Google Spider Bots Crawl Their Way into The Artworld

Googlebots are not physical robots but programmed systems that have been created by to “spider” the web, gathering information about websites.

What is a Googlebot?

Googlebots are web crawlers. These computer programs have a number of different aliases; web spiders, web robots, spiderbots, web scutters, ants, bots and automatic indexers. ‘Googlebot’ is the term given to web crawlers that index the internet specifically for The program is designed to work online, moving from one website to the next, making copies of the content on each website as it passes through. This copied information is then passed on to a search engine which indexes the information, making searching for content online faster and easier for internet users.

Not all web crawlers are designed specifically to fulfill a role for search engines such as Google or Yahoo. Some are put to a far more annoying task – searching for and storing e-mail addresses. These bots gather personal information, which is then passed on to evil puppet masters for the purpose of spam.

Googlebots are non-physical robots, dwelling in the realm of code and programming languages. The form that a Googlebot would take in the physical realm is left to the imagination. Below are several artworks and designs that depict what a Googlebot looks like to the individual artists.


The phrase, ‘world wide web’, creates an image of a spiderweb made up of information. The tendrils of webbing between each join can be viewed as links; ways to move from one website to another. The points where the web joins can be seen as being websites. It doesn’t take a big leap of imagination to envisage a robot spider crawling across the web, climbing from site to site through links, gathering information from each site.

Note that in the following images, the spiders have a different character. To some artists, spiderbots are silly, fun or humorous, to others, these bots are given a darker aspect. In other images, the siderbot is fairly expressionless, belying the fact that spiderbots, even when rendered as physical beings, are not self-aware.


There’s no distinct form that is implied by the term, ’searchbot’, and so artists have given these bots whatever body shape they feel fits the term. The symbol for searching on the internet is customarily an icon of a spyglass, also called a magnifying glass, and so this symbol appears in most searchbot artworks. The image of an eye is also symbolic of searching or seeking, and so it also has a tendency to pop up.



Googlebots are searchbots that are created specifically to perform tasks for’s search engine service. They are commonly called spiderbots, and so spider forms often emerge in Googlebot art.

Web crawlers are used by a number of different search engines, but you don’t need to rely solely on these bots to search the internet. You can create your own search bot here, to search for content based on your personal preferences.

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