Learn what a popular - Robots.txt - the phrase means in online marketing. Click and read more.
Mariusz Bal
Customer Success Team
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What is Robots.txt - Definition

Robots.txt - is a text file, used in the context of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), that provides guidance to web crawlers on particular files andhow many pages should be indexed and which should not be indexed. It is part of the Robots Exclusion Protocol standard.

The use of the robots.txt file?

The robots.txt file is placed on a website's server and is publicly available at Search engine crawlers look at the robots.txt file before they start indexing a particular website. This file has several uses, such as:

Controlling access: The robots.txt file allows website administrators to block access to specific login pages for search engine robots. This can be useful if certain sections of the entire site contain sensitive data.

Avoiding duplicate content: If a site has different variants of URLs leading to the same content, the robots.txt file allows administrators to exclude unwanted variants from indexing to avoid duplicate content issues.

Managing indexing frequency: The robots.txt file allows you to control the frequency with which search engine robots should visit your site.

It is worth remembering that the robots.txt file is only a recommendation to search engine robots, not an enforcer. Some web robots may ignore the rules in the file, which is why there are also additional methods to control the accessibility of content on web pages, such as HTTP headers or noindex metatags.

How should the robots txt file look like?

A robots.txt file is a text file that should be placed in the root directory of your website on your server. Here is an example of a simple robots.txt file:

User-agent: *

Disallow: /private/

Disallow: /temp/

Disallow: /cgi-bin/

In the example above:

User agents: * means that these instructions apply to all search engine robots.

Disallow: /private/ means that the 'private' directory should be blocked and search engine bots should not index pages.

Disallow: /temp/ means that the "temp" directory should also be blocked.

Disallow: /cgi-bin/ means that the 'cgi-bin' directory should also be blocked.

When creating a robots.txt file, it is important to do so carefully and exercise caution to avoid accidentally blocking access to important parts of your site. Below are some tips for creating a robots.txt file:

Make sure the robots.txt file is named exactly as it should be: "robots.txt".

It is recommended that the file is available at

You can add a few lines with Disallow instructions to block specific directories or files.

You can use comments that start with the # symbol to add explanations to the file.

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How to edit the robots.txt file?

To edit your robots.txt file, take the following steps:

Log in to the server: If you are the owner or administrator of the site, you will need go to the login page that hosts the robots.txt file. This may require accessing the hosting control panel or accessing the server via File Transfer Protocol (FTP).

Find the robots.txt file: Navigate to the directory where the robots.txt file is located on the server. This is usually the root directory of the site, but may also be stored in a subdirectory.

Edit the robots.txt file: Using a text editor, open the robots.txt file. You can use any text editor such as Notepad (for Windows) or TextEdit (for Mac).

Make the changes: There may be various directives in the robots.txt file, such as User-agent, Disallow, Allow, etc. To make changes, add or remove the relevant lines in the file, according to the expected result.

Save the file: Once you have made changes to the robots.txt file, save it, keeping the original name.

Upload the file to the server: If you are using FTP, use an FTP client to upload the updated robots.txt file back to the server. Make sure you overwrite the previous file and save it in the correct directory.

Check the syntax: Once the robots.txt file is on the server, check its syntax to ensure there are no errors. This can be done using online tools or the tools available in the webmaster tools provided by the search engines.

It is important to be careful when editing the robots.txt file, as incorrect changes can affect the way search engine robots index the site.

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