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What is a robots.txt file?

A robots.txt file is a directive that informs search engine crawlers or robots how to navigate a website. Robots.txt files are more like guidelines for bots than hard and fast restrictions, and your pages may still be indexed and shown in search results for specific keywords. The files primarily regulate the frequency and depth of crawling, as well as the burden on your server.

Benefits – how does robots.txt help SEO?

Robots.txt files aid SEO by allowing fresh optimization activities to be processed. When you update your header tags, meta descriptions, or keyword use, their crawling check-ins register, and effective search engine crawlers rank your website as quickly as feasible based on positive improvements.

Although Robots.txt does not immediately drive your page higher in the SERPs, it might make your site more organized and efficient. They indirectly optimize your site to avoid penalties, draining your crawl budget, slowing your server, and plugging the wrong sites with link juice.

Disallow (block)

A URL path from being crawled. The robots.txt file, on the other hand, is not the same as no index Meta directives, which prevent pages from being indexed.

Allow

Crawling a specific page or subdirectory if its parent has been blocked.

Site map

A sitemap is an XML file that includes a list of all of your website’s pages as well as metadata. A sitemap, allows search engines to browse through an index of all of your website’s webpages in one location.

Restrictions

Each rule restricts or permits access to a certain file path on that website for a specific crawler. All files are implicitly permitted for crawling unless you indicate differently in your robots.txt file.

FAQ about robots.txt file

Can a robots.txt file block search engines from crawling your website?

Some search engines may not support robots.txt directives. The instructions in robots.txt files cannot compel crawlers to behave in a certain way toward your site; it is up to the crawler to follow them. Other crawlers may not follow the instructions in a robots.txt file, whereas Google bot and other respected web crawlers do.

Do all websites need a robots.txt file?

A robots.txt file isn’t necessary for most websites. A robots.txt file, on the other hand, is critical since it notifies search engines where they can and cannot go on your site. It first and foremost includes all of the material you wish to keep hidden from search engines like Google. You may also tell some search engines (but not Google) how to crawl the stuff you allow them to crawl.