What is this “Google Wireless Transcoder” in my stats?
 by Casey Markee

What is this "Google Wireless Transcoder" in my stats?

  • I'm seeing this user_agent in my server logs - "Mozilla/5.0 (en-us) AppleWebKit/525.13 (KHTML, like Gecko; Google Wireless Transcoder) Version/3.1 Safari/525.13" what is Google Wireless Transcoder?

droid-screenshot.pngGoogle's Wireless Transcoder was launched in November 2006, so this is not something new. The Google Wireless Transcoder (GWT) is basically a combination of "proxy server "and "code stripper" that is used for mobile search users as an option in the search results. Instead of showing your website as it was intended, for some mobile users, Google loads the page then strips all javascript and other "extras" like your ads (including Adsense) and finally sends a dumbed down version of the page to the mobile user.

While this is not likely what you have in mind when a mobile user visits your site, it can be a big benefit for those that have difficulty viewing your site on a older phone. To see how it works, you can view your site as rendered by GWT by going to http://google.com/gwt/n and enter your URL.

Before you get worried about people seeing this view on their phones, from our own experience smartphones like the Droid are not automatically given the transcoded version of a website and in fact, it's very difficult to even select that option if you want to using a Droid. The transcoded option is primarily for older text based phones, which thankfully will become obsolete in the near future. We've also noticed that guestbook and forum spammers love to use the service as well, since it strips the users IP and user_agent from the page request.


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