A Beginners Guide to Robots.txt for Website SEO
05 May 2020

For all the website owners out there struggling with ranking, did you know that you have more control over a search engine than you might think? Yes. You can control the way a search engine crawls and indexes your website and even individual pages according to your objectives.

This is where a Robot.txt file comes in. It is a simple text file present in your website’s root directory. Its sole purpose is to guide the robots or crawlers dispatched by search engines which web pages to crawl and to overlook based on your priorities. However, don’t let this small file fool you as it is a powerful tool to increase SEO and rank on Google.

Everything You Need to Know About Robot.txt File

Search engine optimization (SEO) is not an easy task. But what if there was a tool that could allow you to manipulate search engine crawlers and present your website in a way that you want viewers to see? Tempting isn’t it. Robot.txt enables you to improve website crawling and boost your SEO.

You must be thinking: what is a robot.txt file? How do I create one? What should I avoid doing? Well, in this post, we are going to answer all your questions regarding Robot.txt.

What is Robot.txt?

Robot.txt file is also known as “the robot exclusion protocol or standard.” This protocol was established in 1994 as a roadmap for search engine crawlers to follow. This small text file is part of every website when most people don’t even know that it exists. At initial glance, it may seem like it is only related to search engines, but is an excellent source of SEO.

You don’t need any technical experience for leveraging robot.txt file for your website. Still, we suggest consulting with an SEO service company in Dubai to find the source code of your website and create a perfect robot.txt file to enhance SEO.

How to Locate and Create a Perfect Robot.txt File?

If you want to take a quick look at your robot.txt file, this simple method will not only work for your website but any other website, in case you get curious and want to see what others are doing. All you need to do is type the URL of your website in a search engine (e.g., Spiralclick.com, etc.) then simply add “/robots.txt” after it.

For example, if you type this on your search engine,

https://spiralclick.com/robots.txt

You will find a robot.txt file which looks something like this:

SC Robots.txt

This is a great way to test your website because if you type this robot.txt with your website URL and get a 404 “something went wrong” protocol; you need to consult with SEO professionals and fix that. If you saw your file by the above method, then let’s look at how to locate your robots.txt file.

Robot.txt file is stored in the root directory of your website, to locate it, go to your FTP cPanel, and you can find the file in “public_html” directory. Simply open the file in your text editor and edit.

If, however, you don’t have a robots.txt file, then all you need to do is open Notepad or a plain text editor, and save the empty page as ‘robots.txt.’ Now open your website cPanel and locate the ‘public_html’ folder and drag your robots.txt file into it. Make sure to ‘change file attributes’ so only you can edit it.

Viola! Now your website has a Robots.txt file.  

Benefits of a Robot.txt File

Robots.txt file is an essential part of a successful website, and no website can rank well without it. Here are some key benefits of this file to help you realize that it cannot be dismissed or overlooked.

  • It direct crawlers and search engine bots away from private folders, making it almost impossible for them to index these folders.

  • It helps you keep resources under control by making it difficult for bots to access individual files and images on your website, which takes up a lot of your bandwidth. It is helpful, especially if you have a large e-commerce website with thousands of products and pages.

  • It prevents crawlers from indexing pages with duplicate content.

  • It helps bots locate your website sitemap so they can easily scan through it, increasing your website speed.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Robots.txt file may be new to some people, and if not operated properly, it may turn into an SEO disaster for your website. On that note, here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid when dealing with your robots.txt file.

DO NOT Block Good Web Content

Robots.txt file is used to block or disable useless parts of the website, but it is crucial not to block good content that you want your viewers to see by robots.txt file. Therefore, make sure to get the assistance of SEO service providers to avoid this mistake and hurt your overall SEO. Check your pages thoroughly!

Preventing Content Indexing

As discussed above, disallowing a page through a robots.txt file is the best way to prevent bots from crawling and indexing it. But it won’t work if your page has an external source link or in case of illegitimate robots or malware.

Overusing the Delays

Avoid using too many crawl-delays as it results in limiting the number of web pages crawled by the robots. Avoid this, especially if you have a huge e-commerce website as it decreases website and search engine ranking. 

Robots.txt File Sensitivity

Robots.txt file is case sensitive, so be very cautious in creating one; otherwise, it will not work. make sure all the letters in the file name are lower case, “robots.txt.”

Improve SEO with Robot.txt File

Creating a perfect robots.txt file is essential to ensure that you provide a good user experience to your viewers and improve your overall SEO. By leveraging this file, you can manipulate search engine bots to crawl the right content and organize it and display the way you want to be seen on the internet.

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to set up a robots.txt file, so use this small text file to be more visible and give it a go!

Contact us for further information about this post or anything related to SEO.