A robots.txt file is a text file that is placed in the root directory of a website and gives instructions to search engine crawlers (also known as robots or spiders) on how to interact with the website's pages. It acts as a guide for search engine crawlers on which pages to crawl and index, and which pages to avoid.
The robots.txt file follows a specific syntax and typically includes directives such as "User-agent" and "Disallow". The "User-agent" specifies the search engine crawler to which the following directives apply, and "Disallow" specifies the pages or directories that should not be crawled or indexed.
The robots.txt file plays a crucial role in SEO as it helps in:
However, it's important to note that while the robots.txt file helps in controlling crawler access, it does not guarantee that search engines will comply with the directives. Also, any pages that are disallowed in robots.txt can still be discovered through other means, such as external links.