Understanding  Robots.txt

Are you looking for ways to improve your website's search engine ranking? One of the essential tools you will need to familiarize yourself with is robots.txt. This file plays a significant role in telling web robots or crawlers what pages on your site they should and shouldn't access.

In this post, we will dive into the basics of robots.txt, including the six most frequently asked questions about this file.

What is Robots.txt?

Robots.txt is a text file that webmasters create to instruct web robots about how to interact with certain pages on their site. This file resides on the root directory of a website, and it is accessed by web robots before they start crawling your site.

Why do I Need Robots.txt?

Using robots.txt helps in controlling the flow of traffic that crawlers get from your website. It also helps to avoid duplication issues that may arise from having multiple versions of your website pages, which may affect your SEO ranking negatively.

How Does Robots.txt Work?

When a web robot comes across a website, it looks for the robots.txt file in the root directory. The robot reads the directives coded in the file and follows them when it crawls the site or indexes its pages.

What Should I Include in Robots.txt?

In your robots.txt file, you can include specific folders or files that you don't want crawlers to access. However, ensure that you don't block access to essential files like XML sitemaps that help web crawlers understand your website better.

How Can I Test My Robots.txt File?

You can test your robots.txt file using Google's robot testing tool. The tool simulates how Googlebot would interact with your website based on the directives found in the file.

What Are Some Best Practices for Using Robots.txt?

  • Ensure that you correctly format the directives in your robots.txt file
  • Test your file regularly to verify that it is working as intended
  • Avoid using robots.txt to conceal information you don't want people to find
  • Always include your XML sitemap in your robots.txt file

Using robots.txt is a crucial part of SEO best practices. It helps web robots crawl your site more efficiently and prevents them from accessing files or folders you don't want them to.


  1. "SEO 2021 Learn Search Engine Optimization with Smart Internet Marketing Strategies" by Adam Clarke
  2. "SEO Like I'm 5: The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Search Engine Optimization" by Matthew Capala
  3. "The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization" by Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, and Jessie Stricchiola
  4. "Search Engine Optimization (SEO): An Hour a Day" by Jennifer Grappone and Gradiva Couzin
  5. "Google Search Console Guide for Beginners: SEO Tutorial & Tips" by Greg Kristan
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