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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 these two cases? So, is it safe to just delete an empty robots.txt?

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Do crawlers behave differently in these two cases?

A robots.txt file that's empty is really no different from one that's not found, both do not disallow crawling.

You might however receive lots of 404 errors in your server logs when crawlers request the robots.txt file, as indicated in this question here.

So, is it safe to just delete an empty robots.txt?

Yes, with the above caveat.

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No. There's no difference.

You'd get 404 errors in your server log, and if you're subscribed to things like Google Web Master tools it might tell you you've not got one, but in terms of the crawler robot behavior -- they are the same for any robot you care about.

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