Google has released a new crawler, a new Googlebot, named Google-InspectionTool. This new Google crawler will be how Google identifies crawling activity for the crawler used by Google Search’s testing tools, like the rich results test and Google Search Console’s URL inspection tool.
Google-InspectionTool. Google posted details about this new crawler in its help document over here. It says, “Google-InspectionTool is the crawler used by Search testing tools such as the Rich Result Test and URL inspection in Search Console. Apart from the user agent and user agent token, it mimics Googlebot.”
Here is a screenshot of that documentation:
User agent. The user agent token for its crawl activity can either be the classic Googlebot or the new Google-InspectionTool. Google also listed the full user agent strings which differ for mobile and desktop crawls:
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; Google-InspectionTool/1.0)
Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Google-InspectionTool/1.0)
Why we care. If you are a crawler junky and you analyze the crawling activity and bot activity in your log files, you might see Google-InspectionTool show up. That is especially if you use the Rich Result Test and URL inspection in Google Search Console.
If you see issues with these tools doing their jobs, you might be blocking the Google-InspectionTool user agent from accessing your site. So make sure to allow Google-InspectionTool to crawl your site if you have strict rules in place.