Understanding SEO has become very important to all those who are working in the arena of Digital marketing or for those who own a website and would like to ensure that they are visible to their target audience. Even if you are someone who is trying to understand the world of the web better, it is essential to have some knowledge regarding how SEO functions.
If you probe into the world of SEO, you will likely come across terms such as keyword research, optimizing the site, and so on. While these fundamental concepts and ideas may be easy to understand, there is a new term that has been doing the rounds lately for which you may need a little aid to understand it in its totality- robots.txt. Read on to find out all about it.
It has been observed that merely over 11 months, the number of sites that have been using robot.txt has increased from 35% to 38.5%, showing just how popular it is getting over time. (A Large-Scale Study of Robots.txt – WWW2007www2007.org › htmlposters › poster1034). But before you proceed to understand the wide popularity of robot.txt, it has become exceedingly important to understand what it is in essence.
Robot. Txt is a form of a text file that one can put on their website. With the help of robot.txt, you can easily control the parts of your website that you would not want to be visited by any web crawler.
Web crawlers cannot get past the specific pages that have been protected by the robot .txt. But it is also essential to understand that the robot.txt cannot keep the crawlers from totally crawling your site. So in case you have any sensitive information, it is always wiser to keep it offline.
Getting the robot.txt:
If you are wondering what kind of benefits you can get by following the robots from visiting your site, or if there are at all any advantages that you can get from the robot. Txt, then here is a list that you must go through:
- It can help you in keeping the sensitive data from being seen by everyone
- In case you have two versions of a page, it can help you in avoiding the risk of duplicate content penalties.
If you are considering using robot.txt for your site, then it may not just be enough to know what it is capable of. You will also have to know where it can go on your site. Well, the robot.txt has to be always put in the main directory itself. If you mistakenly set the robot.txt elsewhere, your entire site may end up being indexed by the search engine, which is exactly what you were trying to avoid on the first page.
Well, to write your Robot.txt you do not have to attend any expensive course or learn any new programming language. You can easily do it as there are ample materials for it that are available in support pages such as Google that will enable you to write and edit it with complete ease.
Words of caution:
As easy as it may seem to be, there are also some words of caution that you must adhere to while adding the robot.txt to your site. The first and the most crucial point that one needs to bear in mind is that if you are adding the robot.
Txt file to your website; it is exceedingly vital that you do so carefully. If you do not take enough caution, the chances are that you may fall into one of the many traps that are there. Here is a list of the most common mistakes so that you may avoid them while making the necessary changes to your website:
- Misspelling in the user agents
- Using contradictory directives
- Missing out the colon after the user agent and the ‘disallow’.
If you feel that it is too difficult for you to find out the typos manually, then there are ample numbers of tools that can help you in doing so. Now that you have all the information in hand go ahead and use the robot.txt with confidence!