Robots.txt is text file used by Website owners to give instructions about their site to web robots. Basically it tells robots which parts of the site are open and which parts are closed. This is called The Robots Exclusion Protocol.

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30
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4answers
3k views

Files I should have on every website

I would like to have a list of files that should exist on every website. The idea is to please most browsers and bots and get down with the number of 404 messages in the logs. So far I have the ...
27
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6answers
395 views

If I don't want to set any special behavior, is it OK if I don't bother to have a robots.txt file?

If I don't want to set any special behavior, is it OK if I don't bother to have a robots.txt file? Or can the lack of one be harmful?
26
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6answers
2k views

Why isn't my website in Google search results?

I've made a website one month ago and it still isn't indexed by Google. I haven't change any setting in the robots.txt file. I've tried to search for site:example.com but I still can't see it, and I ...
17
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2answers
2k views

Is there a difference between an empty robots.txt and no robots.txt at all?

On a webserver I now have to admnistrate I noticed that the robots.txt is empty. I wondered if there's a difference between an empty robots.txt and no file at all. Do crawlers behave differently in ...
13
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5answers
4k views

Does Google cache robots.txt?

I added a robots.txt file to one of my sites a week ago, which should have prevented googlebot from attempting to fetch certain URLs. However, this weekend I can see Googlebot loading those exact ...
11
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3answers
2k views

Robots.txt - CSS allow or disallow

Are CSS and templates allowed in robots.txt? Should it cause any problems? In Joomla, CSS and templates are disallowed in the robots.txt. Please help me find a solution to whether or not put ...
11
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2answers
3k views

Why do Google search results include pages disallowed in robots.txt?

I have some pages on my site that I want to keep search engines away from, so I disallowed them in my robots.txt file like this: User-Agent: * Disallow: /email Yet I recently noticed that Google ...
11
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1answer
688 views

Can we use regex in robots.txt file to block URLs?

I have a few dynamic generated URLs. Can I use regex to block these URLs in a robots.txt file?
11
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2answers
859 views

What bots are really worth letting onto a site?

Having written a number of bots, and seen the massive amounts of random bots that happen to crawl a site, I am wondering as a webmaster, what bots are really worth letting onto a site? My first ...
10
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3answers
379 views

Robots.txt: do I need to disallow a page which is not linked anywhere?

There are some pages on my websites that I want the user to be able to visit only if I give him/her the url. If I disallow the single pages in robots.txt, they will be visible by anybody looking into ...
10
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3answers
463 views

Does Google Preview obey Robots.txt?

Because it sure looks like it does. For my sites we disallow the images directory and the previews are all missing images which makes the site look wonky. Is this the case and is there a way to ...
9
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1answer
2k views

Only allow Google and Bing bots to crawl a site

I am using following robots.txt file for a site: Target is to allow googlebot and bingbot to access the site except the page /bedven/bedrijf/* and block all other bots from crawling the site. ...
9
votes
1answer
438 views

What is a minimum valid robots.txt file?

I don't like that I see a lot of 404 errors in the access.log of my web server. I'm getting those errors because crawlers try to open a robots.txt file, but couldn't find any. So I want to place a ...
8
votes
4answers
504 views

Robots denied by domain is still listed in search results

So, on all of our sites that are not search facing we've applied a robots.txt file (per How to exclude a website from real-time Google search results ?, or any other similar question). However, if ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

Google Webmaster Tools tells me that robots is blocking access to the sitemap

This is my robots.txt: User-agent: * Disallow: /wp-admin/ Disallow: /wp-includes/ Sitemap: http://www.mydomain.org/sitemap.xml.gz But Google Webmaster Tools tells me that robots is blocking access ...
8
votes
1answer
144 views

Combine user-agents in robots.txt

Can user-agents be listed together, followed by their common rules like so in a robots.txt? User-agent: Googlebot User-agent: ia_archiver #Alexa User-agent: BingPreview #Microsoft User-agent: bingbot ...
7
votes
7answers
3k views

Will banning bots make a site harder to find on search engines?

I'm running Apache 2 and a large part of our page views come from bots. Most of those are legitimate ones such as Google and Bing. I want to parse the logs and get accurate statistics as to how many ...
7
votes
4answers
718 views

robots.txt not updated

I have updated some url's and files in robots.txt file to block url's and files from google search results but, still files displaying in search results. As per a suggestion from a site I tried to ...
7
votes
2answers
168 views

Robots.txt Issue

So I've been assigned to take a look at our SEO (an area I have some, but not amazing competence in), and the first thing I noticed is that our robots.txt file says the following: # go away ...
7
votes
4answers
14k views

Can I invoke Google to check my robots.txt?

I read the answers in this question, but they still leave my question open: Does Google cache robots.txt? I didn't find a way in the Google Webmaster Tools to invoke a re-download of my robots.txt. ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Should I block Wordpress archive pages from search engines?

I use WordPress and /sample-post/ URLs for my posts and /yyyy/mm/ for the archives. Google has indexed the site fully. Since the archives currently display full posts I've thought that I shouldn't ...
6
votes
4answers
690 views

Robots.txt vs Sitemap — Who wins in a Conflict

If I block off the directory /foo in robots.txt, but my xml sitemap contains URLs with /foo, will the URLs in the sitemap get picked up by Google and other search engines? In other words, does the ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Hide a Subdomain from Google/Search Engine SEO Result?

I have a subomain which I do not want to be listed in any search engine result. Let say I have: http://www.example.com http://child.example.com How can I hide all URLs of child.example.com domain ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Can a sitemap index contain other sitemap indexes?

I have a bi-lingual website with a sitemap index for each language that links to several different sitemaps (one for videos, one for static content, and one for articles). I would like to introduce ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

In Robots.txt, how do I disallow all pages except for the index page?

I want google to index my index page, but do not index any other pages. User-agent: * Disallow: / So far I have this. However...when I do this, Google does not index my index page. When I search ...
6
votes
1answer
421 views

robots.txt blocking specific files also block unnecessary URLs

I am using Magento for one of my site. In Magento there is a file mage (no extension file name is mage only) to block this file I write robots.txt as # Files User-agent: * Disallow: /mage But this ...
6
votes
2answers
352 views

80% of Website Traffic coming from Just one Town in USA - Strange?

For the last month, 80% of my total traffic was coming from just one Town in the USA. Here are the attributes: It is one of the richest towns in California in USA which defies logic since I run a ...
6
votes
2answers
231 views

What kind of redirect (301 or 302) for an email links tracker?

We are developing an email sending application ("à la" Mailchimp). Hyperlinks inserted by our users, in the emails they want to send, are replaced by a tracking URL on our application ...
6
votes
3answers
324 views

Does loading images from a server that disallows robots affect SEO?

Lets say a page on example.com has all of its images coming from img.example.com: <img src="http://img.example.com/keyword.jpg" alt="keyword"/> while robots.txt on img.example.com disallows ...
5
votes
4answers
907 views

Should I set NOINDEX header for my JS, CSS and image files?

Are there any harms if my site send NOINDEX headers for all my static assets? For image files, I refer to those valueless, e.g. background images, button images, etc. Update: more background ...
5
votes
1answer
198 views

Do I need robots.txt?

I want to allow all bots to crawl everything, do I need to create a robots.txt? If the file is missing will it have a negative influence on some crawlers? If I need to create it, what should it look ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

How do you disallow root in robots.txt, but allow a subdirectory?

Using robots.txt, how do you disallow the root of a site (http://www.example.com/) but allow a subdirectory (http://www.example.com/lessons/)?
5
votes
2answers
254 views

Robots.txt and pattern matching

Adding this to my robots.txt User-agent: * Disallow: /*action=*$ How does robots not recognizing wild cards handle this?
5
votes
1answer
542 views

Robots.txt got changed to disallow crawling by accident

Our robots.txt mistakenly got changed to: User-agent: * Disallow: / This occurred about 2 weeks ago and was changed back yesterday to allow crawling. Our listed pages in the Googles have ...
5
votes
5answers
156 views

How do I get google to prefer one branch/directory of my site over another?

I write a software library that maintains "latest" and "beta" branches: gojs.net/latest gojs.net/beta Ideally all of this content would be available via Google search, so I'm reluctant to disallow ...
5
votes
1answer
109 views

What is the default behavior of robots if there is no robots meta tag?

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" ...
5
votes
3answers
91 views

SEO Removal Time?

I was searching about removing the a domain/site being listed in Web Search Results (like, Google Search) and i found solution, at here. I believe it will be the solution but what i still need to ...
5
votes
1answer
679 views

Do I reference all my *.xml.gz sitemap files in robots.txt

I have a website with over 1 million url's. As such, I have 1 sitemap.xml file which acts as an index to many sitemap0000.xml.gz, sitemap0001.xml.gz ... sitemap0030.xml.gz etc. files. My question is: ...
5
votes
1answer
86 views

Do we need to block repeated pages content for SEO relevance

I have multiple purchase pages with the same content like: product1red.php product2green.php Should I block them with robots.txt ?
5
votes
2answers
8k views

What's the proper way to handle Allow and Disallow in robots.txt?

I run a fairly large-scale Web crawler. We try very hard to operate the crawler within accepted community standards, and that includes respecting robots.txt. We get very few complaints about the ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Google indexing page with parameters but page is Disallowed in robots.txt

I have the following in robots.txt: User-agent: * Disallow: /refer.php User-agent: NinjaBot Allow: / Sitemap: http://www.mysite.com/sitemap.xml The refer.php file does various things depending on ...
5
votes
3answers
9k views

How to remove old robots.txt from google as old file block the whole site [duplicate]

I have a website which still shows old robots.txt in the google webmaster tools. User-agent: * Disallow: / Which is blocking Googlebot. I have removed old file updated new robots.txt file with ...
5
votes
2answers
148 views

Is there any reason for putting humans.txt except of acknowledgement?

Are there any valid reasons of putting humans.txt? The only reason I see so far is to give credit to the team who created the site, and open source libraries it is using.
5
votes
1answer
186 views

How to fix thousands of 404's?

The business I work for recently migrated our e-commerce site from Celerant to Magento. Despite using a robots.txt file and a 301 redirect extension, webmaster tools is reporting that our "not found" ...
5
votes
1answer
609 views

wget not respecting my robots.txt. Is there an interceptor?

I have a website where I post csv files as a free service. Recently I have noticed that wget and libwww have been scraping pretty hard and I was wondering how to circumvent that even if only a little. ...
5
votes
1answer
112 views

Handling SEO for Infinite pages that cause external slow API calls

I have an 'infinite' amount of pages in my site which rely on an external API. Generating each page takes time (1 minute). Links in the site point to such pages, and when a users clicks them they are ...
4
votes
3answers
643 views

600 visitors per day, 20 backlinks but still not referenced by Google

i've launch a website on wednesday (9 August) There's already in 4 days 12,000 viewed pages 1,400 visits 20 to 25 backlincks a sitemap.xml (130 URL) english language / french language - url like ...
4
votes
5answers
395 views

With Robots.txt disallow all, why was my site still getting traffic?

In failing to check my robots.txt on a community site, it had: User-agent: * Disallow: / I only clued into this because of a message in my AdSense account saying that five URL's couldn't be ...
4
votes
2answers
159 views

Preventing search engines to crawl on specific folders

I have set the robot.txt of my website as follow after seeing lots of errors in google's webmaster tools. Mainly because of the Smarty template files. So I changed my robots file as follow: ...
4
votes
2answers
802 views

Serve a different robots.txt file for every site hosted in the same directory

We have a global brand website project for which we are only working the LATAM portion. There is a website installation process here that allows to have one website installation with several ccTLDs, ...