What is Robots.txt?
Robots.txt - a standard used by websites to communicate with web crawlers and other automated agents visiting their site. It is located in the root directory of a website's file hierarchy and provides information about which pages or sections of the site should not be scanned for indexing.
The Robots.txt file allows website owners to control how search engines access and index their content. By listing directories or files that should not be scanned, it helps prevent excessive crawling, indexing duplicate content, or exposing sensitive information.
In addition, Robots.txt can also provide instructions for specific search engine bots such as Googlebot. This includes crawl delay instructions that tell bots how long they should wait between requests to avoid overwhelming servers.
The Importance of Using Robots.txt on Your Website
A well-crafted robots exclusion protocol,, better known as the'Robots.txt', can make your website more efficient and useful in many ways beyond just saving bandwidth. From blocking spammy traffic to protecting customer privacy, some advantages of using proper robots exclusion rules include:
- Better SEO performance:
- Maintaining Security & Privacy online:
- Preventing Duplicate Content:
You can improve your search results ranking through strategic use of this tool so that search engines know which pages they should ignore (e.g., landing pages) versus those key ones you want them to focus on (e.g., blog posts).
You might have private data stored at certain path/directories like an unauthorized backup folder placed with wrong permissions allowing anyone who would find it from accessing sensitive data- So creating password protection can hold your privacy and secure it.
Crawlers often crawl over same Pages, in that case we can use Robots.txt to instruct web crawlers not to index duplicate content
Common Misconceptions about Robots.txt
The primary purpose of the robots exclusion protocol is misunderstood by many website owners. Some common myths include:
- Avoiding Crawling with robots.txt will prevent pages from appearing on google search results:
- Robots.txt provides security for sensitive data:
- 'Disallow' means "do not index this page”:
This is false; excluding a page or directory from being crawled does not mean that it won't show up in Google Search results if other websites link to it.
This is incorrect. The 'robots exclusion protocol' only communicates limitations around crawling activity; It doesn't control access rights to file or folders like .htaccess files do!
Nope! Instead, the “disallow” directive tells bots whether they should follow links on that particular page- It’s different than indexing directives such as no-index Meta tags.