Understanding the Robots Exclusion Protocol in 10 points

Through our SEO Agency Optimize 360.

What is a Intelligent redirection in SEO?

Le Robots Exclusion Protocolalso known as REP, is a crucial aspect of understanding organic optimisation practices.

For those who want to understand more about how it works and how best to use it, here's a 10-point overview in this article.

So let's dive into the world of the robot exclusion protocol!

Robots Exclusion Protocol

1. Definition of the Robots Exclusion Protocol (REP)

Le REPor Robot exclusion protocolis a method used by websites to communicate with their visitors. exploration robots to give them instructions on how to access and index the pages on their site.

Also known as "standard on robots.txt These instructions generally take the form of a text file called robots.txt.

2. Origin of the REP

Created by Martijn Koster in June 1994, the robot exclusion protocol was developed as a means of controlling access by web crawlers to a site's files and directories. The aim was to prevent overload and limit automatic access to web servers.

3. Objectives of the robot exclusion protocol

The use of REP enables web publishers to achieve a number of objectives, including :

  • Regulation of robot access to specific parts of the site
  • Saving bandwidth and server resources
  • Prevent unwanted indexing of certain pages or sections
  • Helping search engines to index your site correctly

4. General operation of the REP

All the elements of the protocol are in a file called robots.txtcreated in text format and located at the root of the website. The crawlers to which these instructions are addressed will analyse this file and then apply the instructions provided.

Basic structure of the robots.txt file

The file robots.txt is generally made up of two main elements:

    1. User-agent : This line identifies the crawler concerned by the instructions.
    2. Disallow : This line provides instructions to prevent the robot from accessing a specific part of the site.

5. Examples of rules in a robots.txt file

Here are some examples of rules you can include in your file robots.txt to control access for exploration robots:

User-agent : *
Disallow : /directory-1/

User-agent : Googlebot
Disallow : /repertoire-2/

User-agent : Bingbot
Disallow : /repertoire-3/

These examples show how to block access to different directories for all crawlers or specific crawlers such as Googlebot and Bingbot.

6. Special considerations for search engines

Although the robot exclusion protocol was developed in response to problems raised by the web community, it is not an absolute standard. Some crawlers have specific rules or may analyse the instructions in the robots.txt.

Directives dedicated to REP for Googlebot

Google has added a number of new features to its exploration robot :

  • Noindex : Prevent a page from being indexed without restricting access.
  • Nofollow : Ask the robot not to follow links on a given page.
  • Noarchive : Prevent the page from being cached in the search engine archives.

However, it is important to know that these guidelines are not taken into account by all the other search engines.

7. Impact on search engine optimisation (SEO)

The correct use of the robot exclusion protocol can have a significant impact on your SEO strategy. By clearly establishing the areas where crawling will be permitted or prohibited, it is possible to improve the indexing of the website by search engines and therefore its positioning in the results.

8. Using robots.txt correctly

It is essential to write your file properly robots.txt to avoid any nasty surprises. Here are a few tips:

  • Check that the directives for all browsers are at the beginning of the file.
  • Make sure that all other explorer-specific directives follow those for all browsers.
  • Use absolute paths to reference blocked parts.

9. The limits of the REP

The robot exclusion protocol is not a secure solution for guaranteeing the confidentiality of certain areas of your site. It simply provides "advice" that crawlers can ignore if they wish. To guard against this type of problem, we recommend that you put in place additional protection such as password security.

10. Test and check

To ensure that your rules are working properly, use test tools to check their effectiveness with the various search engines. Google provides theTest tool for robots.txt files in the Google Search ConsoleThis will allow you to check for errors in your file and ensure that the directives are correctly interpreted by Googlebot.

By understanding these 10 key points about Robots Exclusion ProtocolYou will be able to take the necessary steps to ensure that your site communicates effectively with crawlers, while maximising its SEO visibility.

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