What is a robots.txt file, and how does it work in SEO?


by bertha , in category: SEO , 9 months ago

What is a robots.txt file, and how does it work in SEO?

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1 answer

by dejuan.watsica , 9 months ago


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:

  1. Page exclusion: By specifying which pages or directories to disallow, webmasters can prevent search engine crawlers from accessing certain pages of their website. This can be helpful when there are duplicate content issues, pages with sensitive information, or when certain sections of the website are not ready for indexing.
  2. Crawling efficiency: By guiding search engine crawlers to important pages or sections of the website and preventing access to unimportant or irrelevant pages, the robots.txt file can help crawlers in efficiently discovering and indexing valuable content.
  3. Indexation control: The robots.txt file allows webmasters to control which parts of their website should be indexed and shown in search engine results. This can be useful in focusing search engine attention on the most important and relevant pages.

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.