Definition of Robot txt

Through our SEO Agency Optimize 360.

The world of SEO is constantly evolving, and it's essential to keep abreast of the latest trends and techniques. L

ne of the key tools for search engine optimisation (SEO) is the robot.txt file, an often overlooked element that can play a vital role in the way your site is indexed by search engines such as Google.

In this article, we'll explain what the txt robot is, what it's used for and how to use it to optimise your site.

Robot txt

What is the txt robot?

Le robots.txt file is a simple text file at the root of your site, the purpose of which is to give instructions to search engine spiders on how to index your pages.

It allows you to control access to the different sections of your site, by telling the robots which content is authorised to be explored and which should be ignored.

This tool allows you to exclude certain pages or sections of your site from the search results, so that you can focus on content that is truly relevant to web users.

It is also useful for avoiding overloading servers with unnecessary requests, by limiting the exploration of robots to certain parts of the site.

What is the purpose of the robot.txt file?

Check the indexing of your site

One of the main uses of the robots.txt file is to enable theselective indexing pages on your site.

By explicitly informing search engines the parts they can explore and index, you have more precise control over how your content is referenced and accessed by web users.

Protecting sensitive information

The robots.txt file can also be used to protect certain sensitive or confidential information! I

Sometimes personal data or internal documents are stored on the same server as your site but are not intended for the general public, so it is crucial to block their indexing to avoid any confidentiality problems.

Limit search engine crawling

The loading time of your pages is an important criterion for the referencing of your site, both for search engines and for visitors.

The robots.txt file helps to reduce the load on your servers by limiting automatic indexing by search engines to the essential sections of your site, as well as avoiding problems linked to duplicate pages.

How do I create and use a robots.txt file?

If you're not familiar with text files and syntax rules, don't panic: creating and using a robots.txt file is pretty straightforward once you know the basic instructions to follow. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you set up a robots.txt file for your site:

  1. Create a text file Open a text editor (such as Notepad) and create a new document.
  2. Name it "robots.txt Make sure that the name of the file is "robots.txt" (without the inverted commas), as this is the name that search engines will look for when they crawl your site.
  3. Add instructions The main commands to use in the robots.txt file are "User-agent" and "User-agent". Disallow ". The first indicates which robot the rules apply to, while the second specifies the prohibited access paths. For example, you could use this syntax :
      User-Agent : *
      Disallow : /example-of-page/

    This instruction tells all search engine spiders (indicated by the asterisk *) not to index the "/page-example/" page.

  4. Drag the file to the root of your site Once you have defined your directives, save your robots.txt file and place it at the root of your website - usually in the same folder as your index.html or index.php.

Good practice and pitfalls to avoid

When configuring your robots.txt file, it's important to follow a few good practices and watch out for certain pitfalls that could harm your SEO:

  • Be clear and simple Avoid overly complex rules that could lead to misinterpretation. Keep your instructions concise and explicit.

  • Check your robots.txt file regularly As with any element of your site, the robots.txt file should be checked periodically to ensure that the access paths and directives are always up to date with the current structure.

  • Don't use robots.txt as a security method Although a well-configured file can protect sensitive information, it is not a security solution in itself. Respectful search engines will follow the instructions in the robots.txt file, but a malicious person could ignore it. Instead, use more appropriate protection methods (passwords, SSL, etc.).

  • Don't block all robots by default Some webmasters make the mistake of trying to block all robots from the outset, thinking that this will avoid problems. However, this risks penalising your SEO, as search engines will then have no access to your content. Configure your robots.txt file to allow indexing of content that is important to visitors and search engines.

In short, the robot txt file is an essential tool for your site's SEO, enabling you to finely control the indexing of your pages and optimise performance.

Don't be afraid to check out what's new in the field of SEO on a regular basis, because search engine algorithms are constantly evolving - as are best practices in terms of robots.txt.

blank Digital Performance Accelerator for SMEs