Making a Robots.txt File Work For You

Every website should have a robots.txt file, and it is not hard to understand. Installation is a straightforward process, and once you have a robots.txt file, you are giving a high-quality signal about your website to the search engines. Just make sure you are clear about all of your options before you begin. If you follow along with what is required to add a robots.txt file to your website, you can get it done in no time. Then you can be confident that the search engine spiders will appreciate your website.

1. Understanding a robots.txt file

A robots.txt is an ASCH or plain text file that lets the search engines know where they are not allowed to go on a website. Another term for it is the Standard for Robot Exclusion. In a specific document, any files or folders that are listed won’t be crawled or indexed by the search engine spiders. By installing a robots.txt, you show the search engines that they’re allowed on your website and that they have free access. It is advisable to add a robots.txt to your primary domain and all of your sub-domains. By doing this, you’ll have a search engine friendly website, and this is to your advantage.

2. Benefits of robots.txt file

One of the benefits is that you can discourage bots from crawling into private files. It is not the ideal situation because it makes the files harder to index by legitimate bots like search engine spiders.

Another thing is that each time a bot crawls into your website, it drains your server resources and bandwidth. Therefore costs can escalate for websites with a lot of content giving visitors to the site a poor experience. With robots.txt, you have the opportunity to block access to scripts and unimportant images and in this way conserve resources.

Making use of a robots.txt gives you the chance to make sure that search engine spiders crawl into the essential pages on your website, such as your content pages. By making sure that you block off useless pages, you prioritize on which pages the search engine bots should focus.

In the next few paragraphs, you will learn how to install a robots.txt file.

3. Creating a robots.txt file

A robots.txt file is a basic text file so you can open up any text editor and save an empty file as a robots.txt file. Then use your chosen FTP tool to upload this file to your server. After open, the public_html folder or you might find it in another folder within that.

Once you have opened the root directory of your website drag and drop the robots.txt file into it.

4. Creating a robots.txt file directly from FTP editor

In this case, open the root directory of your website and right-click to create a new file, In the dialogue box put robots.txt in lowercase and click on OK.

5. Setting permission

Finally, you want to set the file permission for your robots.txt file so that you can have access to read and write the file but no one else. In this case, you want to use the permission code 0644.

6. Using the robots.txt file

Keep in mind that this file controls how bots interact with your website. You can block search engines from accessing your entire site just the main content pages. Keep in mind that you can use the robots.txt file to control how and where bots crawl on your website. If you require to modify or add to the file, you can open it in the FTP editor and directly add text to it. Then save the file, and the changes are immediate.

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