What Is Robots.txt & What Does It Do?

Robots.txt is a type of file that is used to communicate with search engines, relaying information about which pages should and should not be crawled and indexed by the search engine’s “bots” or “crawlers”. Robots.txt files may seem intimidating and complicated to users who have never used them before, but in reality, they are quite simple and fairly easy to manipulate in order to get your desired result. In this article, we’ll go over some of the common uses of robots.txt files and talk about why they’re important for SEO! If you have any questions about robots.txt files or how you can use them to optimize your website for search engines, please contact our team at Boston Web Marketing today!

Block Pages From Being Crawled & Indexed

One of the primary functions of a robots.txt file is to block pages from being crawled and indexed by search engines. There are several reasons why you may not want a specific page to be crawled or indexed: duplicate content, thank you pages, internal search results pages, pages that are being developed, and any other types of pages that you don’t want to show up in the search results.

Block Media Files From Appearing In The Search Results

Similar to how specific web pages can be blocked from being crawled and indexed using a robots.txt file, you can prevent certain images, PDFs, videos, and audio files from appearing in the search results. These media files can still be made public on your website by putting them on public pages or by internal linking to them, but they will not be shown on search engine results pages.

Optimize Your Website’s Crawl Budget

One more thing (that we’ll mention in this article) that robots.txt files can be used to do is to pick and choose which pages are being prioritized for crawling and indexing. Every website has a “crawl budget”, which is the amount of time and resources that a search engine like Google will allocate to crawling and indexing the pages on your website within a certain timeframe. Optimizing your site’s crawl budget is essential because you want to ensure that your more important pages are crawled and indexed before your less important pages. It should be noted that crawl budgets typically only apply to websites with thousands of pages, so if your website is relatively small, your crawl budget probably doesn’t need to be worried about.

Contact Boston Web Marketing!

If you have any questions about robots.txt files or any other search engine optimization tool, please don’t hesitate to contact our team at Boston Web Marketing! Our SEO specialists help businesses in almost every industry achieve higher search results! Give us a call today at (857) 526-0096 or fill out the contact form on our website, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

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