What is Robots.txt?
Search engines, such as Google, send spiders or crawlers, or whatever you want to call them, across the internet. Before crawling and indexing your pages, these crawlers or web spiders first search your robots.txt file to see if there are any Robots Exclusion Protocols.
Robots.txt is a popular text file found on all websites that are used by webmasters to guide crawlers on how to access multiple pages on a website. In search results, pages that are limited in your robots.txt file will not be crawled and indexed. All of those pages, however, are open to the public and can be used by anyone.
The robots.txt file on your website is a basic text file that tells search engine bots how to crawl and index your website or web pages.
To interact with web crawlers and other web robots, websites use the Robots Exclusion Protocol (REP), also known as robot.txt.
It’s a text file that webmasters use to tell search engine robots how to crawl and index their websites’ pages.
You can create a robots.txt file by using a notepad.
The term employed in robots.txt are :
- User-agent – Specify the boot name.
- Allow – Specify the web page address you want bots to crawl.
- Disallow – Specify the web page address you don’t want bots to crawl.
- (*) – It stands for “everyone.”
- (/) – The single forward-slash (/) indicates that this command is being run on the root directory.
You can use the following commands in your Robots.txt file:
- Block all web crawlers from all content
- Block a specific folder from being crawled
Disallow: /[foldername] /
- Block a particular web crawler from accessing a specific web page.
Disallow: /[foldername] / [file_name.extension]
You can check any robots.txt file for any website by using the below-mentioned URL :
Here’s an example of a Robots.txt file from Facebook
Uses of Robots.txt
Robots.txt isn’t an important document for a website. Your site can develop and expand perfectly well without using the robots.txt file
However, there are some advantages of using the Robots.txt file:
- Block Non-public Pages – You do have pages on your site that you do not want to be indexed. You might have a staging version of a website, for example. Alternatively, a login tab. These pages are essential. However, you do not want uninvited visitors to land on them. In this case, you’d use robots.txt to prevent search engine crawlers and bots from accessing these sites.
- Monitor resource utilization – When a bot crawls your web, it absorbs bandwidth and server resources that could be better used on actual visitors. This can push up prices and give real tourists a bad experience on sites with a lot of content. To save money, you can use Robots.txt to block access to scripts, unimportant images, and so on.
- Prioritize important pages – You want search engine spiders to concentrate on the most important pages on your web (such as content pages), rather than wasting time on insignificant pages (such as results from search queries). You can prioritize which pages bots concentrate on by blocking those useless pages.
- Preventing duplicate material from appearing in search engine results pages (SERPs).