Google Drops Favicon User Agent & Requires Googlebot-Image and Googlebot Crawling

Favicon Google

Google has updated its favicon search developer documentation to remove the section for the Google Favicon user agent and to clarify that if you want Google to show your favicon you must allow both Googlebot-Image and Googlebot to crawl your pages.

Here is what changed in the favicon documentation – you can also compare yourself with an older copy.

(1) Google removed the Google Favicon user agent section which reads:

Google Favicon is the user agent for downloading favicons defined by websites. It is a low-volume crawler: it may visit the home page of your site occasionally based on signals gathered during indexing, or triggered by a user request. To request that the Google Favicon user agent crawl your page, you can request indexing of your site’s home page. Updates can take a few days or longer to appear in search results.

Here is a screenshot:

Favicon User Agent Doc

Google said, it “removed information about the Google Favicon HTTP user-agent string throughout our documentation, as this is no longer used. The removal of the HTTP user-agent string means no changes for site owners. Google Favicon depended on the Googlebot-Image and Googlebot robots.txt user agent tokens, which remain supported.”

(2) Googlebot-Image and Googlebot must be allowed to crawl for Google to show your favicon in search. Google said it “clarified in the favicon documentation that both the favicon file and the home page of the site must be allowed for crawling by Googlebot-Image and Googlebot respectively.”

The document now says, “The favicon file must be crawlable by Googlebot-Image and the home page by Googlebot; they cannot be blocked for crawling.”

Previously it said, “Both the favicon file and the home page must be crawlable by Google (that is, they cannot be blocked to Google).”

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