Search engines like Google and Bing are answer machines. They help to discover, understand, and organize the internet's content in order to offer the most useful results to the questions searchers are asking for.
In order for your content to show up in the search results, your content needs to first be visible to search engines. It's the most important piece of your SEO campaign. If your website cannot be found, there's no way your site will ever show up in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Search engines work through three primary functions: crawling, indexing and ranking. A bot is an automated computer program that interacts with pplications and websites while crawling is the discovery process in which search engines send out a team of these bots (Also known as spiders or crawlers) to find new and updated web content. A robots.txt file is a set of instructions for bots to follow when crawling websites to rank.
Robots.txt files are mostly intended for managing bot or crawler traffic to your website. A robots.txt file is text file with instructions that tells search engine crawlers which URLs the crawler can access or ignore on your website. The robots.txt file is part of the the robots exclusion protocol (REP), a group of web standards that regulate how robots crawl the web, access and index content, and serve that content up to web users. This is basically used mainly to avoid overloading your site with requests because then the bots have instructions to follow. It can also be used to prevent media files like image, videos, and audio files from appearing in search results.
A robots.txt file can consists of one or more rules. Each rule blocks or allows access for a given crawler to a specified file path on a website. Unless one specifies otherwise in the robots.txt file, all files are implicitly allowed for crawling.
Here is a simple robots.txt file with two rules:
A robots.txt file is a text file with no HTML markup code (hence the .txt extension). A robots.txt file is hosted on a web server and sits at the root of your website. It just like any other file on your website. In fact, the robots.txt file for any given website can typically be viewed by typing the full URL for the homepage and then adding /robots.txt For example, like our website's robot.txt file is located at https://seocentraltools.com/robots.txt. The file isn't linked to anywhere else on the website, so users aren't likely to stumble upon it, but most web crawler bots will look for this file first before crawling the rest of the site.
In most websites you should be able to access the actual file so you can edit it in an FTP or by accessing the File Manager in your hosts CPanel
To crawl sites, search engines follow links to get from one website to another — ultimately, crawling across billions of websites and links. This crawling behavior is known as “spidering.”
After arriving at a website, the bot crawler will look for a robots.txt file before spidering it. If it finds one, the crawler will read that file first before continuing through the other files. Because the robots.txt file contains information about how the search engine should crawl, the information found there will instruct further crawler action on this particular site. If the robots.txt file does not contain any directives that disallow a user-agent’s activity (or if the site doesn’t have a robots.txt file), it will proceed to crawl other information on the site.
A web crawler bot will follow the most specific set of instructions in the robots.txt file. If there are contradictory commands in the file, the bot will follow the more granular command.
One more important thing to know is that subdomains also need their own robots.txt file. For instance, while seocentraltools.com has its own robot.txt file, and all the SEOCentralTools subdomains (blog.seocentraltools.com, etc.) need their own as well.
You can use almost any online or system text editor to create a robots.txt file. For example, Notepad, , emacs and TextEdit can create valid robots.txt files. Do not use a word processor; word processors often save files in a proprietary format and can add characters, such as curly quotes, which can cause problems for web crawlers. Make sure to save the file with UTF-8 encoding if prompted during the save file dialog.
The best way to create robot.txt file easily is to use robot.txt generator. There are any such tools online that can crawl your website and add all your website pages in a simple txt file and get ti saved with UTF-8 encoding
Depending on the platform your website is built on, you can easily use some simple inbuilt tools to create this file or use an online robot.txt creator. If you use WordPress, the Yoast SEO plugin is a good plugin for automatically creating a robot.txt file. You’ll see a section within the admin window where you can create a robots.txt file. There are other plugins for this in WordPress.
If you have websites built on other platforms like a PHP website, you can use a robot.txt file generator to create your robot.xt file and upload the files to the root of your domain server. There are many such tools online but they work differently. Some of these tools are free while some are paid, bundled with some other tools.
To create robot.txt file easily and fast, and for free, check out Robot.txt File Generator from SEOCentralTools.com. The Robots.txt Generator is part of our robust 100% free online SEO tools. SEOCentralTools Robots.txt Generator is a free SEO tool that creates a robots.txt file with rules that blocks or allows access for a given crawler to a specified file path on your website.
This tool offers a clean interface to create a robots.txt file for free. You can set a crawl-delay period and specify which bots are allowed or refused to crawl your site. It uses drop-down bars as well and has a section for restricted directories as well as a space to add your sitemap.
You can download the robots.txt file when you are finished.
Steps below will show you what to do to create a robot.txt file.
Note: You can create your sitemap with our Free Online Sitemap Generator.
To generate robot.txt, All you need to do is follow the steps below for a quick check:
1. Visit SEOCentralTools.com and go to the Robot.txt Generator Page.
2. Fill in the details of your website and fill each field in the tool and press the Generate button.
3. SEOCentralTools will generate a robot.txt file you will upload to the root of your website.
This is what you will see if the website is up:
Set the tool to "allowed" to allow all web crawlers to crawl.
You can set the crawl delay and you can choose between No delay, 5 secs, 10 secs, 20 secs, 60 secs and 120 secs. You can stick with the default 'No delay".
Enter your sitemap URL if you have one. If you dont have one, you can create one with our Free Sitemap Generator Tool. Upload the sitemap to your server and add the URL which is always 'https://www.yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml'.
For the search robots area, you can choose between 'same as default', 'allowed' or 'refused'. You can allow some and refuse some if you wanted or just set all to be at default.
For the restricted directories, you can always leave the default '/cgi-bin/' and add some other pages you dont want search engine web crawlers to see.
Click on save robot.txt or create and save as robot.txt to create a txt file you can download to your system.
Now you can fetch the robot.txt file and upload to the root of your website. Now the search engines will follow all the rules laid down in the file. So, now you know why you need to have a robot.txt file for your website and the best generator tool to use. Our no 1 recommended tool is SEOCentralTools Robot.txt File Generator tool. Give it a test and see..
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