Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is holistic and broad. With Google updating its algorithms more frequently, SEOs need to keep pace with the latest techniques and tools to better optimize their websites. When speaking of technical SEO, robots.txt is one of the discussed topics. What is robots.txt? Does my website need such a file? How can I use this file to optimize my site for SEO?
In this blog, we will cover everything you need to know about this file and SEO.
What is Robots.txt?
A robots.txt file indicates search engine crawlers which pages, or URLs, they can access on your website. Also known as robot exclusion protocol, it is a text file that gives commands to the indexing robots specifying which pages they can or cannot index.
However, it is important to understand that these files cannot be used to de-index web pages; it only prevents them from being viewed. Google clearly states “it is not a mechanism for keeping a web page out of Google.” To de-index, a page on Google, protect it using a password or use noindex.
Do You Need a Robots.Txt File?
Most websites do not require such file. However, if you understand what is robots.txt, you would know there are several reasons why it is a good idea to have one.
- It gives you better control over which web pages the search engines can and cannot crawl
- Prevent indexing robots from crawling duplicate content
- Keep different sections of your site non-public, such as the login page or the staging version of a web page
- Manage to crawl traffic and avoid overloading your website with requests
- Prevent resource files, videos, and images from appearing on Google
- Prevent the search engine crawlers from indexing internal search result pages
- Block less important pages and allow Google bot to allocate more of your crawl budget to index pages that matter
Note that Google does not guarantee completely excluding the web pages that are blocked using the robots.txt file. As the search engine giant says, if the page is linked to other websites or content, it may still appear in Google SERPs.
How to Use Robots.Txt for SEO?
Though not a search engine ranking factor, robots.txt plays an important role in search engine optimization. Know what is robots.txt and how to use it to improve SEO for website.
1. Make the robots.txt file easy to find
Once you create a robots.txt, make it live by placing the file in the website’s main directory. However, for SEO purposes, it is ideal to place it at https://example.com/robots.txt. It can help increase the odds that the file gets easily found by Google or other search engines.
Another way to improve the visibility of your file is to use a new line for each directive. Elsewhere, it can be confusing for search engines.
For example, a good robots.txt file is:
User-agent : *
And not: User-agent : * Disallow: /directory/ Disallow: /another-directory/
2. Indicate the end of a URL with “$”
Including the ‘$’ symbol indicates the end of a URL. This can prevent the search engine from accessing all the similar files on your website – and index only the ones that include the “$” symbol. When you thoroughly understand what is robots.txt, it will help you know how to use it for indexing exclusions. For instance, if you do not want the indexing robot to crawl all images on your website, then the file should be like this:
User-agent : *
So, the search engine cannot access the URLs that end with .image. However, they can index file/.image?id=7867536 because it does not end with “.image”.
The more specific you are in creating your file, the better search engines will crawl your pages, helping improve your SEO search results.
3. Ensure there are no mistakes or errors
This might sound easy, but a single mistake can cost your SEO efforts. Errors or mistakes in your robots.txt file can get your site deindexed, affecting its search engine rankings. So, ensure you set it up right. You can use Google’s Robots Testing Tool that can help check for errors.
Knowing what is robots.txt and how to optimize it effectively can help improve your SEO results. Use robots.txt wisely and it can positively impact your SEO.
Need Expert Help for Your Online Business?
AryoZone is an international company specialized in offering dependable and result-oriented SEO services, Online Marketing Solutions, Ecommerce Solutions, and Social Media Marketing solutions. With our in-house experts holding Ph.D. in their concerned areas from renowned universities in the USA, we help our clients take their online business to a whole new level.
Our SEO package includes services ranging from Google Analytics, Google Map & Citation Management, On-Page, and Off-page optimization, Backlink Building, Ghostwriting, and more. Give your website a whole new identity with our custom web development solutions. Promote your business on the right platform with our Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn Marketing, along with several other social media marketing solutions. We also cover the needs of the e-commerce sector from end to end with our specialized Ecommerce solutions.
Have any queries or questions related to our service? Mail them to us today at email@example.com . Our experts will reach back to you within minimal time. Giving your online business the boost that it always required is now one phone call away. Reach us via WhatsApp or Call Us at +15713767847. Remain posted about the latest news in the world of online marketing and never miss another update from Aryozone by connecting through our social media handles.