Google retiring feature phone crawler & error report in Search Console


Google has announced they’ve retired the feature-phone Googlebot which had used for crawling the web as a feature phone and have also removed the crawl error reports in Google Search Console.

Most websites don’t offer feature-phone-compatible content in WAP/WML and because of this change, Google have “made changes in how we crawl feature-phone content.” Here feature phones refers to those old phones that let you access websites in a text-based interface.

The search engine giant will not be using the feature-phone user-agents for crawling for search going forward and as the result you will no longer see those in your logs.

So if your website do have a feature-phone support, you need to use “handheld” link annotations for dynamic serving of feature-phone content. The code looks like this:

<link rel=”alternate” media=”handheld” href=”[current page URL]” />

Since Google is not gonna crawl the web as a feature-phone anymore, the crawl error reports for feature phones has gone away. Google said, “Without the feature-phone Googlebot, special sitemaps extensions for feature-phone, the Fetch as Google feature-phone options, and feature-phone crawl errors are no longer needed.”