased spider activity and that increased activity will have an effect on the general search engine rankings.

While we are not yet prepared to suggest all our clients sign up for AdSense, we do see a fair degree of logic in the assumption.

The idea that the more often a site is spidered the better it will (or should) rank in the general SERPs is sound.

Frequent spidering of documents is noted in the Historic Profile Google keeps on all indexed documents and is thought to be judged as a positive indicator of relevant site content, thus increasing the ranking potential of a site.

We know that the use of Google Analytics promotes a slightly higher degree of spider activity. Those running Google Analytics on a site displaying AdSense advertising can expect even more spider activity.

Matt Cutts acknowledges the existence of Mediabot but claims it is only for load balancing. From that, I extrapolate that Google is separating and specifying the roles each of its spiders play in the document indexing cycle.

Previously, there were different versions of Googlebot agents associated with Mozilla. They performed a series of similar roles and appear to have behaved generally the same. This one does not have a Mozilla associated name and appears only to target sites partnered with Google via AdSense.

Several people in the SEO industry are working to verify if Google is giving more attention to sites running AdSense. More information should be available by next week.

In the meantime, if you are running AdSense, check your logs going back a few months. Count the number of times a Google agent (aside from MediaBot) showed up at your site and try to figure an average per week or per month.

Now, start tracking new log files, keeping a running record of how often MediaBot shows up, along with the usual Google/Mozilla agents.

If you perceive any discrepancies between average number of visits, there are a number of people who would be interested in your stats, myself included.

Jon Revill from MarketSmart Interactive (publisher of Search Engine Lowdown) is also conducting a detailed study of MediaBot and its effect on Google spider cycles.

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Jim Hedger is the SEO Manager of StepForth Search Engine Placement Inc. Based in Victoria, BC, Canada, StepForth is the result of the consolidation of BraveArt Website Management, Promotion Experts, and Phoenix Creative Works, and has provided professional search engine placement and management services since 1997. Tel – 250-385-1190 Toll Free – 877-385-5526 Fax – 250-385-1198