Robots.txt And Its Importance

  Published on March 09 |   5 minutes read

What is Robots.txt?

Search engines give a lot of authority to creators. They can use all the different tools they provide for creating websites according to the parameters they want to set. Rbots.txt allows just that; it enables creators to restrict access.

A file that is able to restrict search engines from crawling certain pages or even sections present in a website is called Robots.txt. Almost all major search engines sallow and consider the requests for Robots.txt. They are easy to use as they are basic text files, so no hassle in writing code.

They are extremely useful when it comes to blocking multiple pages. The crawl budget is a very valuable resource. The utilization of it needs to be smart, and Robots.txt helps in doing just that, and blocking unnecessary pages and sections of a website help in cleaning the noise out of a website, attracting more organic traffic, and having a higher ranking on SERPs.

Why is Robots.txt important?

The majority of websites do not need to operate with Robots.txt, as Google can identify pages that aren’t important or even duplicates. Once identified, Google does not index them. However, there are many reasons that tell why Roboits.txt’s are important.

It is extremely useful for blocking access to non-public pages. People should just randomly land on the login pages, and Robots.txt helps in preventing that. The crawl budget allows for a certain amount of pages to index. If a website has a small crawl budget, it is wise to utilize the budget for the pages that are of utmost importance.

The unnecessary or comparatively lower importance pages can be blocked using Robots.txt. It also helps in preventing the resources from being indexed.

How to Create Robots.txt?

A great thing about Robots.txt is that it is just a text file and can be created on even Microsoft Notepad. There are many things one can do in Robots.txt, but the format is the same. The user agent is denoted as X, while the pages or content to be disallowed is denoted as Y.

The user agent is the specific bot that is being communicated with; the disallow criteria is for the pages, sections, or content that is to be blocked. Once the Robots.txt file has been created, it is imperative to run it up on the website. But make sure that the Robots.txt file is easily accessible.

This will increase the chances of the file being found. Robots.txt files are case sensitive, so use lower cases when naming the file.

Robots.txt, if set up incorrectly, could ruin a website. So always check for errors even after finalizing the file. Fortunately, Google provides an error-checking tool for Robots.txt. Use it to prevent any major catastrophe from occurring.

Robots.txt can block multiple web pages, so the parameters for their working can easily be set to do that. However, it is imperative to be careful when using them. Mistakes in the Robots.txt can lead to issues. The result of these issues may even lead to the entire website being blocked, essentially losing all the traffic paths that were invested in heavily.

Whatever information and parameters that are being typed into the Robots.txt are, always make certain that the formation is checked again for errors before submitting. If we consider the amount of work that is put in for the Robots.txt’s use, a little recheck will not cause any harm, but it certainly will prove useful to stop major mistakes.

Robots.txt vs. Meta Directives

Meta directives work at the page level. A simple” no-index tag” and the page does not get indexed. But it isn’t really that simple, as the videos and images do not get marked their remnants can ruin pages or even websites. Robots.txt works at the back-end of things on a much deeper level. They can be customized for images, audio, and video files.

This basically means that they offer a more versatile set of options and parameters. Crawl budget is a very scarce and valuable resource, and no index tags can basically utilize them and not give the optimum results. The budget will get crowded with unnecessary pages due to the Meta directives. At the same time, Robots.txt will not cause such issues.

Robots.txt also allows for multiple numbers of web pages to be blocked. A large website needs to block 1000 Web-pages, and they decide to use no index tags for each page; the time and effort it would take will make the website irrelevant. If a single page is to be blocked, Meta directives are superiors as they require less effort in that situation.

Conclusion

Robots.txt is a type of tax file that helps in blocking unnecessary or duplicate pages. These pages may be talking up valuable crawl budget space, and they are not required. Robots.txt makes the process easier, especially for websites with a multitude of pages that they need to get blocked.

author

Farasat Khan

Khan is an SEO consultant with 8 years of experience. His expertise has helped hundreds of brands generate additional revenue through search traffic. He is an SEO cum Digital Marketing specialist specializing in content strategy, search intent, and the sales funnel.

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