Microsoft Bing has long use crawlers to scan for websites and their pages. The crawlers are called 'bingbot user-agents'.
According to Bing on a webmasters web page Bingbot "is our standard crawler and handles most of our crawling needs each day. Bingbot uses a couple of different user agent strings which include several mobile variants with which we crawl the mobile web."
"We have already switched to Microsoft Edge for thousands of websites 'under the hood'. This evolution was transparent for most of the sites and we carefully tested to check whether each website is rendering fine on switching to Microsoft Edge. Over the coming months, we will scale this migration to cover all the sites," said Bing.
With this change, Bing starts the transition to a new bingbot user-agent, starting for websites which require it for rendering and then gradually and later to all sites on the internet.
At its page announcing future user-agents for Bingbot, Bing said that it uses the following Bingbots:
- 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).
In addition to the user-agents listed above, Bing has added new evergreen Bingbot user-agents, as follows:
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
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)
"We are committing to regularly update our web page rendering engine to the most recent stable version of Microsoft Edge thus making the above user agent strings to be evergreen. Thus, 'W.X.Y.Z' will be substituted with the latest Microsoft Edge version we're using, for example '80.0.345.0'," said Bing.
For most websites on the internet, Bing said that there is nothing for webmasters to worry about, as Bing is carefully testing their sites to dynamically render fine before ultimately switching the existing agent to Microsoft Edge and its new user-agent.
But if webmasters want to test their sites manually, Bing is giving them a way.
For webmasters who have done any advanced bot detection, for example, Bing said that they can install Microsoft Edge browser "to check if your site looks fine with it," and "if it does then you will not be affected by the change."
Furthermore, webmasters can also register their site on Bing Webmaster Tools, so they can be notified when Bing ever detects issues.
Evergreen Bingbot, is the version of Bingbot that is able to crawl the web like a modern browser. Switching to this agent, Bing should be able to crawl and analyze modern and complex websites like how they should appear normally on browsers.
Further reading: How Search Engines Process Your Queries Determines Your Satisfaction