SEO

Do You Know What Is robots.txt Is And How To Make This File?

Written by Christina Jones

Do you want to rank your website with a natural technique of SEO? robots.txt is the best way to do this. Before we get to the process of creating a file with robots.txt, It’s important to know what is robots.txt.

Brief About Robots.txt

Robots.txt is a text file that is created by webmasters to instruct web robots to crawl pages on their website. This file is part of the REP (robots exclusion protocol), a group of web standards that regulate how robots crawl the web, access, and index content, and serve that content up to users. The robot exclusion protocol consists of directives like meta robots, as well as page-, subdirectory-, or site-wide instructions for how search engines should treat links (such as “follow” or “nofollow”).

Basically, robots.txt files indicate whether certain user agents (web-crawling software) can or cannot crawl parts of a website. The instruction of these crawls is specified by “allowing” or “disallowing” the behavior of certain (or all) user agents.

Basic syntax:

[User-agent]: user-agent name Disallow: URL string not to be crawled

In a robots.txt file, there are multiple user-agent directives and each disallows or allow rule only applies to the user agent(s) specified in that particular line break-separated set. If the file contains a rule that applies to more than one user-agent, a crawler will only pay attention to the most specific group of instructions.

Now, I hope you are clear with what is “Robots.txt

Working Of Robots.txt

Search engines have two main jobs:

  1. Crawling the web to discover content;
  2. Indexing the content so that it can be served up to searchers who are looking for information.

To crawl the sites, search engines go through the links to get from one site to another. This crawling behavior is sometimes known as “spidering.”

After visiting the website but before spidering it, the search crawler will search for a robots.txt file. If it finds anyone, the crawler will go to that file first before continuing through the page. This is because the robots.txt file has all information about how the search engine should crawl, the information found there will instruct further crawler action on this particular site. If the robots.txt file does not have any directives that disallow a user-agent activity then it will proceed to crawl other information on the site.

Why The Robots.Txt File Is Important

First, let’s know “why the robots.txt file matters in the first place”. The robots.txt file also called the robot exclusion protocol or standard is a text file that tells web robots which pages on your site to crawl. It also instructs web robots which page not to crawl.

Checking If You Have A Robots.Txt File

Not sure if you have a robots.txt file?  To check this first go to your root domain, then type /robots.txt to the end of the URL. Moz’s robots file is located at moz.com/robots.txt.

If no such .txt page appears, you do not currently have a (live) robots.txt page.

Finding your robots.txt file:-

If you just want a quick look at your robots.txt file, there’s a super-easy way to view it.

In fact, this method will work for any site. So you can check on other sites’ files and see what they’re doing.

All you have to do it type the basic URL of the site into your browser’s search bar (e.g., neilpatel.com, quicksprout.com, etc.). Then add /robots.txt onto the end.

One of three situations will happen:

1) You’ll find a robots.txt file.

2) You’ll find an empty file.

3) You’ll get a 404.

Take a second and view your own site’s robots.txt file. If you find an empty file or a 404, you’ll want to fix that.

If you do find a valid file, it’s probably set to default settings that were created when you made your site.

Optimize Robots.Txt For Seo

Optimizing robots.txt totally depends on the content you have on your site. There are many ways to use robots.txt for your advantage. I’ll go over some of the most common ways to use it. 

Note:-  you should not use robots.txt to block pages from search engines.

One of the best use of the robots.txt file is to increase search engines crawl budgets by telling them to not crawl the parts of your site that aren’t displayed to the public.

Conclusion

Above in this blog, we have discussed what is robots.txt and all other important information related to it. By setting up your robots.txt file the correct way, you do not just enhance your own SEO. You will also help out your visitors. If search engine bots can spend their crawl budgets wisely then they will organize and display your content in the SERPs in the best way, which means you’ll be more visible.

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About the author

Christina Jones

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