Golang : How to determine if request or crawl is from Google robots



Tags : golang crawlers robots web-request user-agent

For this tutorial, we will learn how to detect a visit by Google robots or web crawlers and learn how to distinguish fake/spoof user agents from bad actors pretending to be Google.

Taking example from the official guide from Google on how to see which robots Google uses to crawl website. We can see that all of the user agents contain the string "google".

The simplest way to detect Google robots or crawlers should look like this :

 package main

 import (
 "strings"
  "fmt"
  "net/http"
 )

 func getUserAgent(w http.ResponseWriter, r *http.Request) {
  ua := r.Header.Get("User-Agent")

  fmt.Printf("user agent is: %s \n", ua)
  w.Write([]byte("user agent is " + ua))

  ualow := strings.ToLower(ua)

  if strings.Contains(ualow, "google") {
 fmt.Println("Visited by Google bot")
  } else {
 fmt.Println("Visited by some thing else")
  }
 }

 func main() {
  http.HandleFunc("/", getUserAgent)
  http.ListenAndServe(":8080", nil)
 }

Sample output :

These are the results simulated by Google PageSpeed Insights

user agent is: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko; Google Page Speed Insights) Chrome/27.0.1453 Safari/537.36

Visited by Google bot

user agent is: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 8_3 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko; Google Page Speed Insights) Version/8.0 Mobile/12F70 Safari/600.1.4

Visited by Google bot

However, the above code is kinda primitive and can be easily spoofed. We need to verify if the Google robot is indeed genuine by following this guideline from Google on how to verify Google robots.

 package main

 import (
  "fmt"
  "net"
  "net/http"
  "os/exec"
  "strings"
 "os"
 )

 func getUserAgent(w http.ResponseWriter, r *http.Request) {
  ua := r.Header.Get("User-Agent")

  fmt.Printf("user agent is: %s \n", ua)
  w.Write([]byte("user agent is " + ua))

  ualow := strings.ToLower(ua)

  if strings.Contains(ualow, "google") {
 fmt.Println("Visited by Google bot")
  } else {
 fmt.Println("Visited by some thing else")
  }

  // get IP address
  ip, _, _ := net.SplitHostPort(r.RemoteAddr)

  // capture the output of host command to verify Google robots
  // based on https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/80553

  cmd := exec.Command("host", ip)
  result, err := cmd.Output() // capture the exec output to variable result

  if err != nil {
 //fmt.Println(err)
 fmt.Printf("Host %s command execution failed \n", ip)
 os.Exit(1)
  }

  fmt.Println("Host reply : ", string(result))

  // if result contain the word google, then it is genuine user agent
  // else fake

  if strings.Contains(strings.ToLower(string(result)), "google") {
 fmt.Println(" and the user agent is real. ")
  } else {
 fmt.Println(" and the user agent is determine to be FAKED after verifying with host command. ")
  }

 }

 func main() {
  http.HandleFunc("/", getUserAgent)
  http.ListenAndServe(":8080", nil)
 }

References :

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/1061943

https://www.socketloop.com/tutorials/golang-how-to-check-if-a-string-contains-another-sub-string

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/80553



Tags : golang crawlers robots web-request user-agent

By Adam Ng

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