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Assuming I have a page without a robots.txt and without the robots meta tag. What is the default behavior of robots? Would they index the page and follow the links as in:

<meta name="robots" content="index, follow" />

I'm asking because I want to know if I can safely remove the meta tag.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The default behaviour of robots if there is no robots.txt and robots meta tag is to follow links on the page and index it.

That's why <meta name="robots" content="index, follow" /> is not necessary if you want the default behaviour of robots for your page.

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developers.google.com/webmasters/control-crawl-index/docs/… has more on this and how combined directives are handled. Essentially, specifying it as "index, follow" has no effect at all. –  John Mueller Jan 14 at 21:09

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