The transition was first announced in October, and the rollout starts now, over the coming months.
Why is this important?
According to SEJ, if a website works with Chrome then it should work for both Google and the new Bingbot.
The new Bingbot user-agents
Bingbot user-agent on Desktop
Mozilla/5.0 AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko; compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm) Chrome/W.X.Y.Z Safari/537.36 Edg/W.X.Y.Z
Bingbot user-agent on Mobile
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 Edg/W.X.Y.Z (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm)
According to Bing, “W.X.Y.Z” will be substituted with the latest Microsoft Edge version Bing is using, for example “80.0.345.0”.
And why this is important?
Webmasters will be able to know if Bing is using the latest version of Microsoft Edge to crawl the websites. A signal that Microsoft will use one of the latest versions to crawl the websites. Until now, the Bingbot user-agents were:
- Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm)
- Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 7_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/537.51.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/7.0 Mobile/11A465 Safari/9537.53 (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm)
- Mozilla/5.0 (Windows Phone 8.1; ARM; Trident/7.0; Touch; rv:11.0; IEMobile/11.0; NOKIA; Lumia 530) like Gecko (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm)
How to test it the Bing Crawlers?
Fabrice Canel, Principal Program Manager at Microsoft – Bing, wrote that webmasters can test their websites by loading them on the new Microsoft Edge. Webmasters can also have insights on the Bing Webmaster Tool.